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Old 01-21-2010, 03:31 PM   #1
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How to remove scratches in chrome?

How to remove scratches in chrome?


What's the best method or product to remove very fine scratches on chrome wheels? Will 0000 steel wool and a metal polish work or would it add more scratches?
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Old 01-21-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
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Re: Scratches on Chrome

Found this on ehow:
Dampen the scratched surface with a polishing agent. The surface needs to be slick with polish, otherwise the steel wool will dull the shine while buffing out the scratches.

Step
2Dip the super fine, grade 0000 steel wool in polish.

Step
3Rub the steel wool over the scratched area in concentric circles.

Step
4Apply more polish every two to four minutes as needed and continue buffing the surface with steel wool. Most scratches should disappear within 10 to 20 minutes. If scratches remain, you may need to get the area fixed at a body shop. The steel wool works to smoothly remove a small layer of chrome; if the scratch is too deep, excessive steel wool buffing will eventually cause noticeable dips in the metal's surface.

Step
5Wipe down the surface with a microfiber cloth to distribute excess polish evenly for a nice shine. A dry rag can also be used, but may not lead to as bright of a shine.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:22 AM   #3
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Re: Scratches on Chrome

so would wolfgang fine aluminum polish be a good match? i have tried this before and i have a dull spot where i worked. i didn't have it dripping with polish though... i want the wheels to look like brand new
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:39 AM   #4
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Re: Scratches on Chrome

I believe your method would work. You could use a heavier steel wool if you have "bad" scratches. But you definitely want to start with as fine as possible...a "test spot" is in order

I would definitely follow up the steel wool with just the metal polish on a microfiber applicator or towel.
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:58 AM   #5
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Re: Scratches on Chrome

I've never seen scratches removed 100% from chrome rubbing all kinds of stuff on it.

I've read about some chrome shops being able to polish scratches out of chrome but never seen it. Did some Googling on the topic and found some info.

Here's the problem, first the actual chrome layer is very thin, so you don't have a lot of material to work with. Next, in order to actually remove a scratch, you don't remove the scratch, or scratches, you remove the material surrounding the scratches in an effort to level or flatten out the surface. This circles back to the problem of the actual layer of chrome being thin.

Then next problem is chrome is hard, this means it doesn't lend itself to be workable or abradable easily by hand or machine.

I've had a lot of people over the years bring cars to classes I've taught and shown me scratches in every conceivable "material" or "coating" ever created and when it comes to chrome, real chrome, not plastic chrome, to this date I've never seen anyone live in front of me apply something and remove 100% of all scratches. I've also never done this myself.

I would also point out that most people that have had the problem of scratches in chrome, when looking for an outside company, person or product to solve their problem, their standards have been perfection, as in, if you attempt to work on their chrome doodad, whatever it is, they expect to see 100% perfection. If you don't hit this mark, not only are they disappointed, they often have the attitude that if you rubbed something on their doodad and it's not better, now you're responsible for fixing or replacing the doodad.

Not sure where this type of thinking comes from but it's taught me not to rub polishes on already scratched chrome surface for other people or even give them something to try to rub out scratches on chrome surfaces because if it doesn't work, and especially in a worse case scenario, it instills scratches into the chrome, then you're back to being liable.

If you own something that's chrome and it's very important to you, do some research first, maybe contact a "real" chroming company and see if there's any real solution to the problem. And, as a safety measure, always test products in an inconspicuous area and then inspect the results.


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Old 07-02-2010, 10:35 AM   #6
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Re: Scratches on Chrome

Mike, would a scratch in chrome be something a paint glaze could hide somewhat?
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Old 07-02-2010, 11:41 AM   #7
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Re: Scratches on Chrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickDW View Post
Mike, would a scratch in chrome be something a paint glaze could hide somewhat?
No, not really...

Maybe... maybe a heavy or hard paste wax would do a little masking...

The thing to do would be to contact a real chrome shop as these folks would and should be really up to speed as to what can really be done to remove scratches that are "in" the layer of chrome.

If there is some kind of special abrasive that can be rubbed against a chrome coating that will abrade it to remove material without instilling AND leaving behind it's own scratches at the same time then they would know.

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Old 07-02-2010, 04:58 PM   #8
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Re: Scratches on Chrome

Mike, I'm a little hesitant to use 105 and 0000 steel wool, but several well respected detailers said that it works. Have you tried this?
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Old 07-02-2010, 05:11 PM   #9
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Re: Scratches on Chrome

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rsurfer View Post
Mike, I'm a little hesitant to use 105 and 0000 steel wool, but several well respected detailers said that it works. Have you tried this?
No.

I've seen others try "recommendations" to remove scratches out of chrome and to date, I've never seen anything work.

A best case scenario is that while it won't remove scratches it won't put any new scratches in.

A worst case scenario is that it won't remove any scratches and it will put new scratches in... not good...


Test in an inconspicuous area if it's your components.


Here's a tip...
Here's a tip that's worked for me when I want to test something in which it won't matter if damage is done.

Go to a wrecking yard or salvage yard with some steel wool and some M105 in your pocket and do some experimenting on chrome surfaces on cars that no one cares about.


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Old 07-02-2010, 05:30 PM   #10
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Re: Scratches on Chrome

"Go to a wrecking yard or salvage yard with some steel wool and some M105 in your pocket and do some experimenting on chrome surfaces on cars that no one cares about." I was hoping that you would do this for first hand experience. LOL, but thanks anyway.
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