I got my hands on some CB360 headers a month ago that have surface rust deposits on them, some places it is like freckles on the surface, and in others it is concentrated in a thumb sized area, but all just surface rust. I would like to clean and polish them out. However, I fear that I will damage them. What method should I use to clean them/get rid of the rust without scuffing them up (80% of the chrome still looks great!)?
My favorite way of removing rust from chrome (rims, exhaust, engine bits, blinkers, handlebars) is to use the plain old SOS pads or Brillo pads that you buy in the grocery store for cleaning pots and pans.
With water from the garden hose and yer elbow grease, they'll remove rust completely withOUT damaging the chrome at all (as long as the chrome was good to begin with - that is, not flaking off underneath the rust). And the soap they're impregnated with cleans and shines the chrome brilliantly.
The only downside is that it doesn't leave any "lasting" protection, like a wax or anything.
I prefer plain old Napa brand chrome polish and a rag. Used it for years and years on all my chrome bits.. It's not too abrasive as to leave fine swirl marks but it removes tiny pits, etc. Once they're rusted it'll always come back though. Just keep em polished regularly.
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