Exhaust Pipe Rust Repaired

Saturday afternoon I use diet cola and aluminum foil to clean the rust off of the chrome exhaust pipes. Yes, diet cola and aluminum foil.

After scouring the Internet searching for recipes to remove rust from chrome, I ended up with the following (in order of potency):

  1. Soap & Water
  2. Cloth & Vinegar
  3. Cloth & Diet Cola
  4. Aluminum foil & Vinegar
  5. Diet Cola & Vinegar
  6. The lightest gauge steel wool you can find (I found 0000)
  7. Chemical rust removers

I didn’t want to use strong chemicals so I started with Soap & Water. That helped, but didn’t do much. The cloth and vinegar and cloth and cola didn’t do much either. Aluminum foil & Vinegar, though, that was the jackpot!
It took the rust off like a hot knife through butter. I was surprised, and my friends didn’t believe me. The exhaust pipes are like a mirror now. If you search around the Internet yourself you will find the claim made all over the place.
I can tell you that it works (but be sure to test it out in an inconspicuous area first in case it doesn’t work!).
Following the cleaning I used a razor blade to scrape off melted-on boot sole; and finally wrapped up with two coats of Carnauba wax.
The left pipe was the worst, but it cleaned up beautifully. It got dark very fast that night; so I had to take the followup photo in the garage with a shop-light and a flash.

Despite the fact that the right pipe was not too bad to begin with, it looked a lot better afterwards:

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