How To Clean Rust from Chrome Bathroom Fittings: 3 Surprising Solutions

Updated: Feb. 15, 2024

Here’s how to clean rust from chrome bathroom fittings.

how to clean rust from chrome bathroom fittingsElena Elisseeva/Shutterstock

A chrome finish is actually meant to work as a protectant layer against rust. So why are you seeing rust on your chrome bathroom fixtures? Unfortunately, rust can occur when the chrome plating is damaged from scratching or dents, and the metal underneath comes in contact with moisture and oxygen in the air. The good news is, you don’t have to live with those rust stains forever. Here’s how to clean rust from chrome bathroom fittings. Not working with chrome? Here’s how to clean rust off of other metals.

How to Remove Rust from Chrome Bathroom Fixtures

There are a few different methods for removing those pesky rust spots from your chrome bathroom fixtures. To start, clean the fixture with your regular bathroom cleaner to remove any water spots or dirt. Then choose one of the following rust-busting methods. You may be surprised by a couple of them!

Will Vinegar Remove Rust from Chrome?

If you prefer natural cleaners, you can use vinegar to remove the rust from your chrome fixtures. The acidic nature of vinegar helps to dissolve rust, but keep in mind, this method takes a little more elbow grease than other options. Spray undiluted vinegar onto the rust spots, let it sit for about 10 minutes, and then scrub with a sponge. Repeat the process as needed. Once the rust is removed, seal the fixture with car wax. This fills in any cracks and helps to prevent future rust issues.

Psst! You can also use vinegar to clean up those rusty tools.

Will Aluminum Foil Remove Rust from Chrome?

Believe it or not, a simple ball of aluminum foil can remove rust from chrome. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Make a loose ball of aluminum foil, dip it in a little water, and gently rub the foil onto any rusted areas.
  2. If the rust seems particularly stubborn, try dipping the foil in cola (yes you read that right!) instead of water. Cola drinks contain carbonic acid which creates a chemical reaction with the iron oxide in the rust and breaks it away from the chrome.
  3. To finish, polish with a dry cloth. The best part about the aluminum foil method is that the aluminum actually helps seal the chrome as you clean, preventing future rust problems.

Find out the secret to removing rust from concrete!

Will WD-40 Remove Rust from Chrome?

You may be familiar with WD-40 as a lubricant to help with your squeaky garage door, but there is also a rust-penetrating product called WD-40 Specialist Rust Release Penetrant Spray. Spray it directly on your bathroom fixtures to dissolve rust, then scrub with a toothbrush or fine metal wool. This is a good choice if your rust is small and in hard to reach places, which WD-40’s signature straw sprayer is particularly good at reaching.

Got some rust on your car? Here’s how to get rid of it.