How to Clean Motorcycle Chrome Parts? (Removing Rust)

motorcycle chrome

Motorcycle chrome parts accumulate rust over time.

Add to it, the dirt, dust, and scratches. The chrome parts lose their shine.

So how to clean the motorcycle chrome parts?

To clean the chrome parts of a motorcycle, use a chrome cleaning solution to get rid of the rust. Couple the cleaning with a chrome polish to prevent further rust formation.

Thats the gist. Let’s deep dive into the detailed steps.

Steps to clean motorcycle chrome

Let’s dive right into cleaning off the rust from your motorcycle chrome parts. These chrome parts can include the indicators, headlight covers, front forks, handlebar, exhaust pipe, muffler, etc.

Here is your step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Park your motorcycle

Basic things first. Park your motorcycle on flat ground.

Preferably on the center stand.

You are going to wash the chrome parts. And rub these parts thoroughly if required.

While washing and rubbing the chrome parts, if the motorcycle is parked right or parked on a shaky surface, the bike might fall over.

So keep it simple.

Park the motorcycle on a flat surface and on its center stand preferably.

Step 2: Wash the chrome parts with water

Soapy water is better. But normal water works just fine as well.

Take the rag cloth and soak it in the water. Soapy water if you are using that.

Then use the rag to wash the chrome parts on your motorcycle.

The cleaning is to remove the dirt and dust settled on the chrome. For rust removal, we will use the cleaning solution described in the next section.

Many solutions nowadays don’t need you to clean the chrome first. Still, I prefer cleaning it with water.

With the dust gone, the rust removal process feels far smoother.

Step 3: Prepare the chrome solution

There are lots of cleaning and polishing solutions out there.

Some are direct solutions, you don’t need to do anything to prepare.

Some come in powder form. You need to mix it up with water to prepare the chrome solution.

Whatever solution you prefer, make sure it doesn’t contain any abrasives. You will be fine.

Now if you got yourself a chrome powder, add water and mix it up thoroughly.

Once you have the solution ready, it’s time to remove that chrome rust on your bike.

Step 4: Rub the solution on the chrome parts

Now that the chrome solution is ready, let’s remove those rusty freckles on the chrome surfaces.

Take a clean rag cloth. Dip the cloth in the solution. Or spray the solution on the cloth. Whatever is convenient.

The cloth should have a chrome solution. That’s it.

Next. Rub the soaked cloth on the chrome parts.

Start gently.

The rust on the chrome surfaces should come off.

If gentle rubbing is not yielding results, apply more force accordingly. But do not go overboard.

Chrome surfaces are thin. Too much rubbing and rough handling can make the chrome surface to come off.

Light pressure and rubbing the cloth on the chrome surface should be more thane enough. The rust will come off.

Repeat the process until the chrome parts are all shiny and clean.

Step 5: Use a chrome polish (optional)

Many riders don’t stop at cleaning the chrome parts. They also look out for polishing and protecting these chrome surfaces.

If that’s you, pick a polish. A simple metal polish works just fine.

Post the cleaning, use the polish on the chrome surfaces.

The motorcycle parts now have a great shine and are also protected from further rust for a good period of time.

Of course, this is not mandatory. Without the polish, the chrome parts still look good and shiny. But it’s a good to have.

Go for it if you already have a metal finish in your garage.

Do’s and Don’ts

If you are cleaning the motorcycle chrome parts by yourself, here are some do’s and don’ts that you must be aware of:

  • The rag cloth you use for cleaning the chrome parts should be clean. No metal parts or chips should be in the rag cloth.
  • Never go for abrasive cleaning. The chrome surface will come off the motorcycle parts.
  • If you are cleaning the exhaust chrome surface as well, make sure the exhaust is not heated up. If it is, allow the motorcycle to cool down.
  • While the cleaning chrome solution removes the rust parts easily, discoloration and chipped-away chrome surfaces cannot be addressed.
  • Keep the cleaning solution out of reach of children and pets.

The re-chroming dilemma

While cleaning with a chrome solution takes away dirt and rust from the chrome parts, it still doesn’t address chipped-away chrome layers and discoloration.

So what’s the solution to these problems?


But re-chroming is not cost-effective. It is expensive.

And unless you are a mechanic, re-chroming is not DIY friendly.

Of course, if you still want to go ahead and re-chrome your motorcycle parts, there is a huge after-market industry for this.

You can take your bike to a service shop and they would do it for you. If not, they will redirect to a re-chroming shop.

But, the main point is – do you need re-chroming?

Most motorcycles don’t need re-chroming for their chrome parts. Unless the chrome layer has chipped off to such an extent that the shiny chrome surface barely exists.

Only in such cases, you can think of re-chroming. Else re-chroming the motorcycle chrome parts is not worth it.

FAQ Icon


Can baking soda remove rust from chrome?

Baking soda mixed with water does remove rust from chrome. This is one of the best homemade chrome cleaning solutions.

What is the best homemade rust remover?

Baking soda and vinegar are the best homemade rust removers. Even lemon can help in cleaning the rust.

How do I stop rust from coming back on chrome?

Use a chrome polish to prevent rust from coming back on chrome parts. The polish protects the chrome surface from rust formation.