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Which Electroplating Solution is Best?

Q. Hello. I am doing a science project in electroplating and my mom found this wonderful site. I was wondering, since I have seen two basic ways of doing this project, one with vinegar [in bulk on eBay or Amazon affil links], ethylene glycol and salt, and another with CuSO4, which gives the best results and which would be the best to use? I have no problem getting any of the supplies, it's just I haven't found any information on which solution is best. Thank you for helping.

Lee Foreaker
- Plymouth, Massachusetts USA

A. I would go with the copper sulphate [on eBay or Amazon affil link], since a mixture of acetic acid, ethylene glycol, and sodium chloride will not electroplate anything (no metal to plate).

James Totter
James Totter, CEF
- Tallahassee, Florida

Yes, having some metal to plate out is certainly an important consideration smiley face!

But actually, Lee is probably referring to topics 64 and 2492, which describe using these chemicals with copper anodes.

Several people have reported good results with that formula, Lee, and it does have the advantage that you are not buying, using, and disposing of copper sulphate which has a high concentration of soluble copper and is therefore a powerful biocide that should be treated with more respect than the average science experimenter wants to expend.

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

Thank you very much. This will help a lot in my project. I thought I would end up using the vinegar, salt, and ethylene glycol solution, but I just wanted to make sure. Well, Thank you again!

Bye :) Lee

Lee Foreaker
- Plymouth, Massachusetts USA

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