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How to Remove Chrome or Nickel Plating From Steel

Updated February 21, 2017

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.

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

  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. Wipe the stripped steel with a clean rag.

  6. Warning

    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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Things You'll Need

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

About the Author

Gabrielle Black has been a professional writer, artist and designer since 2002. Her theatrical designs, puppet design and construction have been featured in "Theatre Design & Technology" magazine and she has written numerous articles for various websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Luther College and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Idaho, both in stage design and painting.

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