Love it or hate it, chrome looks awful once it gets old and corroded. It can become rusty, stained with hard-water marks, or even scarred with boot marks and melted rubber over time. You don’t have to settle for the memory of your chrome’s glory days though; you can bring it back to its original shine with one simple step. The little trick is to use fine-grade steel wool. You’re looking at a price tag of approximately $4, and it will bring your bike’s shiny bits back to life.
There are a lot of tips, tricks, cleaners, and home remedies out there for bringing your chrome back to its once-shiny self, but I have yet to find anything that matches the outcome I get with steel wool. It wins in every category: price, mess factor, ease of use, and end result. The process is dead simple; rub the offending piece until the chrome is back to normal appearance, and that’s it. Even for thick, melted-on boot stains on mufflers, I have had good success with steel wool. Although with something as stubborn as that, you will want to heat the pipe up to operating temperature to help with rubber removal and to very carefully scrape the thickest portions of the rubber with a razor blade first. Lastly, you can get in there with your steel wool, rubbing it until the only thing left of that mark is the imprint on your memory.