LAST UPDATED: April 29, 2019
Best Chrome Polishes: Keep Your Chrome Shiny and Looking New
Use these chrome polishes to keep your car’s shiny parts brilliant
The Review Team
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PUBLISHED ON April 29, 2019
Chrome has been used on cars and motorcycles for decades due to its abilities to resist corrosion and give off a classy, brilliant look. Over time, the chrome finish can tarnish, which not only looks bad but will leave the metal underneath exposed to the elements. To help you get back that killer chrome look, here are our top picks for the best chrome cleaners on the market.
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Benefits of Chrome Polish
- Keep your car looking its best. As your car ages, the chrome bumpers and wheels will fade from exposure to the elements. Faded chrome looks dull and dirty, which affects the overall aesthetics of your ride. Using a chrome polishing kit regularly is a great way to avoid this.
- Protect the steel underneath. Chrome doesn’t oxidize the way other metals do, which is why car manufacturers started using it in the first place. As chrome fades and wears out, its ability to protect the metal underneath deteriorates, too. Leaving your car unprotected in the elements will cause surface rust, which will only get worse.
- Polish also acts as a cleaner. Not only is a quality chrome polish good for restoring chrome wheels and other parts, but it also cleans them. Using a polish, you can restore the shine to your car while cleaning the chrome at the same time.
- Retain the resale value of your car. Regardless if you are planning to sell your car now or years down the road, keeping the chrome shiny and new-looking will retain some of the worth. The sooner and more often you polish your chrome, the better.
Types of Chrome Polish
Liquid chrome polish is the most popular form of polish mainly for how easy it is to apply and how well it cleans. In fact, it is one of the best ways to polish chrome quickly and effectively. However, it is only suitable for surface level jobs and will not restore faded or corroded chrome.
In this form, chrome polish is far more viscous than liquid, meaning it can contain different ingredients that can handle deeper levels of polishing and cleaning. This type of chrome polish is best suited for jobs involving microdamage, extensive fading, and surface-level rust. Cream polish is also used a great deal in professional automotive settings.
Paste is incredibly thick, so it requires more effort to apply, but it’s by far the best chrome polish type available. Because the ingredients tend to be very strong, care needs to be taken that the polish isn’t too abrasive for the job at hand. These polishes should be used only for the most difficult restorative projects.
Since 1959, Texas-based Blue Magic has been manufacturing cleaning products, polishes, adhesives, sealants, hair care products, and air fresheners. Its signature chrome polish was developed in 1967 and, since then, has become recognized as one of the best metal polishes you can buy. Popular Blue Magic products include its Blue Magic 400 Polish Cream.
Brent Deloach and his daughter Nicole founded this company in 2001 with their purchase of the Quick-Glo brand of cleaners and polishes. Quick-Glo has been around for more than 50 years and boasts a powerful formula that is also environmentally-friendly and non-toxic. In addition to the original formula, the company also offers the Quick-Glo Fine.
Chrome Polish Pricing
- $5-$10: At this price range, you shouldn’t expect a lot in terms of volume. You can still buy some of the best chrome polish on the market, but only a few ounces of it.
- $10-$25: As we move up in price, so does the amount of chrome shiner you can purchase. At the mid-level prices, you can get upwards of 20 ounces of polish, depending on the brand.
- $25 and up: Approaching the upper end of the price range means more polish as well as accessories like buffers and sponges to aid in application. You can buy chrome polish by the gallon if you want, though most people don’t need that much.
A nice benefit of most chrome polishes that are available is that they don’t just work on chrome. The ingredients that shine chrome also generally work on other metals like steel, aluminum, silver, and gold. In reality, this makes many chrome polish products an all-purpose metal polish.
Many of the polishes that are available not only polish chrome but also have ingredients in them to clean the metal as well. This is a great time-saver, especially for those bigger restorative projects.
Deals With Rust
Most products not only act as a car chrome cleaner and polish but also take care of surface-level rust that has formed from the metal underneath being exposed to the elements. This is great for preventing further rusting and deterioration.
Many chrome polishes also add a protective layer to the surface of the metal that acts as a shield against the elements. This not only adds to the shine and life of your chrome but decreases the number of times you have to polish it.
- Abrasiveness: Some chrome polish rust remover products are made to handle tougher jobs than others. Make sure to read the label first or else you could end up with a polish that will actually cause damage to your chrome.
- Application: Polishes that come in a spray bottle are much easier to apply than pastes or creams that need to be worked in. The tradeoff is that they aren’t as effective on corroded chrome. It’s best to find a balance between the two.
Best Chrome Polish Reviews & Recommendations 2020
Simichrome is one of the strongest polishing pastes on the market and is a favorite among car and motorcycle owners, antique collectors, and professionals in automotive body repair. The water solvent paste contains aluminum oxide, ammonia, and other ingredients that can restore heavily chrome in as little as 30 seconds. This non-ferrous metal polishing paste is applicable to a number of different metals like pewter, brass, gold, silver, steel, copper, chrome, and other metal surfaces.
In addition to putting a brilliant shine on dull or faded metals, Simichrome adds a protective layer that will keep your chrome shining longer by keeping it safe from the elements. It’s not overly abrasive and safe to use on delicate pieces of chrome such as those found on antique clocks and band instruments. It’s easy to use and only requires a cloth rag and some elbow grease.
There have been some issues with Simichrome taking excessive time to dry when applied to chrome surfaces. Also, it does contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful if accidentally swallowed or if they make contact with the eyes. That said, Simichrome is one of the best chrome polishes available and is definitely deserving of our top pick.
This polish has a thick, rich, and creamy feel to it. When you use this polish, it will gently clean and polish your chrome. Advanced polymers will go to work repairing and preserving your chrome to prevent future corrosion and wear.
It’s also a polish that’s safe to use around other materials, such as a mirror or glass. When you use this polish, it goes beyond just making your chrome shiny. It will protect it from fingerprints, spotting, and rust.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to be careful when using this polish. If you’re not careful, it can leave swirl marks and make your chrome look cloudy. It also has an unpleasant smell to it. It’s best to use it in a well-ventilated area.
Quick-Glo is a chrome cleaner and rust remover that is suitable for cars, motorcycles, bicycles, boats, furniture accents, appliances, and anything else with chrome on it. In addition to chrome, Quick-Glo also works on silver, brass, porcelain, steel, copper, mirrors, and windows. The non-toxic, environmentally-friendly formula is strong enough to handle tough restoration jobs involving lots of rust and tarnish.
Using a decades-old formula that is completely safe and all-natural, Quick-Glo cleans and polishes dull chrome while leaving a protective barrier in its wake. Because it’s non-toxic, you can use Quick-Glo inside small areas like the bathroom without worry of harmful fumes. It is non-abrasive and will not harm either the surfaces you intended to polish or any others it may accidentally get on.
Storage can be an issue as high-temperatures and/or humidity can cause Quick-Glo to revert to its liquid form which is highly ineffective. Also, there have been some reports that the product either didn’t have an effect or made chrome look worse.
When you use this chrome polish, you’re doing more than making your chrome shine. You’re also removing dirt, smudges, and grease. This will help keep it looking brighter and shinier for longer. This polish is made in England by the Town Talk Polish Company. You’ll get a squeeze bottle with 8.5 ounces of polishing product.
You’ll enjoy that this chrome polish doesn’t require any hard work. The directions are to apply, rinse, and lightly buff. The formula uses advanced polishing agents that are specially blended to work better than other polishes.
Unfortunately, this product is best when used indoors, so be careful where you apply it. The bottle also specifically states that it won’t work on hard water stains, so it may not do the job when using it on your car’s chrome wheels or other chrome trim.
If you have rusty or tarnished chrome, then this cleaner claims to restore it to its original shine and luster. You can apply this polish with either a foam pad, cotton cloth, or microfiber cloth. You’ll get a 12-ounce bottle of polish from one of the most well-known companies in car detailing and care.
This polish stands out for being able to remove rust. It’s also safe for your car’s black rubber and plastic trim, which is a lifesaver when these materials are next to each other on your car. Once applied, it’ll leave a protective coating to help prevent your chrome from further oxidizing.
Unfortunately, the claims of removing rust aren’t exactly accurate. This isn’t a miracle polish that will take any old rusted chrome thing and turn it to shiny and new. Even on chrome that it does restore, it will take a ton of effort and work on your part to buff and scrub the tarnish and rust away.
This multipurpose household metal cleaner works on chrome, among many other metals. It’ll restore the metal’s luster, shine, and smooth surface. It’s safe for use on all of your car’s metal surfaces. This metal polish has been used for more than 100 years, so you can trust its reputation for reliable performance. Soak a cloth in polish and apply it to the metal.
What’s nice about this metal polish is that it’s a household cleaner and polish, so you can use it on more than just your car. It also lasts for a while, so your metal will continue to look beautiful and tarnish-free long afterward. This polish will restore both the chrome in your house and on your car by removing tarnish, hard water stains, and dullness.
Unfortunately, using this polish isn’t pleasant, as the smell is quite strong. You’ll also need to do quite a bit of scrubbing to see improvement in the finish of your metal.
This is a wheel cleaner that is meant for cleaning your chrome wheels. It contains strong cleaning agents that will cut through the grit, brake dust, and grime that builds up on your wheels. The cleaner comes out as a foam so that it’ll stick to your wheels better. Then as you clean, it will polish your wheels to a bright mirror-like shine.
The spray gun style of this bottle makes the cleaner/polish easy to apply. You can easily make it an extra step in washing your car without adding time and effort to your routine. Then a simple wipe dry and your wheels will look showroom ready.
Unfortunately, you should only use this cleaner in a well-ventilated and shady area, which can limit where you can use it. It’s also only effective on genuine chrome-plated wheels and can cause damage to magnesium, uncoated aluminum, powder-coated, and anodized wheels. You also shouldn’t let this product dry on your wheels.
One can of this chrome and metal polish will have your metal looking tarnish-free, bright, and shiny. This polish is made in Germany and comes as a thick paste made of a unique blend of compounds that buff your metal to a deep luster with a protective coating. Each can contains 8.82 ounces of polish. Apply this polish with a clean cloth, buff, and then wipe off the excess. Use a clean cloth to buff and bring out the chrome’s shine.
One nice thing about this metal polish is that it has a long and stable shelf life. This means that you don’t have to worry about getting through the can before it goes bad or separates like liquid polishes. The paste is also easier to work with than a liquid polish. This polish can be used on a wide variety of metals, which makes it quite versatile.
Unfortunately, this metal polish does contain harmful chemicals. You’ll want to avoid breathing in the fumes and getting it on your skin. This polish isn’t specifically meant for automotive chrome, so you’ll want to make sure it’s compatible before using it.
This automotive chrome polish will clean and polish your car’s aluminum, stainless steel, and chrome. It won’t scratch or degrade your metal. The liquid polish comes in a squeeze bottle of 8 or 16 ounces and is made in the United States. This polish is meant for restoration projects. The nonabrasive formula makes it safe for repetitive application in one area that has stubborn oxidation or rust.
If you have chrome that has surface rust, then this polish will help remove it and bring back the shine to your chrome. You’ll find this polish easy to use because it requires less effort and work from you, and works twice as fast as other chrome polishes. This polish is safe to use either by hand or with a polishing machine.
Unfortunately, this polish may not remove rust from chrome as well as you’d hope. The container isn’t very secure and may leak. You may also find the polish to be a bit watery, which can make it hard to work with.
This one-step chrome polish will clean, shine, and protect your chrome. You don’t need to buff it. As it goes to work, it will remove dirt, surface rust, salt deposits, and grime. Shake the bottle well before you deposit the polish onto your cloth to ensure it's fully mixed and not separated. Use a clean, dry cloth to rub the polish onto the metal. Let it dry to a haze and then wipe the haze off to reveal shiny, clean chrome.
This polish is nice because it will leave a protective seal on your chrome to extend the shiny and bright look. If you apply another coat after 10 to 30 days, you’ll see even better results.
Unfortunately, this polish can leave streaks if you don’t wipe it clean well enough, so prepare to wipe a lot. It also has a horrible kerosene type of smell because it’s one of the main ingredients in the polish. You may also find that this polish takes longer to use from start to finish than other chrome polishes on the market.
- Take a steel wool brush and scrub off as much rust and excess particles as you can before polishing. This will give the polish maximum penetration, which will increase its ability to work.
- With a clean cloth rag, use small circular patterns when polishing to really work it into the chrome. It’s also the best way to avoid unsightly streak marks.
- After the polish dries apply a layer of wax over top. It will add an extra level of protection to your chrome as well as really bring out the shine.
- Between polishings, you can rub your chrome with a cloth and some water to keep it clean and shining.
Q: How long does it take for chrome polish to work?
A: In most cases, you should notice an immediate effect when polishing. In cases of extreme wear, you may need to apply two or three coats before returning your chrome’s luster.
Q: What other metals will chrome polish work on?
A: Many chrome polishes will also work on stainless steel, aluminum, brass, silver, gold, and copper. There are some cases where a polish may be harmful to certain metals, so make sure to read the instructions first.
Q: Do I need a special cloth?
A: Any soft piece of cloth will work just fine. Avoid harsher materials as they can actually scrape away at the chrome.
Our top pick overall is 3M Chrome and Metal Polish, which is an amazing all-purpose polish that handles the toughest jobs.
Mothers 05212 California Gold Chrome Polish is our pick for the best overall value due to its powerful formula and reasonable pricing point.