Removing Chrome Plating

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Hello. Windex works well, 90 denatured alcohal works well and so doesnt purple power. The last two can also be used for stripping paint. Purple power works well stripping paint unless its automotive paint. Scalecoat also works well for both. Thanks. Jody

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I use liquid Drano. It works quickly but is gentle in case you forget overnite! I suspect it's just a very strong bleach from the odor and the effect it's had on some of my clothing...

Drano, Liquid Plumbr, Easy Off (yellow can) all have, as their active ingredient, lye, or as it's chemically known--sodium hydroxide. This eats the aluminum vacuum plating (which is what model car chrome, in the kits, actually is), along with the clear protective coating, and the wet-look glossy base coat off the plastic entirely.

The least expensive, AND in my experience, the easiest to use sodium hydroxide is Lewis Red Devil Lye, which comes in crystalline form, in plastic cans--find it at the supermarket in the middle of all the cleaning supplies.

You simply add Lewis Lye crystals to a glass, china or plastic bowl of cool water (NEVER use aluminum vessels, as lye just gobbles up aluminum!), stir gently until dissolved, then just drop the plated parts in it, and watch the chrome disappear. Leave the parts there for say, an hour, and the base coat will be gone, or at least soft enough to be scrubbed away with an old toothbrush.

Sodium Hydroxide in any form is highly caustic, will burn skin, and if you get it in your eyes, cause severe eye damage immediately, so hand and eye protection are to be a requirement. It rinses with water, and can be just poured down the drain as it not only is biodegradable (lye occurs naturally when wood ashes are soaked in water), but also helps clean sink drains. Just be sure to read and follow the instructions on the label. Price? I think about $2 a can--less expensive, and much lower fumes than sprayed on Easy-Off.

Biscuitbuilder

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I use Super clean in the 5 gallon purple jug at wal-mart, works awesome and it is safe for the plastics (can leave in for months) Works well on chrome, I dont know how long it takes, I usually check next morning and its gone.

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I use Super clean in the 5 gallon purple jug at wal-mart, works awesome and it is safe for the plastics (can leave in for months) Works well on chrome, I dont know how long it takes, I usually check next morning and its gone.

The active ingredient in SuperClean is.............guess what? Sodium Hydroxide (lye), that time I looked at the label.

Biscuitbuilder1

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The active ingredient in SuperClean is.............guess what? Sodium Hydroxide (lye), that time I looked at the label.

Biscuitbuilder1

Sorry I didnt read all the posts, just giving my experience with Super Clean, dont know whats in it, just know it works well.

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Posted · Report post

What is the best way to strip chrome from parts w/o damaging the parts?

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Window cleaner with Ammonia. Sorry to all of the "save the earth" crowd, but the Ammonia does the trick and the plastic is not harmed. :(

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Window cleaner with Ammonia. Sorry to all of the "save the earth" crowd, but the Ammonia does the trick and the plastic is not harmed. :lol:

I'm not part of the "save the earth" crowd, how could I be driving an old diesel pickup and helping the ozone disappear every time I spray paint a model outside, but I guess you could maybe call my chrome stripper environmentalty friendly. B)

Ok, back to all seriousness and sanity, Dwanye, you honestly will get as many answers as people who post answers because we all have our favorite chrome stripper that works for us, and here is what works for me, Dawn Power Dissolver.

HPIM1971.jpg

You can find it whereever you get dish washing liquid, and works great in not only stripping the chrome, but the yellow undercoat underneath. The parts in front of the bottle were done in about 4 hours. Since it's for getting the stuck on gunk off of pots and pans, it has no harmful fumes. Even though I've not tried it yet, a few members have also said it works at stripping paint, too.

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good old straight bleach, works quick and its a buck at the dollar store. B)

say you only want to strip a part of the piece, cover what you don't want stripped with petroleum jelly to seal it off, works like a charm. :lol:

Edited by envious8420

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I like bleach also. For best results, use it in a plastic jar with a plastic lid. The chlorine fumes will corrode metal (which is why it strips chrome.) I find parts will strip in anywhere from about 10-15 minutes to an hour, depending on size, number of pieces, etc.

Charlie Larkin

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I can never get the yellow undercoat off using bleach. I will give the Dawn Power Dissolver a try next time.

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I can never get the yellow undercoat off using bleach. I will give the Dawn Power Dissolver a try next time.

Why remove it Tom? It acts as a primer for lacquers.B)

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Why remove it Tom? It acts as a primer for lacquers.B)

Or for any other paint for that matter, and it works beautifully.

Charlie Larkin

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I use Simple Green.

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I use bleach as well & found this puppy to be handy little find.

1940Fordtruck115-vi.jpg

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Posted · Report post

easy off seems to work pretty well for me to strip chrome, DOT3 brake fluid gets off the remaining bits within 10 minutes or so too.

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for those who like to use brake fluid for stripping, what do you clean the brake fluid off with?

Dave

I usually use brake fluid for paint stripping, and I use dishwashing liquid and warm water to clean the stripped body. I've not had any problems yet.

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I use bleach as well & found this puppy to be handy little find.

1940Fordtruck115-vi.jpg

OK, where can I get one ?

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OK, where can I get one ?

This is just a guess, Greg, but I'd figure you could find that jewerly cleaning jar at a finer jewerly store.

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I've also had success stripping chrome with Oven-Off and/or Purple Power from Wal-Mart; though I don't recall if either will take off the under coat.

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Brake fluid worked fine me. A couple hours took off almost everything (even the yellow layer), then finish sanded the edges and details and it looks perfect.

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Why remove it Tom? It acts as a primer for lacquers.:)

I've found these chrome clear coats are applied pretty thick on most instances where I've removed the chrome and I'm always wanting to get it all off down to the bare plastic to get the detail back. I'm finding the Dawn method to be working for me, but all these suggestions are great.

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I've had the best luck with Easy-Off oven cleaner.

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1st post to the forum! I'm starting work on one of the new editions of Tamiya's T70 Lola and wanted to remove the chrome from several parts.

I didn't have some of the suggested items so I tried some Zep purple degreaser. It works in seconds not minutes. I did all the carbs and radiator parts in a plastic bowl with about 1/2" of the cleaner in it. The chrome just disappeared as I swirled the parts around for maybe 20 seconds.

It take it all the way to bare plastic with no harm to the parts. And boy, are they degreased.

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