MAKING YOUR CHROME SHINE

WHAT IS CHROME?
Chrome is the more common term which refers to the naturally occurring element chromium. Although chrome is technically a metal, its uses are most efficient when simply used as a plating, or outer layer. Chrome is a high quality material that is often imitated by polishing other metals to appear as shiny as chrome; one easy way to tell if it truly is chrome is to look closely at the wheel and take notice on how crisp and clear the reflected images are. If the reflections are of the purest quality, the material is most likely chrome, which gives off more shine that basically any other surface material.

HOW ARE CHROME WHEELS MADE?
Although there are many different ways that chrome wheels are made, all result in the same product. There two major variations on how chrome is made, the first is called hard chrome plating. This process involves more chrome application, thus making the product harder; this is mostly used for parts such as cylinder rods, rollers, mold surfaces, bores, piston rings, etc. The other way, by which chrome wheels are made, is called decorative chrome plating. In this process, the wheels are first coated with nickel before they are given a second layer of chrome finish, which gives it the shine chrome provides. In addition, many wheels are double, triple, or quadruple chrome plated to add to the thickness of the chrome. This gives more strength as well as adds more shine to the wheel.

CLEANING YOUR CHROME
Chrome wheels are a great addition to any vehicle, however they require much maintenance to keep in optimum condition. Before cleaning your chrome, make sure to inspect the wheels for any damage such as cracks or pitting; if the wheel is cleaned with chemicals when cracks or pitting is present, this can lead to the wheel flaking and deteriorating. In addition, if the wheel is rusted out or becomes dull with a rainbow effect on the surface, it is best to simply invest in new wheels or have them re-chromed. Here are some products that can help you when attempting to make your chrome look as good as new:

Soap and Water:
This is the absolute only way that you can insure that your wheels will not be damaged by chemical agents. This is the safe way to play it and the only way that Wheelsnext.com recommends to clean your wheels. The following are other methods that can be used but are not recommended by Wheelsnext.com.

Coca-Cola/Club Soda
Each of these drinks will help in clearing rust and restoring shine, the chemicals they contain help to break down dirt and rust agents that may build up on the chrome.

Vinegar/Baking Soda
Used separately, these products will aid in making chrome shine brighter and make the wheel clearer.

Aluminum Foil/Toothbrush
Using the shiny side of aluminum foil dipped one of the chemicals or a toothbrush to rub in cleaning chemicals makes the cleaning agents more effective.