I am cleaning several old machines right now, and have faceplates in all levels of rust. I have been using just elbow grease and metal polish, but have some dark brown areas that appear to have no chrome on them- I also have some that have lots of chrome but little tiny pits everywhere.
What are the recommendations for cleaning when the chrome isn't intact? I have seen ketchup, toothpaste, baking soda... are these ok on a damaged area? what else works?
hmmmm so much info...
1. the dark spots are most likely corrosion (duhh)
2. The pits is interesting. of they ARE pits in the chrome(depressions) then they would be very unusual. Usually these are actually bumps (little metal zits...) these are common and caused by the crappy metal underneath "out-gassing" as they age. The only solution that "I" am aware of is to de-plate, clean/polish, then re-plate. the issue is that because the metal has not changed, the issue will return (in a few decades) This is a VERY COMMON issue in cars built before the 80 when metallurgy caught up and under plating got started.
3. The biggest issue with just cleaning the spotted areas is that most likely the rust is underneath the chrome as well. (see above)
4. I use either "krud-kutter" or naval jelly on the rusted areas, wire wheel gently to clean then polish or plate.
won't krud-kutter or naval jelly unchrome it?
in my experience the krud cutter will not. I do not believe that the naval jelly will, but i am not sure.
thanks. careful testing to occur :)
Do you know anyone who can buff it? My husband has a buffer on a bench that he uses to buff chrome on old car parts. I had him buff out some face plates that I thought were beyond help. I couldn't believe how great they turned out. Bright and shiny like new.