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How to Clean Chrome Drum Hardware

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Drum hardware can get rusted, tarnished, pitted and scratched if it is not maintained and polished regularly. The drum hardware includes the rims, lugs, cymbal stands, snare drum stand, tom stand, hi-hat stand, the pedal and the bass drum pedal. Drum hardware can be cleaned and restored.

Things You'll Need:

  • Drum Cases
  • Baking Soda
  • Water
  • Chrome Cleaner
  • Cover For Drums
  • Toothbrush
  • Clean Cloths
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Drum Key
  • Cotton Swab

Remove the drum rims from the drum shell by using a drum key to unscrew the chrome lug casings and nuts. Remove the drumhead from out of the rim. It is best to take apart the drum so you won’t get cleaner on your drum shell finish or the heads. Clean each part separately. Take apart the cymbal stands to make cleaning easier. Use a soft toothbrush or cotton tipped swab to get in all the small crevices.

Clean your chrome hardware with a baking soda and water paste. Mix one-quarter cup of baking soda with just enough water to make a paste. Spread the baking soda paste on the chrome drum hardware with a cloth or toothbrush. Use a damp cloth and completely remove the baking soda. Buff and polish the chrome hardware with a clean dry cloth.

Use commercial chrome cleaner or polish to clean the chrome on your drum hardware. There are polishes that are made specifically for drum hardware, but any type of commercial metal polish will work just as well. Use it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Buff and polish the chrome with a soft cloth. Polishing your chrome cleans it, but also lubricates and seals the metal to prevent future rust.

Use a piece of aluminum foil folded up as a cloth to remove rust. Buff the chrome with the foil until the rust is gone. Aluminum foil may remove rust, but not scratch the chrome.

Use a very fine soft steel wool pad to clean rust from chrome hardware if none of the other polishes are working. When using the steel wool, gently rub off any rust on the chrome.


Buy good drum cases and keep your drums in a case while traveling. This will prevent scratches and dents, which are difficult to clean.

Cover your drums with a large sheet or cloth while they are set up in your house or studio. Covering prevents moisture and humidity from settling on the chrome and rusting it. Protect your chrome hardware from all moisture.


  • Do not use a liquid rust remover; this will also remove the chrome finish.
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