How to Remove Rust From a Chrome BMX Bike

Man performing jump on BMX bike

Chrome is highly resistant to tarnish, but over time can begin to oxidize and create spots of surface rust. Nobody wants the cool, shiny look of his BMX bike’s chrome to be spoiled by unsightly rust, which left unchecked will eventually eat completely through the surface and ruin the metal. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to remove chrome rust if you don’t wait for it to corrode beyond the surface. Eliminate it quickly, easily and on the cheap with stuff from around the house without worrying about scratching the finish.

Cover your work area with newspapers in a well-ventilated area.

Pull out and tear off about 12 to 18 inches of aluminum foil from the package. Wad it up loosely into a ball.

Fill a plastic spray bottle with warm tap water.

Spray a small area of the rusty chrome generously with water.

Rub the rusted area with the aluminum foil ball. Use a gentle back-and-forth motion. Don’t rub in a circular fashion. You’ll see a polishing compound forming from the chemical reaction between the aluminum, chrome and water as you scrub. This will keep the aluminum from scratching the surface of the chrome.

Rinse the area with water and inspect the chrome surface. Repeat as needed until all of the rust has loosened and washed away. The treatment will also work to fill in small pitting to smooth the chrome surface.

Rinse the area thoroughly with water. Dry it completely with a soft, clean polishing rag or old cotton T-shirt.

Apply chrome polish per the packaging instructions to discourage future rusting. Buff it to a high shine with a soft, clean cloth.


You’re not going to be able to reverse or remove severe pitting, rust that’s eaten through the metal or flaking chrome plating -- those are just too far gone.