Polishing Classic Car Chrome
Polishing classic car chrome is one of the more nostalgic and relaxing maintenance activities you can do on your vintage car. We are not talking about polishing up the modern day plastic chrome, but true metal chrome used in the good old days.
Classic Car Maintenance Schedule
To begin with, you need to settle on a regular maintenance and cleaning schedule for you car. Polishing classic car chrome is a small but very important part of this routine. Keeping up with the everyday dirt, dust and debris that collects on your vehicle keeps any larger scale problems and projects from ever becoming an issue. Base the frequency of maintenance on factors such as the location of your vehicle and the amount you drive the car. Start by routinely washing the chrome with a soft washcloth, warm water and mild soap. After you lather the chrome, rinse with clean, cool water and towel it dry. Just this simple step, done routinely, will protect the shine of your chrome for years.
Unfortunately, even with the strictest of maintenance routines, and no matter how often you are polishing classic car chrome, it will inevitably oxidize and develop rust spots. The higher quality the chrome plating, the slower this will happen of course. But, no matter what, oxidizing chrome is an eventuality for all classic car chrome. If you allow the oxidation process to go on too long and do not remove the rust spots, your chrome will become permanently pitted. However, if you don’t procrastinate, you can get rid of rust and bring the shine back to your classic car chrome.
Restoring Classic Car Chrome
Assuming you did not wait too long, and restoring classic car chrome makes more sense than replacing it, there are a few steps you can take to restore that beautiful shine.
The first thing you’ll need to do is get some fine grade steel wool and scrub off the rust. Make sure that you never let the steel wool touch any painted surfaces of your vehicle to avoid scratches. After you have removed all the rust, you will notice that the steel wool has left minor scratches in your chrome. This is unfortunately unavoidable but a high quality chrome polish will solve this issue and finish the job. Find a gentle, “all chrome” polish and use small amounts at a time.
How to Apply Chrome Polish
Before you begin polishing classic car chrome, make sure the area is washed thoroughly and is free of all dirt. Its best to park in a shaded area when polishing classic car chrome since the sun can dry the polish too fast. Next, find a very clean, cotton cloth to apply the polish. Again, take just a small bit at a time and massage it into the chrome with the cloth. Carefully and slowly cover every spot, and work it into small spots and crevices.
Following these simple steps can keep the chrome on your classic or exotic car looking shiny and new. Do you have any tips on polishing classic car chrome? If you do, share them with us in the comments section.