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My motorcycle (Suzuki GN250) has many chromed parts, some of which are spotted with rust.

I've seen several videos on youtube about ways of removing rust (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watchv=JkHyARsjNEg), most of which suggest using:

  1. Aluminium foil
  2. Steel wool

with or without the aid of:

  1. Diet Pepsi / Cola
  2. Toothpaste
  3. Metal polish

Which method is the best, i.e. doesn't damage the chrome, and gives a long-lasting effect?

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For rust removal... my personal favorite technique involves a lot of distilled white vinegar and a green "scrunge" (like a 3M scrubbing pad) or a pad of steel wool. By "a lot" of vinegar, I mean never allow the surface to get dry - always keep it wet with vinegar or it'll "flash rust" while you work. This generally involves working only a fairly small area (one or two square feet) at a time.

When you're totally finished with an area, wipe it totally dry, beginning with paper towels and ending with toilet tissue - get all the rust-vinegar slurry off the surface; your last wipe should come up with a completely clean wad of toilet tissue.

That method also works very well for such things as cast-iron table saw tops. It's how I get rid of the rust on my table saws in Vermont, where rust grows faster than weeds.

Bronze wool works as well as - and possibly better than - steel wool. Some steel wool is much harder (has a higher carbon content than) other steel wool, and may possibly scratch chrome. Bronze wool, like "scrunges", isn't hard enough to scratch the chrome.

  • How long will it take to dissolve, let's say, a slight corrosion? Are we talking about minutes, hours or days? – ponadto Aug 22 '14 at 13:17
  • @ponadto, From my experience, I can completely derust a full-size table saw's cast-iron table with wings (total about 27" by 36") from a severely "hairy" rusted condition to fully smooth, shiny surface within about half an hour. – TDHofstetter Aug 22 '14 at 13:27
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I use aluminum foil and Turtle Wax chrome polish on my Harley. The aluminum foil is softer than the steel wool and will not scratch the chrome and at the same time adds a aluminum coating to the rust spots making it have a sealed finish. I also apply the Turtle Wax chrome polish to the aluminum foil so it polishes as it cleans the rust off. Make sure you let the polish dry and wipe to a new looking finish. I live in Florida and the moisture in the air of the garage has cause all my chrome to rust and this method has restored it to like new condition.

If you use my method make sure you crumple up the aluminum foil giving it a scratchy effect. I used this method on all chrome now that I've found something that works great

  • This has worked on my Harley, Truck and Tractor trailer. – Calvin Babb Apr 10 '16 at 10:36
  • Thx for the hint. However, I don't think Turtle Wax is available in my country -- perhaps you could tell me what is its "active ingredient(s)"? – ponadto Apr 10 '16 at 12:35

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