How to Remove Chrome or Nickel Plating From Steel

Written by gabrielle black
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How to Remove Chrome or Nickel Plating From Steel
Chrome plating creates a shiny, reflective finish when in prime condition. (Biker Chrome image by Joe Pitz from

Many antique items have been coated with chrome or nickel plating, and the owner may wish to restore it to the original finish through a plate stripping process. Chrome and nickel plating may also crack, deteriorate or become damaged over time and need to be removed, so fresh plating can be applied. Stripping chrome or nickel plating from steel is an easy process if you take proper safety precautions.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Respirator
  • Protective gloves
  • Splash goggles
  • Acetone, bleach, or ammonia
  • Large metal bowl or pot
  • Aluminium foil
  • Toothbrush
  • Rag

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  1. 1

    Put on proper safety gear such as respirator, splash goggles and protective gloves. Pour either acetone, ammonia or bleach into the large metal bowl or pot. Only use one of these chemicals; do not mix them.

  2. 2

    Submerge the object from which you wish to remove the chrome in the chemical. Cover the container with aluminium foil to keep the fumes contained. Allow it to soak for at least two hours.

  3. 3

    Remove object from the chemicals. Dip a toothbrush into the acetone, ammonia or bleach.

  4. 4

    Brush the surface of the object vigorously with the toothbrush. Continue dipping and scrubbing with the toothbrush until the plating comes completely off.

  5. 5

    Wipe the stripped steel with a clean rag.

Tips and warnings

  • Use chemicals only in a well ventilated area.
  • Dispose of the chemicals properly when finished with them. Do not dump them down the sink. Refer to the label for proper disposal.

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