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topic 14893

Stripping chrome plating from metal

A discussion started in 2002 but continuing through 2019


Q. I restore motorcycles in my spare time. Can anyone advise me on a simple method that I may use to remove the chrome plating from metal surfaces?

Many thanks,

Max Lange
- Cape Town, South Africa


A. Hi Max,

May I suggest you go to the archives and have a look-see at # 12044 ...(another motor cyclist, another chrome problem).

If you don't mind 'wading' through a lot of data, you'll eventually find some answers ... but thanks must go to the intelligent dawgs many of the repliers show.

Anyhow, that will sure save me lots of time if you do that!

I wish you success with your restorations ... a Black Shadow Vincent, perhaps? If I recall correctly, didn't a side car version hit the world's speed record of + 140 mph many years ago .. in South Africa !

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton [dec.]
White Rock, British Columbia, Canada

(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).


thumbs up sign Many thanks and very entertaining, most of which I don't have a clue. What I do know is that I'll take the stuff to the shop ... I don't want my dog drinking all that waste!

Max Lange [returning]
- Cape Town, South Africa


A. The quickest way to remove chrome and the copper/ nickel undercoat is dilute sulphuric acid (as used in lead acid batteries. You can soak with periodic inspection and rinsing or you can speed the process up using electrolytic action, e.g. connect the item to be stripped up to 12 volt supply and use a piece of lead as the cathode (similar size to item being stripped) also connected to supply positive. If you have it the wrong way round the lead plate will fizz instead of the item you want to strip (reverse connection. However, the soaking method will work for most decorative plating finishes in a short time. Be careful with acid use long rubber Protective Gloves [affiliate link to product info at Amazon] and apron [affiliate link to product info at Amazon] and eye protection (goggles [affiliate link to product info at Amazon]).

Good luck,

Mike Tew
- UK


? I don't think soaking with periodic rinsing and inspection will remove the nickel and copper because neither nickel nor copper is soluble in sulfuric acid -- have you actually tried it as opposed to having read about it? Yes, you can remove it in acid with electricity, but it is usually better to use an electrolyte or process which selectively dissolves a coating without attacking the substrate. Sulfuric acid will attack the steel at least as fast as it attacks nickel and copper. Still, for a down and dirty approach, it's interesting :-)

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

Remove 10 microns of chrome from nickel sheet

December 23, 2018

Q. How can I remove chrome coating from nickel sheet?

Mostafa Youssef
- Cairo, Egypt

December 2018

A. Hi Mostafa. You haven't introduced yourself, so I'm not sure if you work in a plating shop and have tanks available, and training in acids. But a relatively quick dip (probably not more than 2 minutes) in HCl / Muriatic acid will remove the chrome without affecting the nickel plating much. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha

August 11, 2019

Q. Hi I'm Nimesh from India I'm working in plating shop.

How to remove chrome plating in metal?

Now I'm chrome stripping in sulfuric acid but not successful.
Please guide.

Nimesh Prajapati
Breks india - Gujarat, India

October 2019

A. Hi Nimesh. Sulfuric acid is unlikely to work well. A dip in HCl or electrolytic stripping in caustic are the two common methods depending on thickness, substrate, etc.

Please search the site with the term "strip chrome" and you'll see some 40 threads about removing chrome from all sorts of different parts and substrate metals; your parts and substrate metal may be covered by one of those threads. Or give us full particulars and people can help. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live Aloha is possible thanks to our supporting advertisers, including this shop:none


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