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topic 8149

Removing Anodization


I want to remove some polish (like chrome) some anodized aluminum parts on my Harley Davidson. Can I remove anodization to begin polishing? Can this be done in my garage?

Matt Sonnenburg
- Des Moines, Iowa


You need to be pretty precise about what finish it is that you have and are trying to remove.

Anodizing is best removed with acids that are capable of dissolving the anodized film but do not attack aluminum. A chromic-phosphoric acid mixture is described in several letters on line here, but it requires immersion treatment, and these chemicals can't be used in a garage.

Caustic mixtures will dissolve the anodized film, but they also attack aluminum, so this approach is a bit dicier. I have heard, but have never tried it, that oven cleaner like EZ-Off is caustic enough to dissolve the anodized film.

I'd rather experiment and build some experience on some old junk parts rather than on a Harley though.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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