Chrome, alloy and stainless trims
One of the best things about classic cars is the use of chrome, alloy and various stainless steel trims all over them - something you don't see too much in many modern cars anymore. We have a good purpose specific grouping of gear to care for these areas depending on their condition.
This mirror reflective hard metal plating is beautiful to look at, but it needs the right products to look after it properly. If the chrome is in good condition it can be as simple as just wiping it over with our Naked Glass or Clean Detail sprays and a Big Softie cloth, then seal it with any of our carnauba waxes or Fully Slick.
If it's looking a little dull or has any light pitting on it, you can use the fine grade Shiny Stuff metal polishing paste on it. Being a fine grade abrasive, you don't have to worry about it damaging or leaving polishing scratches in the finish. This is important to know as they are impossible to remove if an aggressive metal polish was ever used.
To use it's pretty simple - rub on a small 10 cent piece sized dollop into a Dirty Deeds low pile microfibre cloth and then gently buff it into a section of the chrome surface. It doesn't take much time for it to work its magic - 10 to 20 seconds is the most it should ever need. Then buff off with a seperate, clean Dirty Deeds cloth to reveal a stunning shine.
Alloy and Stainless
These are softer, porous metals, and being so they tend to oxidise and lose their shine a bit more than chrome ever will. But, due to this they can respond very well to polishing and even be brought back from a pretty bad state with a little bit of work.
If they are in pretty good condition, with slight dulling, you can use our Shiny Stuff fine grade paste by hand, exactly as we would on the chrome, like we do on the Sandman's stainless trim rings here. As Shiny Stuff leaves a nice seal to the metal surface, it will help keep the shine for longer after its use.
If they are a little worse off, or you have larger areas (like alloy wheels) to do, you can use the Shiny Stuff or our medium grade liquid Metal Polish with our Quick Cone foam or our large or small foam Blue Balls in an electric drill to do the hard work for you. These foam tools are made from a high quality German foam, that we chose as they polish better and last longer than other foam tools we had used in the past for this sort of job.
The Quick Cone is ideal for nearly all outer wheels (especially with a deeper dish) and wide, flatter surfaces. The larger 100mm wide Big Daddy Blue Ball is ideal for larger curved and rounded areas & checker plate, while the 70mm wide Mini Me Blue Ball is for intricate and tricky areas you find all over classic cars - even inner wheels if your spokes are wide enough to allow it in. The Mini Me also comes with a plastic coated extension rod that will prevent it ever damaging spokes when working in those areas, as well as giving you a nice place to hold when you're using it.
To use, lightly coat the cone or balls foam surface that will come into contact with the metal surface. Then, slowly work over the areas on the slowest speed of the drill so not to splatter the polish everywhere. Then, run the drill at 1200 rpm (slow to medium speed) and apply medium pressure and slowly work back and forth over the area for up to a minute. You will notice black residue coming off as you work it, which is normal as it's polishing off the oxidation that hides the shine on the metal surface. Be very cautious around any rough edges and protruding parts to not catch and tear off the foam tabs on these tools.
Turn the machine off before removing from the surface, then get a clean Dirty Deeds microfibre cloth and wipe away the black residue while it's still fresh and wet. Once you are happy with the shine, continue to the next section, or repeat the process once more with the same technique. If you notice any micro-scoring marks on softer metals (even with Shiny Stuff), slow the drill speed down and work it in for just half the amount of time.
If you have any intricate parts that gets polish residue on them, you can come back after and spray some Clean Detail into those areas and agititate it away with a small round detailing brush, then wipe away with a clean Dirty Deeds cloth. If you have used the liquid Metal Polish, a mighty fine party trick is how its residue washes away with just water, something we like when it's been used on intricate wheels, as it all comes off after a good clean with the wheel brushes before washing the car, like we mention in the wheel cleaning section above - all very nice and easy.
After you are all done, hand wash the cones or balls in the sink with warm water and pouring 30ml of our Microfibre Wash into the foam, before gently massaging it through the foam by hand. If you have used the Metal Polish liquid, try washing it this same way with just warm water (serious, it's a thing with this formula making it wash off super easy from your hands). After this, rinse under the tap with fresh water and then squeeze the water out and leave to air dry. Wash the Dirty Deeds microfibre cloths separate to other cloths in the machine.
Both of our metal polishes will seal the metal surface, to keep the shine there a lot longer. Like all car care, regular maintenance is the key to keeping them looking great and easy to clean. So, every 4 to 6 months, or when you feel they need a spruce up, just give the polishable metals a gentle wipe over with the Shiny Stuff polish by hand to quickly bring back a lovely shine and keep the surface nicely sealed.