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How to strip Powder Coating from aluminum, iron and steel?

A discussion started in 2006 but continuing through 2019


Q. I am stuck with a serious problem nowadays which seems hard to be solved in any efficient manner. The problem is "How to remove powder coating from Aluminum, iron and steel objects?". I hope my query will be taken under consideration as soon as possible.

Muhammad Tariq
Plater - Islamabad, Pakistan


A. Hi Mr. Mhd Tariq

Maybe you can try to use sulphuric acid (98%) and heat up to about 200 °C.


KC Tan
- Malaysia


A. What is the chemical type of the powder coating. Would the use of a hot liquid to remove the coating be suitable?

John Neale
- Halesowen, West Midlands, UK


A. Dear sir,
Your stripping of Powder coating can be solved easily ... You have to dip powder coated parts in the 6 mm mild steel tank insulated with cover on top. In the tank you mix 30% flake of caustic soda and 70% water heat the solution to temperature 120 °C and immerse the items for 20 to 25 minutes. The coating will strip.

- Karachi, Pakistan


!! The question mentions aluminum parts also which, if immersed in a hot alkaline solution, may be severely attacked.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico

A. Hi. Guillermo is surely right that, while boiling hot caustic may work for steel parts, it will destroy aluminum parts. Methylene chloride (aircraft stripper) is a very powerful stripper, and harmless to most metals, but is really nasty stuff for people to work with. Googles, gloves, and working outside (preferably upwind) would be the minimum measures to reduce the hazard to people.


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

affil. link

November 16, 2010

A. Okay boys and girls this is an EZ one; to remove powder coat use oven cleaner and it comes off in 15 minutes.

peter cline
- san diego California

April 6, 2011

Hi, Peter. Thanks.

This does sound workable for coatings on iron and steel but, again, oven cleaner will attack aluminum and must be watched very carefully; plus I doubt that any shine will be left if that's an issue.


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

April 6, 2011 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. Kindly give me some solution of removing powder or plastic coating from mild steel (iron wire)? ... is there any acid or compound who can remove coating without damaging product? I used to remove it by heat but it damages the product a lot. Thanks

chumasu laama
manager - kenya

Ed. note: As you see, Chumasu, we appended your inquiry to a thread which may answer your question.

March 31, 2012

Q. Dear sir. I have 400-500 lengths of aluminum sections, we want to remove the powder coating. We have cemented tanks, so, can we remove coating without heating it, as some one told me that he is mixing some other acid or chemical for making sulfuric more effective? If yes, then please mention; otherwise I have to make M.S. tank so that we can heat and the coating will be removed fast.

powder coater - new delhi, India

November 13, 2012

Q. Dear sir, please give me the chemical composition of powder coating stripper. Thanks, Amir

Muhammad Aamir
- Karachi, Pakistan

May 2014

Hi Mr. Aamir. As previously mentioned, methylene chloride will probably do it, but is toxic & hazardous. Proprietary strippers are available but no one can give you the composition of proprietary materials :-)

Although probably not to your full satisfaction, that question has been asked & answered several times on this page already. So please take several sentences to frame your question in terms of the answers provided. We don't want to run the thread in circles. Thanks!


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

How to strip CED coatings from aluminum

May 14, 2014

Q. How to strip CED coating on aluminium substrates?

Thanks & Regards,

Surya Narayana
Process Engineer - Tumkur , Karnataka , INDIA

May 2014

A. Hi Surya. I believe methylene chloride, i.e., Aircraft Stripper will do it without harming the aluminum. But it's nasty stuff. There are more environmentally friendly proprietary strippers. Good luck.


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

May 29, 2014

Q. Hello, is it possible that the Airplane Stripper would also remove powder coating from aluminium motorcycle head covers?

Joseph Fuller
- Canton, Georgia USA

May 2014

A. Hi Joseph. Airplane stripper is the same thing as the previously mentioned methylene chloride. Yes, it's quite likely to work. But do it outside, upwind, wearing goggles [affiliate link to product info on Amazon], Protective Gloves [affiliate link to product info on Amazon], and hopefully other protective equipment as well.


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

October 28, 2014

Q. Hi all

I wanted to know whether stripping of mazak is possible to remove the powder coating from the substrate by using chemical. If so then what are its adverse effects too for the metal like MAZAK. And which chemical is to be used?


Snehal Patil

November 2014

A. Hi Snehal. Methylene chloride (aircraft stripper) is unlikely to hurt Mazak or any other metal, and it is able to remove most paints and powder coatings. But it is noxious, toxic, stuff as previously mentioned! So please see if local suppliers can offer you a less toxic proprietary product. Citrus based strippers may be able to remove some powder coatings.


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

November 3, 2014

thumbs up signHi sir

Thanks a lot for your feedback.

Actually I am new to this finishing line, so always curious to know new things from this area. I will be glad if I get support from you in future in terms of plating also.


Snehal Patil

Looking for less toxic stripper for powder coating

February 12, 2015

Q. Hi, I'm the coatings supervisor for a Tier One suspension manufacturer. We use both a single and dual coat process on our parts over zinc phosphate.
Our QC personnel approached me because of concerns over the chemical used to strip test samples. They were using Kleen-Strip Aircraft Remover, and the fumes were bothersome. When I looked into it we found how just how nasty that stuff is. Is there a less-toxic method for stripping the powder coat without damaging the material underneath? The powers that be would prefer to go that route, but if there's nothing as good, we'll have to bite the bullet and put a fume booth in.

Thanks for your time.

Thomas Gauntt
Coating supervisor - Opelika

February 2015

A. Hi Thomas. Yes, Aircraft Stripper is methylene chloride and it is nasty stuff. There are less toxic proprietary strippers for powder coating, and they work. We can't recommend specific proprietary vendors here though (why?)


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

February 12, 2015

thumbs up signThanks Ted, I completely understand not recommending specific products. Just the knowledge that there is such a thing is a lot of help, and I'll dig harder and see what I can uncover. Thanks!!

Thomas Gauntt [returning]
- Opelika, Alabama USA

March 3, 2015

thumbs up signThanks.

Suraj kukade [returning]
manufacturing - pune, maharastra, India

June 29, 2015

Q. Hopefully I'm not repeating an answered question but I'll ask anyway. Those small tight corners that aircraft stripper seems to magically avoid. Aside from blasting (something that's not available to me) how else do you "easily" remove that powder coating. I have slathered stripper on it waited and waited and well... nothing, not even a flat head screwdriver seems to get it. I was thinking of trying muriatic acid to finish the stripping process but having used it on other things I know it's pretty strong. I'm not super worried about the metal as it would only be in there a short time but just an option so maybe I can stop my hair being pulled out.

Steve Clark
- Westbank, bc , Canada

affil. link
Ultrasonic Cleaner

June 2015

A. Hi Steve. If the parts are small and you use an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner with a metal tank, it might vibrate the stripper into those tight corners. At the least, if you keep working with methylene chloride your hair will fall out, so you won't have to pull it out :-)

Seriously, I've never done this and would have some reservations. Don't even consider getting near it without chemical goggles and gloves.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

July 1, 2015

A. My advice refers to an immersion technique and not a brush on / off methodology:

Dissolving Potassium Hydroxide in methyl Alcohol creates a highly exothermic reaction.
It should only be conducted with the strictest OH&S protocols in place and by competent, chemically aware personnel.
That said:
The resulting solution lends itself to stripping Powder from Aluminium.
Take every precaution with this procedure.
Do not leave the stripping unsupervised.
Hope this helps.

William Doherty
Trainer - Newcastle, NSW Australia

July 1, 2015

thumbs up signThat's awesome, thanks guys for some ideas I might try the ultra sonic thing first as it looks fairly cheap to try and I could use it for other stuff anyway. If more chemicals are required then yeah I might give the other one a shot, safety first though, I enjoy my skin without bubbles and burning lol.
Thanks again.

Steve Clark [returning]
- Westbank, bc , Canada

November 5, 2015

Dear Sir,

Powder coating material not removed completely, so given some suggestion and tell me chemical formula.

Thanks and regards,

Kumaaran Angaiyan
stripping chemical supplier - chennai, tamilnadu, India

November 10, 2015

Q. I was wondering about stripping the powder coat of a knife that I have recently bought. It'S 5160 High Carbon steel. I am leaving the tang powder coated just want to strip the blade. I've seen a few videos on youtube but thought perhaps there were other suggestions. Thank you in advance

Eric Rosbottom
- Yellowknife Canada

December 18, 2015

A. B17 is used to strip powder coat from alloy wheels in 30 seconds to a minute with no damage to alloy, aircraft stripper just softens it you need to then scrape it off.

Jason East
- london UK

December 2015

thumbs up signThanks Jason. Yes, B17 and other proprietaries are probably better than aircraft stripper. There are many proprietary strippers for powder coating; some are more environmentally friendly than methylene chloride, or less toxic to people, or more effective in one way or another.

But we'd rather avoid brand names (why?)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

May 19, 2017

Q. Can anybody tell me the formulation of powder coating stripper (Hot method and Cold Method)? Now I am using Methylene Chloride but I want more quick and effective result.
Will the solution of H2SO4 and Caustic soda with providing the 80 °C temperature give better result or not?
Can anyone guide me?

Muhammad Azeem
- Lahore, punjab Pakistan

May 2017

A. Hi cousin. Hopefully we are just having a language difficulty and you are not proposing mixing H2SO4 and caustic soda -- which would would achieve nothing because they neutralize each other, but which would be very dangerous because of the heat of reaction.

- KC Tan suggested 98% H2SO4 at 200 °C, although that temperature sounds incorrect to me.
- John Neale noted that you need to tell us the type of powder coating (polyester, epoxy, nylon thermoplastic, etc.)
- Zainuddin suggested 30% caustic soda at 120 °C
- Guillermo warns that you must tell us the substrate because caustic soda will destroy aluminum parts, and you must mention the substrate material.
- I suggested, for the aluminum parts, methylene chloride, which you already have experience with; and for tight corners I suggested considering ultrasonic agitation.
- William Doherty offered what he called a very dangerous but effective mixture of potassium hydroxide and methyl alcohol.
- Proprietaries were suggested, and there are many suppliers offering such, which you can google.

At this point I think you need to answer the open questions regarding powder coating type and substrate material, and whether you can consider proprietaries, to see if that leads the readers to steer you towards any of the several approaches already listed, or any additional ones. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

May 28, 2017

Q. Respected Sir,
I have TGIC powder coated aluminium frames, which are giving me health problems because of the toxicity of the component called TGIC. I want to remove the powder coat from aluminium frames, but the frames are now fixed and of large sizes, so the removal of powder coat can only be removed at the home. Please suggest an easy way to remove the TGIC powder coat. It's a life and death situation for me. Thanks.

Aman Gupta
- Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh, India.

November 13, 2018

Q. At what temperature and for how long does it take to burn off Powdercoating on aluminum rims?

Byron Ness
- Abbotsford bc Canada

February 15, 2019

A. We use a plastic media blaster (sand blaster but with plastic media) set at about 40 PSI. Higher PSI tends to fog the finish on the raw aluminum underneath the powdercoat.

Dennis Kelvey
Advanced Surface Finishing, Inc. - Westbury, New York, USA

March 26, 2019

Q. Hi there - We have some very large aluminum parts that are welded together. We need to remove the powder coat on these parts so we can inspect the welds. Any recommendations on products and processes we can use to remove the powder coating without damaging the welds?


Jordan Burt
- Bozeman, Montana, USA

April 2019

A. Hi Jordan. Aircraft stripper is for removing paint & powder from aluminum. It doesn't damage the welds, but it is noxious & dangerous. There are proprietary strippers that will also do the job, but we don't suggest specific proprietaries (why?)

As others have suggested, mechanical removal is also a possibility. Good luck.


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

May 15, 2019

A. Powder coat removal:
Use plastic media, it works the best. Most people try to use sand media; that will take a long time.

Bob cheek
used to blast oxygen tanks without damage - St george, Utah

Even aircraft stripper won't remove powder coating

July 27, 2019

Q. Hello, I am trying to remove powder coating from fuel pump on Volvo motor on my boat, I tried several strippers including aircraft, nothing works. Need help because paint flakes after time and blocks screen.

Igor Yakush
- Fenton, Michigan, USA

July 31, 2019

A. I think you need to look for powder coat stripper, specifically a gel if you're using it on vertical surfaces. I use powderstrip PS1, and they do offer a gel that works very fast.

Ian Penedos
- New Jersey, USA

August 2, 2019

thumbs up sign  Thank you I will try to find it; I will update if my problem is resolved.

Igor Yakush [returning]
- Fenton, Michigan, US

August 3, 2019

Q. Can you buy this product in small amount, I only found smallest in 5Ga and I do not need this much. Thank you.

Igor Yakushenko [returning]
- Fenton, Michigan

August 2019

A. Hi Igor. See if you can find "plating supplies distributor", "powder coating supplies distributor" or something like that in your area. These organizations often try to meet customers' needs by splitting shipments, re-packaging if authorized, etc., in sort of the wholesale/retail model.


Readers: We usually don't post suggestions of brands/sources (why?). Although Ian tried to help Igor, you see the problem develop. To answer Igor's question properly, our advertisers would now have to pay for not just the recommendation of their competitor but info about their distributorship arrangements, etc.; meanwhile we've encouraged spam, as vendors want to post that their stripper is just as good or better but available in small packages.
Please believe me that with robots scanning our site for spam opportunities 24/7 at computer speed, and people paid to post when those opportunities are discovered, we receive hundreds of spams every day and you wouldn't like it if we started posting them :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET - Pine Beach, New Jersey
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading

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