The 10 Best Chrome Polishes of 2021

Jerry Wilson
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Before we go any further it’s important to note what these best chrome polishes are actually made of.

It’s not lacquer, nitrocellulose, or regular polish. These formulas are glass-cloth reinforced and contain dry cleaning fluid (they’re not safe around food) that’s much more effective at removing scratches and swirling.

If you’ve ever tried to polish chrome before, you’ll know how hard it is. But with these best chrome polishes, you’ll be surprised at how easy it becomes and how quickly they polish the chrome pieces you want to restore.

With each new year, your chrome begins to look a little more worn and dull. Thankfully, at your local auto store you can pick up some of the best chrome polish that is specially designed to rejuvenate old chrome, bringing it back to a bright new life.

Whether you’re restoring a brand new motorcycle, or just want to bring back some of the shine and luster to some of your older chrome, these reviews will provide you with a helpful starting point to find your perfect chrome polish.

NameCategoryProduct
3M Chrome and Metal PolishBest Overall3M Chrome and Metal Polish
Mothers 05212 California Gold Chrome PolishBudget PickMothers 05212 California Gold Chrome Polish
Chemical Guys SPI_402_16Upgrade PickChemical Guys SPI_402_16

1. 3M Chrome and Metal Polish

Our rating: 9 / 10

3M Chrome and Metal Polish

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Pros:

  • Easy to apply
  • Quickly removes oxidized lacquer, rust, and dirt
  • Makes chrome bumpers, wheels, etc. shine like new

The 3M Chrome and Metal Polish is highly rated for its ability to restore and clean even the grungiest, muddiest, dirtiest chrome bumpers, wheels, trim, and accessories that have been collecting corrosion in the garage for decades.

This cleaner is a paste wax formula that will remove the oxidation that has built up on chrome bumpers, wheels, trim, exhaust pipes, gas tanks, and grills, and leave behind a brilliant shine. It can also be used on brass and aluminum parts.

It can even remove rust on fenders, wagon wheels, and more. It’s safe to apply on chrome, glass, stainless steel, brass, and aluminum, but not on anodized aluminum or fine metallic finishes. It’s not recommended for nickel plated metals either.

2. Simichrome 390050 All Metal Polish Tube

Our rating: 9 / 10

Simichrome 390050 All Metal Polish Tube

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Pros:

  • Residue-free
  • Paint-safe
  • Recommended by many expert users
  • Highly rated

Cons:

  • Instructions aren’t informative
  • Tube isn’t travel-friendly

Made right here in the USA, the Simichrome polish is touted as a workhorse formula by many people, including yours truly. I love it for shine and ease of application. It’s the natural choice for motorcycle fans and car buffs. It’s a great multipurpose solution for cleaning and polishing all metal surfaces. You can apply it with its own soft-bristled brush or a soft cloth to achieve excellent results.

There’s no denying that this is a quality product. An added bonus is its ease of application. It’s a terrific choice for motorcycle fans and car buffs. The result of polishing with the Simichrome polish is a mirror finish that—s easy on the eyes. If that’s not enough, here’s some reassuring information for you.

3. Mothers 05212 California Gold Chrome Polish

Our rating: 9 / 10

Mothers 05212 California Gold Chrome Polish

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Pros:

  • Goes on easy with a sponge applicator
  • Easy to re-apply
  • Great price

Cons:

  • Makes doggone near everything yellow
  • Not as durable as other chrome polishes (but that might be a good thing)
  • Contains a solvent that is not necessarily eco-friendly

You may have already read that chrome polishes are supposed to turn things gold. And I was disappointed when I learned that half truths are still lies. But after some digging I learned that Mothers is probably the best choice for someone looking to keep their old chrome.

California Gold is not like other chrome polishes because it’s actually a cleaning solution. According to one reviewer, it’s almost like mopping your floor (except you use Mothers instead of Windex). The product boasts 45 years of metalworking experience, so they know what they are doing.

4. Mothers 05222 California Gold All Chrome Polish

Our rating: 9 / 10

Mothers 05222 California Gold All Chrome Polish

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Pros:

  • Easy application
  • Leaves no residue behind
  • Delivers professional-level results as advertised

Mothers is a popular name in the automotive field. But when it comes to polishing, they deliver an outstanding product. Mothers 05222 California Gold All Chrome Polish is a highly effective polish.

A big advantage of it is that it is easy to use with a simple application. The size of a 12-ounce container isn’t very big. However, a single bottle can be used for long periods without wear and tear.

This polish is mainly meant to be used on highly sensitive metals such as the chrome-coated bumpers and trim. Mothers 05222 California Gold All Chrome Polish is a silicone-based polish. It is zero abrasive and does not harm the already existing shine on the surface.

5. Blue Magic 400 7Oz Mtl Polish Cream

Our rating: 8 / 10

Blue Magic 400 7Oz Mtl Polish Cream

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Pros:

  • Long lasting
  • Excellent coverage
  • Easy to use

You already know that I’ve had great experience with Blue Magic and this polish kit is no exception.

It’s a high-quality polish that forms an awesome base for subsequent coats of wax. If you want to keep your paint job looking good for years, you need to polish it regularly. Using a polish like this one really helps keep the paint job looking new.

This polish comes with a great applicator pad, and it’s clear it was designed for cars, not bikes. This means you can apply the polish without fear of scratching the paint job.

6. California Custom Purple Metal Polish 12 oz

Our rating: 8 / 10

California Custom Purple Metal Polish 12 oz

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Pros:

  • High-Quality Polish
  • Consistent Performance
  • Improves Protection and Shine

Cons:

  • Requires Low-Pressure Cleaning
  • Expensive

If you’re looking for an all-around durable and reliable polish, the C.C.California Chrome Polish should be at the top of your list. Improves protection and shine on any shiny chrome material with consistent performance.

This high-quality polish requires low-pressure cleaning with soft cloths after application for the optimal results. However, the polish is expensive, and it’s worth noting that you’ll need to maintain the chrome surfaces clean.

This polish comes in a 12oz package, and will last you a long time.

7. Rolite Metal Polish Paste

Our rating: 8 / 10

Rolite Metal Polish Paste

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Removing scratches and grime from stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and other metals is paramount in many industries. Finding a metal polish that will work with a variety of surfaces and can be used on a regular basis is crucial. This Rolite Metal Polish Paste fits the bill.

This paste can be used on complex surfaces, and it’s great for touch-ups and regular maintenance as well. It’s more economical than competitors on a per-use basis, and, despite its messy white color, won’t stain your clothes thanks to the durable plastic jar.

Safety is a major concern when working with polishes. Rolite’s metal polish vs. standard paste doesn’t contain Hexylene Glycol, which can cause harm to lungs, skin, and eyes. It’s 100 percent environmentally safe, and it’s safe for application by scrubbing, spraying, or brushing.

8. Turtle Wax T-284 Premium Grade Chrome & Metal Polish

Our rating: 8 / 10

Turtle Wax T-284 Premium Grade Chrome & Metal Polish

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Effective
  • Free from abrasives
  • Does not contain harmful chemicals

Cons:

  • Can leave behind a residue
  • Not effective enough for extensive rusting

Turtle Wax has built a long reputation of delivering quality car care products. Their polish is no exception.

The Turtle Wax polish is non-abrasive and safe for most cars with its unique and patented Green label technology. It is not free of chemicals … it just uses much fewer of them to give a great shine.

You can apply it with a soft cloth and just three or four light passes to get you a fantastic shine. This allows a finish that is not only smooth but resistant to big particles sticking to scratch your finish.

9. Surf City Garage 492 Killer Chrome Perfect Polish

Our rating: 7 / 10

Surf City Garage 492 Killer Chrome Perfect Polish

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Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Removes scratches
  • Restores dull shine
  • Long lasting shine

The Surf City Garage “492 Killer Chrome” Perfect Polish is a simple way to bring out the shine in your chrome. If you’ve ever brought a bike that’s been sitting in storage – as an example – a few years, you know there’s going to be a bit of cleaning required to get it looking as good as new again. This water-based polish comes in a glass bottle.

The first thing I have to point out about this polish is that it’s not some type of spray can, so if you’re looking for that, you’ll have to look elsewhere. It’s very easy to apply, too. You simply dip a soft rag into the polish, then start rubbing the surface of the chrome.

The polish dries quickly, so you don’t have to worry about it dripping into an area you don’t want it to or experiencing any type of damage.

10. Chemical Guys SPI_402_16

Our rating: 7 / 10

Chemical Guys SPI_402_16

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Pros:

  • Restores shine to metallic surfaces in 2 steps
  • Restores and protects in one sweep
  • Includes quick detailing spray
  • Works great on chrome wheels
  • Keeps chrome shiny and rust free
  • Easy to use-ready to use right out of the bottle
  • Best chrome polish we’ve tested to date
  • Versatile use for plastic and rubber surfaces
  • Includes spray detail mist you can use for future cleaning

Cons:

  • Leaves a white haze on plastic for about 10 minutes
  • Has a chemical smell
  • Takes a bit to wipe off

The Chemical Guys SPI_402_16 Heavy Metal is the best chrome polish we’ve tested yet. What makes it so good? Aside from creating a mirror finish it also restores shine to areas of your vehicle that may have lost their luster over time.

The full polish in a bottle is easy to use and will have your chrome wheels looking brand new in no time. Chemical Guys SPI_402_16 Heavy Metal Polish protects any surface from rust. It uses safe, chemical-free cleaners to restore shine without leaving any residue.

There are no synthetic solvents, oils or abrasive compounds used. It can be used on light, medium and dark suede-finish chrome.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best chrome polish on the market?

O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Mop is our pick when it comes to the best chrome spray polisher. Its unique design allows people to clean large surfaces with a minimum of effort.

O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Mop is much more convenient than the traditional wringer mop and bucket. The patented long lasting V-Twist technology allows people to clean large areas with their mop. O-Cedar EasyWring Microfiber Mop comes with a big 44-inch XL Mop Frame that helps you clean even those hard to reach places. People can use a disposable Swivel Glider Mop refill cartridge with a rear-load twist and load system and the entire wringing system can be found on the handle.

What shines chrome the best?

Just remember that metal polish will always result in a brighter shiny finish than paint polish. So if you are really looking for a high glossy finish then metal polish is the way to go.

Keep in mind that if you use metal polish on its own to polish a bike with chrome fenders but no chrome frame it will not give you the nice high gloss finish that you are probably hoping for. Hoever, if you are going shiny, there is one more thing you should do before you polish. It is extremely important that the metal that you are planning to polish is NOT painted. Chrome plating is always done after being painted because the paint is necessary for the chrome bath to adhere to the metal. Once you remove the paint, you need to buff the area down with a very fine metal wire wool.

What's the best metal polish?

We have to admit the cause of the tarnish is the steel, which lose the protective oxide layer through time of exposure to air oxygen. But once it happens, here is how to polish metal fast.

Hand polishing. This is the most efficient method of polishing metal so you can save time and money. The result you can get by hand polishing is much better than a machine polishing. However, it's hard to find another person to help you do metal polishing if you have a big project. So, you're better to buy a buffer for this work.

Power foam polishing. This method is just a combination of the polishing. First you need to do it manually, and then use a polishing machine to make it smooth. You only need to learn how to do the basic arc to avoid the damage of the metal. This is a fairly economical way to provide a beautiful polish.

How do you remove oxidation from Chrome?

Oxidation is a greyish-black discoloration that can appear on the surface of chrome, especially in areas where water vapor can accumulate, such as sinks, gutters and spigots. The best way to prevent this is to keep your chrome polished. Even if your item is technically chrome plated (brushed over a base metal), you'll want to polish it regularly to prevent oxidation.

The easiest and most effective method for removing oxidation is to use a metal polish, available at any hardware store. These are available in powder or liquid form, and they contain metal oxides that naturally remove the oxidation. Just spray or sprinkle on the polish, rub it around with a clean towel, and rinse it off with water.

Conclusion

Do you think that basic car maintenance is off your checklist? You don’t need to worry anymore. This detailed guide will help you learn how to polish your car's chrome bumpers and trim pieces. Here, you will learn not only how to polish bumpers but also which products are the best to use.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
3M Chrome and Metal PolishBest Overall3M Chrome and Metal Polish
Mothers 05212 California Gold Chrome PolishBudget PickMothers 05212 California Gold Chrome Polish
Chemical Guys SPI_402_16Upgrade PickChemical Guys SPI_402_16