Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

Cleaning Chrome Rims

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by grfxninja, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Hi all,
    I was recently given a bike to use while on my learners and to say that the previous owner hadn’t looked after it very well would be an understatement. Unfortunately it has been sitting unused and unloved for the better part of 2 years in a garage on the Sunshine Coast (lots of salty air).

    Anyway, I’ve had it for about a month and ride it pretty much every day. Today I thought I had better get in and clean it up a bit. The chrome rims looked a little worse for wear so I figured I would start with them.

    I had some mag wheel cleaner in the shed but that didn’t really seem to do much so, being a little short on cash, I turned to google for ideas on the best way to get the crap off them for the least amount of money.


    After searching for a little while, I stumbled across a comment on someone’s blog post suggesting that using some balled up Aluminium Foil with a little water and a bit of elbow grease would bring them up fairly well. I figured “why not?”. If it doesn’t work, it hasn’t cost me anything except some time on a Sunday afternoon so I pilfered the missus’ roll of foil from the kitchen and set to it.

    And this is the result:

    I was pretty surprised at the end result. (Obviously the above image is when the wheel is only partly done. Still had to do the other side as well as in between the spokes)

    All of the road grime, brake dust and surface rust has all but disappeared (except for the really bad bits - only 1 or 2 spots I couldn’t clean up 100%) and left the wheels nice and shiny.

    Now I need to either get the wheels re-spoked (if that can even be done?) or just cough up and buy some new ones because the spokes are pretty well farked.

    Disclaimer: I’m not sure if this method will damage the wheels in any way but mine seem fine. I can’t see any scratches anywhere from the rubbing


    On a side note, has anybody got any ideas on how to get rid of surface rust from the alloy parts? Specifically the bits where the front forks go through (no idea what it’s actually called sorry :))
    • Like Like x 1
  2. That's a great outcome, grfxninja, thanks for posting this!

    Did it require alot of elbow grease or did the results come up fairly easily?

  3. Foil, eh? Whowouldathunkit. Thanks for the info =D
  4. auto sol and a lot of elbow grease
  5. Well the front wheel took me about an hour, but that was while drinking a beer or two and stopping for a ciggie, so all up if you got your arse into gear, probably around half an hour total. I was taking it pretty easy as I was in no hurry
  6. Do you mean for the alloy parts?
  7. Any metal. It not only cleans it protects and stops it going back to crap for a little bit longer
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Thanks Bretto, I’ll look into it
  9. Fine steel wool with detergent also brings up chrome nicely. Nylon scourers do OK as well.
  10. (y)

    That's the way to do it!