How to Keep Your Steel Bumper from Rusting

  • 2-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • 25-75
What You'll Need
Oil-free soap
Hot water
Lint-free towel
Non-oil based stainless steel protection
Latex gloves
Foam brush
Rust remover (non-abrasive)
Scrub brush

A stainless steel bumper on your car or truck looks fantastic when it is maintained. A stainless steel bumper is fairly impervious to rust. You will wonder why a stainless steel bumper has rust on it if this does not generally happen. There are a few reasons which may include high iron content in the water you wash your car with. If water with high iron is used on your stainless steel bumper, it can rust and will deteriorate your bumper. Salt can also corrode a stainless steel bumper. This can include salt water as well as the salt used to melt ice. Stainless steel is not completely impervious to the elements which can cause rust. The following article will show you how to prevent rust from forming on your stainless steel bumper.

Step 1 - Removing Rust

Stainless steel will rust and corrode if it is not properly taken care of. If your stainless steel bumper is already forming rust you need to remove it first. Spray the infected areas of the steel bumper with the rust remover. Use the scrub brush after several minutes and begin scrubbing the rust against the grain. This can be a slow process and may require several attempts.

Step 2 - Cleaning the Steel Bumper

With the stainless steel bumper being free of rust you need to make sure it is clean. A bumper can collect salt, bits of gravel and a myriad of other things that can leave a residue which can eventually lead to rust. Mix oil-free soap with hot water and wipe down the bumper with sponge. Use clean water to rinse away the soap and then wipe it down with a lint-free towel. With the stainless steel bumper washed you can then use wax to further clean the bumper. Follow the instructions on the wax container and use clean water to rinse away the wax. Use a lint-free towel to buff the bumper.

Step 3 - Sealing and Protecting the Steel Bumper

Even though the stainless steel bumper looks brand new, it is still prone to rusting. No amount of cleaning can prevent nature from taking hold. There are products on the market that protect stainless steel from rusting. These products are often used on stainless steel appliances but they also work on a steel bumper. There are aerosol versions as well as versions that resemble paint or a stain. Avoid the aerosols because they can pool and spot. You will be able to get better coverage by manually applying the protector. Shake or stir the protector up and open the can. Use a foam brush to apply the protector to the bumper. Do not create pools, voids or streaks with the product. Buff and reapply the protector to the steel bumper every six months.