(Photo: Pixabay)

Would you believe this? All you need is aluminium foil and some water to clean your chrome fittings to a bright finish in your home.

I did not believe it until I tried it.

I have got a bugbear about my chrome bedside lamp and bathroom fittings: they are pitted and rusted in parts, and look like they need a good polish.

Over the years, I have tried creams, metal cleaners and polishes, but they needed too much effort; and then I discovered aluminium foil. It truly removes rust from chrome and polishes it.

And it is easy to use – just lightly rub the surface with foil dipped in water.

No worries about scratches: the foil is softer than steel, so it will not scratch the surface and you end up with shiny fittings.

I used to use steel wool, but it meant physically scraping off the rust, resulting in a dull, scratched surface with wool "dust" left everywhere.

The foil, however, dissolves the rust chemically so you do not need to rub as hard and as aluminium is softer than chrome, you are left with few, if any, scratches.

There is logic behind the magic – this website explains: "The aluminium oxide that is createdÂ… when you rub the surface of the chrome leeches the rust away and combined with water, creates its own polishing compound so you end up with a clean, smooth, shiny surface."

Of course, if the fitting is severely pitted or some of the plating has peeled off, there is not much you can do.

But, beyond this, foil polishing works.

You need small squares of foil, which you use either flat or scrunched up, if you need more friction. Aluminium wool pads, as opposed to steel wool pads, also work well as they are flexible and can get into crevices.

Wipe off any surface dirt, wet the surface, then lightly rub at the chrome fitting to be cleaned.

When the surface feels smooth and polished, finish off with a clean cloth. And yes, if preferred, some wax chrome polish or equivalent to protect your nice, clean and shiny chrome.

(First published in Mind Your Body)