When pursuing vintage, there always comes the time when the hunt is over and the clean up begins.  Sure, I find vintage items that are in great shape and are ready to go.  But, more often, I’ll find a piece that has thirty years worth of dust on it, and in need of having its dignity returned.  It’s usually not the most fun part.  It’s the part that requires some elbow grease.  Some patience.  But it can be exciting to see what is underneath the dirt and grime.  It gives me a sort of satisfaction to see something that someone else might have put to the curb – destined for the landfill, come back to life.

And sometimes I come across situations that I just don’t have the best answer for.  Lately that has been chrome.  How to clean it?  How to get rid of some of the oxidation and return it to shine?  How, how, how??!

Luckily, I have a terrific sister-in-law.  I wish she would clone herself into a miniature that I could carry around on my shoulder and ask her opinion on these things… because that’s pretty much what I do when I bombard her with emails “what do you think of this?” and “what about this?” and “who do you think made this?“.  She has a great eye, and is no stranger to pursuing her own vintage.  Of course she had the answer for me!  A baking soda paste.


Make a thick paste out of the baking soda and warm water.


Brush it on the chrome.  Let it dry (5-10 minutes).  And using a soft dry rag, rub it off.  This is the “elbow grease” part.  The baking soda paste acts as a soft scrub for the chrome.  It really was amazing to see the difference it made.  Small areas of oxidation were pretty much removed with this technique.

Here’s a Before & After:



Wow, right??!

And the best part is, the kids can play, too!  I gave the boys their own baking soda mixture and they “painted” their car.


So, you’re wondering, what amazing find did Kristen polish up?  Well… you’ll have to tune in tomorrow!



4 replies
  1. Barb
    Barb says:

    I love this! I just snagged a great chrome chair that need a little TLC. Headed to the kitchen and grabbing the baking soda right this minute! Thanks for the tip.

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