Simple Cleaning Trick: How to Remove Rust From Chrome in the Bathroom

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The secret for getting chrome bathroom light fixtures and shower curtain rods clean and preventing rust.

My project this week is getting our hall bathroom back in order. I’ve been painting, redecorating, and my least favorite part, cleaning. If I can find a way to make cleaning easier, I will use it to its full extent.

There’s a secret I learned from my grandfather when he would clean his tools and I’ve been using this same trick for cleaning the rust off our chrome light fixtures and shower rods.

So, do you want to know how to remove rust from your chrome bathroom fixtures and keep the rust from coming back?

*This post contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using this link. This doesnโ€™t affect your purchase price, but it does help support our blog so we can continue sharing awesome projects in future blog posts.*

You need 2 simple things: Bar Keeper’s Friend to remove the rust and Minwax Finishing Wax Paste to protect the metal after you clean it.

The secret for getting chrome bathroom light fixtures and shower curtain rods clean and preventing rust.

All you need to do is make a thick paste with Bar Keeper’s Friend and water. Clean as much of the rust off that you can with the paste and a soft rag.

The oxalic acid in Bar Keeper’s Friend removes rust by forming a water-soluble complex ion around each iron ion. This makes it easier for the rust to lift from the surface when you clean it.

When you clean your surface with BKF, be sure to use a soft cloth so you don’t etch the surface of the chrome. If there’s some rust left over that just won’t budge, then use a green scour pad as a last resort. Just don’t scrub too hard or you’ll scratch the surface. Sometimes, such as with the light fixture, I’ll use a soft-bristled toothbrush.

How to clean rust off a chrome shower rod

After that, clean the rest of the Bar Keeper’s Friend off with a dry rag.

Then you can wipe on a thin coat of the Minwax Paste with a dry paper towel. Let it dry for about five minutes, then buff off the wax with another clean paper towel.

Tips for cleaning rust off of chrome in the bathroom

These same two products also work on the faucets and shower head to clean off the soap scum and repel water.

With just a little bit of elbow grease, you now have a bathroom that sparkles again! And because the metal is protected with the wax, you don’t have to clean it as often.

So, in my case, that leaves me more time for more relaxing things…such as painting and redecorating. ๐Ÿ™‚

The secret for getting chrome bathroom light fixtures and shower curtain rods clean and preventing rust.

Are there any cleaning tricks/tips that your parents or grandparents taught you that you still use today?

Did you know that Bar Keeper’s Friend is also a great product for removing dark water stains from wood? Click on my post on how to get rid of water stains from furniture without refinishing.

Want to see how the newly decorated bathroom turned out? Click on this link to see the Vintage Inspired Bathroom Reveal! 

vintage inspired guest bathroom makeover

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This Post Has 19 Comments

  1. Hi Tricia
    I am in Auckland, New Zealand. I don’t know where I can find this product.
    Can you please advice.


  2. Rust is so hard to get rid of. This looks like it works great. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing! The Barkeepers Friend & Wax worked wonderfully! I was buying shower rods every three months. Not anymore!

    1. You’re so welcome! I love knowing I’ve helped someone out!

  4. Thank you so much for sharing this remedy. It worked wonderfully! I was buying shower rods every three months! Not anymore ?

  5. The results are great! Thank you for sharing I am also dealing with soap scum and rust in the bathroom and I will be very happy to be able to clean them better! Greets!

  6. Thank you! Just what I was looking for.

  7. Where is a good place to find these products in California?

    1. I found the barman’s friend product at Bed Bath and Beyond many years ago. I asked my local SuperTarget to start carrying it, and they did after a few months. They can’t keep it in stock now. ๐Ÿ˜€ The minwax is something you should be able to get at Lowe’s or Home Depot.

  8. As I am in South Africa we do not have the products. Please can you give details of the ingredients so I can source an equivalent here? much appreciated.

  9. This is perfect. I don’t have the minwax, but I’ve got the barkeepers friend. At least I can get started on the rust removal. Thanks!

  10. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for sharing!!!! Didn’t know this and SO needed to :).

  11. Wow, what a difference, Tricia. Great tip! I have a ton of that minwax to use for my chalk painting projects:) Thanks for sharing it!

  12. Great tip–btw, I was not able to Pin right from your photos. I don’t know if it was me or not. Anyway, I have the perfect test spot for this. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Great tip!! I pinned that puppy, sure loads of people would love to know your tricks ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Perfect timing! I was just looking at the rust spots on the light fixture in my bathroom. Thanks for the info!

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