[My Own Methods] How to Remove Chrome from Wheels?

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How to Remove Chrome from Wheels

When you own a new car, the first look of it just kills you. The sleek and shiny finish of its entire body makes you feel proud as the owner of it. Maybe your car is a high-end model or an economic brand, the look always creates the first impression on your mind. Yeah, the other priorities are never to be ignored and that makes the difference in cost and demand between cars. As far as the outlook is concerned, who doesn’t love the look of the chrome wheels? It is a beautiful coat on wheels that add an extra appeal to the new car.

What is Chrome- Plating Wheels?

Chrome Plating is a thin layer of different metals that are applied to the metal surfaces of the car wheels through the use of electroplating. The layer of metals that is used in chrome plating is nickel, bronze or copper, and chromium one over another on the metal of the wheels of your car.

What is The Purpose of Using Chrome- Plating?

There are two main purposes for using chrome-plating on the wheels. Firstly, as I said earlier, it is used to provide a mirror-like finish and brilliant shine to the wheels of the car. Besides, it prevents the wheels from early corrosion and makes them tarnish-free. Besides, the chrome wheels can be cleaned easily by using soap and water. Moreover, a chrome finish can last for a longer period if you take care of it properly and regularly.

What Are The Drawbacks of Chrome-Plating?

Though I have told you about the advantages of having chrome plating on wheels, there are some drawbacks too for using the chrome plating on the alloy wheels of your car that certainly keep you in dilemma for using quite frequently. Firstly, it adds extra weight to the wheels that reduce the motion than the lightweight wheels. Secondly, the chrome-plated wheels often look too bright and blingy where the aluminum-polished wheels have a more refined look. And the most important drawback of chrome-plating is, though it is durable but if it is not taken care of or if it is poorly done, then after sometimes, it is started to flake off leaving you no way but strip the plating from the wheels.

Why Does The Chrome-Plating Wear Off?

Although, the chrome plating is an extremely durable layer on the wheels of your car, but there are some reasons that play a vital role to wear off the chrome layer from the wheels. Such as moisture, saltwater, bruises with some strong objects, etc. If it happens, then all you can do to remove the chrome plating and re-chrome the wheels or apply some other paint or finish.

How to Remove Chrome from Wheels?

Process 1

Using An Abrasive Blaster

Abrasive Blaster, a kind of equipment usually found in an auto body shop is a great thing for getting the smallest parts of chrome off the surface of the wheels. This is made of abrades materials with tiny pellets or fine grain that can be sprayed on the surface, and after that, following sandblasting, bead blasting these two processes the chrome coating can be easily removed from the surface of the wheels. While performing the job, the small pieces of chrome materials can chip off that will produce toxic dust and sediment. Therefore, you should use a mask before starting the job for precaution.

Using An Ultrasonic Cleaner

This is probably one of the advanced technologies to remove the chrome from the wheels. This technique is only to be applied when you find it quite difficult to get rid of chrome following other ways. To perform the process, you have to take an ultrasonic cleaner basket and pour the cleaner solution into it. Then you can immerse the wheels one after another in order to strip off the chrome plating materials from the wheels. As some kind of strong chemical is used as a solvent for this process, you have to take special care for yourself unless you may sustain an injury or may face any type of fatal accident.

Process 2

Using Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric or muriatic acid is a kind of strong high-concentrated anti-corrosive chemical that can be used to remove chrome plating from the wheels of your car. The 30%-40% concentration of this kind of acid is enough for this job. To prepare the solution, you need to take 1/3 part of hydrochloric acid with 1 part of the water in a heavy-duty bucket of plastic. Now you have to dip the wheels one after another to the solution. When the chromes come off you can clean them with soap and water and rinse the wheels before drying.

Using Sodium Hydroxide

Sodium Hydroxide is a kind of highly corrosive basic chemical that can be used to dissolve different types of metal coating. This chemical works better on carbon steel and ferrous materials. For making the solution you have to take a gallon of water and add 8-12 ounces of sodium hydroxide into it in a heavy-duty plastic container. Now dip the chrome-coated wheels one after another into this solution. After a long time, the chrome coating starts coming off. When all the chrome comes off then wash the metal with water and soap and then rinse the object before drying.

Process 3

These are the processes that should be followed if you want to remove a thin layer of chrome plating, and to make it possible you may follow some of the homemade ways that can be followed easily. Here they are.


Using an abrasive may help you to remove light and thin layers of chrome from the surface by scrubbing. You have to take some baking soda and add some water to prepare the abrasive paste. Now take a clean and soft cloth and rub the paste on the chrome surface using that cloth. In this way, the chrome layer will be wiped off soon. Continue the rubbing until the surface becomes completely clean. But be careful, too much rubbing may create scratches on the surface.

Oven Cleaner

This is generally a kind of de-greasing cleaner that works well to remove fake plastic items from chrome. This cleaner is found as a liquid or foam that can be applied easily on the affected surface. You have to apply a coat of this chemical on the chrome-plated surface and leave the material for about 10 minutes. After that, you have to wipe off the cleaner along with the chrome. But one thing you should keep in mind is that you cannot let the cleaner be on the surface for too long. It can darken the material permanently.


Using bleach may help you to wipe out chrome quite easily from the wheels of your car. To make this possible, you have to dip the chrome-plated metal into the bleach solution and leave it for a day. The next day you may find the chrome plating is started losing out of the surface slowly.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is another kind of chemical that works wonderfully to remove a thin layer of chrome plating quite convincingly. You need to rub the brake fluid wearing hand gloves on the chrome-plated objects and leave it for 10 minutes. After that, you may rinse off. You cannot get the desired result at one go as it is the slowest process among others. It may take even a few days of time for reaching that point. So you have to rinse the object and apply the chemical regularly to get the expected result. You cannot apply this on the plastic surface as plastic may get dissolved by brake fluid.

There is one more process to remove chrome is electrolysis. But it can be done only in a professional service center, and it can be very dangerous and creates hazardous waste to may keep you in trouble. Therefore this process should be avoided.

The Conclusion

Although you do not always seem very concerned to keep everything in order. Perhaps, you have the least of the time to take care of most of these. But despite your lack of interest, you love to see your assets in good shape, so as your car. Especially, if you see the chrome wheels of your car have worn off it certainly makes you upset. Therefore, you have to find out the ways to make the wheel rims look better again. If so then the above-said processes are really effective to make the wheels looking sleek and shiny all again. Let’s try any one of them; you’ll not be upset for sure.

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