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How to remove flash chrome from stainless steel parts

(-----) February 1, 2008

I restore car parts, specifically bezels and grills. is there a way to remove flash chrome from stainless chemically? I have heard about using Muriatic Acid [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] , then neutralizing the solution with baking soda for safe disposal. I have been buffing it off, but its a long process. I am also concerned that the acid will damage the stainless, and also if the used solution once neutralized, is a haz-mat.
thank you

Gary Cimino
restoration shop - Norwalk, Connecticut, USA

February 6, 2008

Brush plating suppliers have the equipment and chemicals to make it easy to back strip a chrome flash. There should be nickel under the chrome, if the base metal is stainless steel. You can strip parts with the wand with very little chemical waste generated. I would use a catch basin of poly pro or pvc for containment. You will want to check with local authorities regarding the storage of the chrome strip solution, even though there will be small amounts of it. Good Luck!

Mark Baker
Process Engineer - Syracuse, New York

"DeLorean: Stainless Steel Illusion"
from Abe Books

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February 12, 2008

Try 50 % Hcl

Francis Li
ex chemist - Birmingham, UK

February 15, 2008

Unless it's a Delorean, I doubt your parts are made of stainless steel. You should use a reverse current alkaline strip solution..

George Brackett III
- Saco, ME, USA

February 18, 2008

Actually, George, they probably are stainless. I don't know if it's common anymore, but a lot of exterior trim in years past was stainless steel with a flash of chromium plating (not decorative nickel-chrome, just chrome).

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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