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How to Clean Motorcycle Chrome Parts?

How to Clean Motorcycle Chrome Parts?

It is important to maintain the looks of motorcycle chrome parts to ensure they still look appealing. If you do not clean chrome parts regularly, rust will start to form and stains will appear on their surfaces. Motorcycle boot marks, small scratches, water stains, and melted rubber marks can make chrome parts lose their shine over time.


It does not take much time and effort to clean and maintain chrome parts. However, once they lose their glossy appearance and become rusty, it becomes difficult to restore their original looks. Read this article to learn how to clean motorcycle chrome parts.

1. How to Clean Motorcycle Chrome Parts?

There are several methods, products, and precautions that you must adhere to while cleaning motorcycle chrome parts. Using an abrasive product can scratch the chrome parts. Usually, there are two types of chrome motorcycle parts: metal and plastic chrome parts. You cannot use the same product to clean both types of chrome parts.

1.1 Cleaning Hard Chrome Parts Using Steel Wool

Most riders do not like the idea of cleaning chrome motorcycle parts using steel wool as they are afraid of leaving scratches. However, fine grade #0000 steel wool is very soft, and light, and does not scratch metal chrome parts. If your motorcycle’s chrome parts have water stains, small scratches, and have lost their shine, gently rubbing the chrome parts with grade #0000 steel wool will remove all of these stains and restore the shiny look. This method is good for chrome parts still in relatively good shape.


Note: Do not use steel wool to clean plastic chrome parts as they are more susceptible to scratching.

1.2 Applying Chrome Polisher

The steel wool alone does not add a protective shiny layer to the chrome surface. That is why you need a chrome polisher. After cleaning chrome parts with steel wool, apply the chrome polisher and lightly rub the chrome surfaces for a shiny look and an extra protective layer.

1.3 Cleaning Plastic Chrome Parts

To clean plastic chrome parts, you can use a light chrome polisher and a microfiber cloth wipe to remove dust and stains. Pour a little chrome cleaner on a microfiber cloth and start rubbing the plastic chrome parts gently. This will give the surface a new and shiny look.

2. How to Clean Rusty Chrome Parts

2.1 Using Metal Cleaner and Foam Applicator

Rusty chrome parts make a motorcycle look old and decrease its resale value. You can clean and remove the rust on chrome motorcycle parts by using a metal polisher. Different metal polisher products are available on the market. Make sure to read the customer reviews and feedback before you order a product. These metal polishers can be used to clean any metal surface, including chrome, copper, zinc, and aluminum.


Note: Do not use a metal polisher to clean new and shiny chrome parts as it is slightly abrasive and can cause scratches.

Use a soft foam applicator to apply the metal polisher on chrome parts. Before you apply the metal polisher, make sure to clean the chrome surface using a microfiber cloth to remove any dust and impurities. Pour some metal polisher on the foam applicator and gently rub the chrome surface. Make sure to shake the metal polisher well before using it. You will see the rust will start to come off the chrome surface. Remove the rust and leftover cleaner marks on the chrome parts with a microfiber cloth.


Note: If motorcycle chrome parts are extremely rusty, you should use grade #0000 steel wool to apply the metal polisher instead of a foam applicator to remove rust.

After the rust has been removed, you can use a wax or metal polisher to give the chrome parts a new look. Apply some wax or metal polisher on a clean microfiber cloth and start rubbing the chrome parts gently until the surface becomes shinier.

2.2 Using Aluminum Foil and Diet Coke

Removing rust from motorcycle chrome parts using diet coke sounds a bit strange but it is a widely used process by most motorcyclists.

  • Wash the rusty chrome parts with soapy water and a microfiber cloth.
  • Pour diet coke on the chrome surface and start rubbing it gently with aluminum foil. Most riders think the coke reacts with the rust and removes it. However, it is the aluminum foil that does the most work. The friction causes the rust flakes to come off.
  • Make sure not to apply excessive force while rubbing the chrome parts with aluminum foil as it can cause scratching and chrome flakes can come off.
  • If the rust does not come off even after repeating this process several times, you will have to repaint the motorcycle parts with chrome.
  • If repainting motorcycle chrome parts is expensive, you can replace these parts with new ones instead.

3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

3.1 How to Identify Hard Chrome and Plastic Chrome?

Most motorcycles use a combination of both hard and plastic chrome. You can identify whether your motorcycle has hard or plastic chrome by tapping it with your fingernail, touching it, or looking at it. Hard chrome is slightly cooler than plastic chrome. Hard chrome also has a mirror-like finish, while plastic chrome reflects light and has a distorted look.

3.2 How to Prevent Rust Buildup on Chrome Motorcycle Parts?

The following steps can help you prevent rust buildup on chrome motorcycle parts:

  • After cleaning and removing the rust from chrome motorcycle parts, you can use a rust-repellant chemical, like WD-40, to prevent rust buildup in the future.
  • Whenever you wash your motorcycle, make sure to dry it properly using a microfiber cloth to avoid oxidation and rust buildup. Any leftover moisture on metal and chrome surfaces can cause rusting.
  • If you plan to store your motorcycle for an extended period, make sure to do it in a dry and warm place.
  • Do not park your motorcycle in the rain.

4. Conclusion

Motorcycle chrome parts are prone to get dirty, scratched, and less shiny over time. They require regular cleaning if you want to keep their original looks. You can clean the chrome parts by following simple steps if your motorcycle’s chrome parts are new or in good shape. However, cleaning chrome parts can become difficult if they are rusty. You can remove light rust on chrome parts by following the steps mentioned in this article. However, if there is too much rust on chrome parts and the chrome flakes come off, along with the rust while cleaning, you will have to repaint the chrome parts or replace them with new ones.


If you are planning to restore an old motorcycle or customize your current one, you can get aftermarket parts at Viking Bags to help you transform your motorcycle’s look and improve its performance. You have various motorcycle products, including sissy bars, backrests, handlebars, fairings, seats, and crash bars. If you plan to go on wilderness trips, Viking Bags also offer several luggage bag options, including sissy bar bags, tank bags, tool bags, motorcycle trunk bags, and saddlebags.

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