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Home > Autos, Planes & Bikes > Detailing Supplies & Tips > Detailing Tips > Metal Polishing Secrets > Chrome & Nickel Polishing

Chrome & Nickel Polishing

Chrome & Nickel Polishing Chrome

Chromium is often used to surround extremely hot motor parts or exhausts which will cause most polishes to turn gray. If a polish contains a wax, or enhancer, it will dull as soon as the temperature of the surface exceeds 180 F.

English Custom's Hot Chrome Polish was designed just for these extremes. It does not contain wax or any type of sealer to make the finish hazy. Hot Chrome is a blend of fine abrasives that leave the finish perfectly clean and free of grit or residue.

Chrome should be polished with the finest abrasives possible, to avoid scratching. Badly burned and blued exhaust pipes should be polished with a more aggressive product like our Metal Polish Restorer to remove the bluing, followed by the Hot Chrome Polish to create luster.

If your chrome is blistering, it's due for replating. Another sign that the chromium is deteriorating are the appearance of gold flecks in the sub layer. This is caused by nickel breaking apart beneath the chrome, revealing the copper base layer.

Chrome bumpers, nose cones and grilles are often dulled from pits caused by road and airborne grit. There is no way to remove this by hand. You will need a professional grinding machine and a top quality compound such as chrome oxide or calcimined aluminate to smooth the surface.


Nickel is also found in hot environments. Handles and ornamental pieces on wood stoves are often nickel. Again, in this situation the Hot Chrome Polish should be used. Nickel is often used under the hood of older vehicles. When grimy it responds incredibly well to Coca Cola!

When polished properly, the yellow tint of nickel makes it blaze in the sun! Nickel is also regaining favor in the automotive industry. Nickel is now being combined with phosphorous and cobalt to produce harder finishes. Many custom accessories that look like chrome are actually nickel alloys. This new nickel plating is cheaper and creates less hazardous waste than chrome, but it is not as durable.