Does Chrome Rust?

Chrome is a beautiful finish that can plate or finish all kinds of metal surfaces. Chrome is, by definition, a thin layer of chromium that is plated or bonded to a different metal. The durability of chrome depends heavily upon the material underneath it. With the properties it possesses, does chrome rust?

No, chrome does not rust. Chromium does not chemically react with water, oxygen, or many other substances. The only exception is hydrochloric or nitric acid, so keep your chrome parts out of those acids, especially if you plan to shine them up.

Also, chrome will only appear to rust when it is exposed to some strong electronegative chemicals or scraped and scratched on its surface to give way for corroding chemicals to attack the iron underneath.

Therefore, this page covers all the information you need to know on chrome, how to use, prevent rust and protect it from rust.

What Can Make Chrome Rust?

Chrome is not in any way an eternal rust-resistant warrior. Some factors can affect it and decapitate its rust resistance. If you do these things, you are hastening the corrosion of your chrome finish.

What Can Make Chrome Rust

Scratch it

Scratching or denting chrome will leave pores and pits on it that will further make it vulnerable. These pores will become pathways for moisture and air or other harmful elements to get in, to react with the iron underneath therefore making the chrome erode.

Exposing It to Chlorine

Chlorine is a very effective agent of corrosion when it comes to metals. It can forcefully react with the chromium in the chrome coating, displacing some of its metals to give way for more vulnerable chemical combinations. When this happens, the chrome will start losing its rust resistance and will consequently start deteriorating in the rust cycle.


Seawater is a natural coagulation of highly reactive salts which individually are very aggressive when attacking metals. When chrome comes in contact with seawater, it will most certainly get holes drenched in very aggressive corrosive elements bored in it. Seawater contains chlorine too which is a natural nemesis of irons and metals.

How Do You Keep Chrome From Rusting?

How Do You Keep Chrome From Rusting

Keep it away from moisture

As we said earlier, moisture is one of the major factors in rusting. To ensure that your chrome is safe and will last for a long time, you will need to make sure that the surface of the chrome is always free from moisture or liquids. Whenever you spot water or any other liquid on your chrome furnishing, use light and soft towels to wipe away the water immediately. Compared to other plating, Chrome does not react easily with water and so, mild contact with moisture will not harm it.

Don’t Scrub With Hard Materials

It is better to scrub with materials that are softer than chrome if you must scrub. You can use aluminium foil to scrub as they are comparatively lighter than chrome and will not leave scratches on them.

Apply Chrome wax on the chrome surface

You can coat it with chrome polish or wax to give it an extra layer of protection. The wax will fill in the gores and scratches on the surface of the chrome finish and also give it a more translucent look. This method is particularly great for preventing rust and also removing the ones that are already forming on it.

This method is also advised if you are living or working near a body of water or in industrial areas where elements like chlorine and saltwater may be in abundance.

What Do I Do To Remove Rust From Chrome Plating?

Follow these steps to remove rust from chrome plating,

Use An Aluminium Foil

Aluminium foils are the best scrubs for removing rust from chrome plating. It will work better if the aluminium foil is soaked in saltwater, yes, saltwater. This triggers a reaction that makes the iron flakes called rust soften and come off and not only that, goes on to add a protective layer on the chrome plating to avoid future rusts.

Use Mild Acids

Mild acids like the ones contained in vinegar, lemon juice, cola, or lime juice can do the trick when you want to remove rust from chrome plating. Using stronger acids will not help the chrome plating that you want to save, even, they will create more scratches and pits on the chrome plating that will further make it vulnerable. Ensure to clean and wipe away the acid with soapy water once you are done.

Baking Soda Also Works Magic

Baking soda is a strong remedy for rust of any kind. It works very well on the surface and mild rust spots and that is why instead of spending a lot of money on simple and small rusts, you can just apply a baking soda on the rust in a mixture of soapy water and wipe with clean water, the rust will be gone.


WD-40 is an industrial rust remover that is very efficient in almost all rust types. All you need to do is spray it on those scratches and gores on the chrome plating that is infected by rust and it will deal with them. After applying WD-40, scrub with a mild tissue or soft fabric to wipe the rust away.

In Essence…

Chrome hardly rusts but it can corrode because of exposure to factors like chlorine, moisture, and abrasives. To ensure that your chrome plating does not encounter these factors, you must become careful of where you use the chrome plating and the environment you stay in.

However, Chrome plating is not easily swallowed by rust even when it is attacked, which is one of the reasons it ranks as some of the best rust-resistant finishes. On the occasion that you see rusts, these simple remedies we have outlined can help you get rid of them quickly and efficiently.

Evan Cooper

Evan Cooper

Hi, I’m Evan Cooper, the founder and an editor of this site, Doesitrust. I’m a chemical engineer and working in a rust-eliminating paint manufacturing company. Besides this profession, I’m a researcher and blogger.

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