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Removing Chrome Plating

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9 hours ago, Wm David Green said:

UK 'Chrome' Remover

If anyone is wondering what is suitable for removing model chrome here in UK, this stuff works well, if not quickly, in my opinion.

Takes the chrome off in approx. two hours in some cases, and also the glue/varnish stuff in about 12 hours, depending. 

For example there was the same sort of yellow brown discoloration on the chrome for both an AMT '71 Duster ( 2001 Walmart style box), and the AMT '57 Chrysler 300C (1999 issue).

Both sets went in to the Mr Muscle Power Gel on Saturday afternoon.

The Duster chrome and glue took less than a day, however the 300C parts are still in the gel, chrome was gone yesterday (Sunday) morning but most of the glue was still there late afternoon. 

 

Mr Muscle Power Gel Drain Unblocker, 500 ml, Pack of 2

 

This stuff works a lot quicker, I also use it as a paint remover, around £3 a bottle

217281-Oven-Pride-Deep-Cleaner-500ml-21.jpg

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On 9/26/2010 at 10:19 PM, MikeMc said:

 

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

Just yesterday, opened up an old 'new' AMT 6529, 'Cougar CJ428',  (c)1993, red car model photo box, bought this kit off e-bay.

The chrome parts looked fine, until I started snipping off the front grill/bumper part's from the sprue, and found that the plating, along with the varnish/glue, came off in dry flakes with my fingernail.

It could be that long term storage in extreme temperatures affected the plated parts, the decal sheet had brown spotting (mould?) on it. Thought this was worth pointing out as this is the second time where this has happened, - previously on a Lindberg '64 'Plymouth Belvedere', and the plating could not be saved.  

For comparison checked two other Cougar kits, AMT 6960 'Eliminator' (c) 1991 boxing and another 'CJ428', where the chrome parts are fine. 

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Yes gb I use Oven Pride, and have recently run out. I've been to our one open Hardware store where we live and the name of the product has changed but as they are out of stock, he can't remember the new name. He has though advised me that a bottle of 'Household Ammonia' does the same trick. I used up the Oven Pride on the chrome sprue of a Revel Mysterion, as the chrome plating is so thick taking it off the surfaces to glue together with a file or nail sticks was near impossible!

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5 hours ago, PatW said:

a bottle of 'Household Ammonia' does the same trick

If the smell doesn't rip your nasal cavities apart.  That is some really strong smelling stuff.

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16 hours ago, stitchdup said:

Any household bleach should remove the chrome

But it will not remove the clear coat under the aluminum "chrome".  I prefer to strip it all to bare plastic.

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On 4/23/2020 at 2:09 PM, TarheelRick said:

If the smell doesn't rip your nasal cavities apart.  That is some really strong smelling stuff.

Ah having Covid-19 here, I have some builders/paint sprayers face masks handy.

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On 4/23/2020 at 8:10 AM, PatW said:

Yes gb I use Oven Pride, and have recently run out. I've been to our one open Hardware store where we live and the name of the product has changed but as they are out of stock, he can't remember the new name. He has though advised me that a bottle of 'Household Ammonia' does the same trick. I used up the Oven Pride on the chrome sprue of a Revel Mysterion, as the chrome plating is so thick taking it off the surfaces to glue together with a file or nail sticks was near impossible!

Just an update on the Mysterion build, all rubbish, chassis,chrome, flimsy parts, scrapped it!

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On 2/5/2014 at 7:07 PM, Tom Geiger said:

I use Mr Clean kitchen floor cleaner to strip chrome. It actually smells like lemons. I keep it under the kitchen sink. When I need to strip a bumper I fill a kitchen glass with Mr Clean (lts a lime green clear), drop in the part and leave it until it strips. I'll often just leave it overnight. Once done, I pull the parts out with my fingers (it's not harsh at all) and wash them off in the sink. Then I pour the Mr Clean right back in the bottle.

There is no reason to use something industrial strength, industrial smelling and other wise a hazard to human life just to strip a bumper.

Repeating my advise from 2014 since people are still talking about breathing ammonia... 

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2 hours ago, Tom Geiger said:

Repeating my advise from 2014 since people are still talking about breathing ammonia... 

You can do that until you turn blue (or suffocate). :D

Mr. Clean works because it contains Lye (Sodium Chydroxide). Same caustic chemical present in Purple Stuff (Castrol Super Clean) or in the original Easy-Off oven cleaner spray, LA Awesome liquid cleaner, or some other household or industrial cleaners. It's as simple as that.  Lye is what strips the metal layer and the underlying clear coat.

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Hi all,

There seem to be a couple of chemicals which can be used to remove paint and/or chrome plating.

I'd like to know how long you can use either brake fluid, oven cleaner, Easy-off spray or LA Awesome for removing paint or chrome?

And how do you get rid of the used chemicals? I reckon you can't put it in your household garbage or pour it into your kitchen sink, can you?

Thanks.

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10 hours ago, HJK said:

Hi all,

There seem to be a couple of chemicals which can be used to remove paint and/or chrome plating.

I'd like to know how long you can use either brake fluid, oven cleaner, Easy-off spray or LA Awesome for removing paint or chrome?

And how do you get rid of the used chemicals? I reckon you can't put it in your household garbage or pour it into your kitchen sink, can you?

Thanks.

Brake fluid (ethylene glycol based) is not very good for removing "chrome" (actually thin layer of aluminum and a clear coat) from plastic.  This liquid cannot be dumped into a sink - has to be disposed of properly.  Maybe your local car mechanic can recycle it. But I would not use it for "chrome" stripping.

Sodium hydroxide (Lye) is much better for the job.  Purple Stuff, LA Awesome and Easy-Off oven cleaner are Lye based.  Lye is also main ingredient in drain pipe clog removers.  Those are all household chemicals and should be safe to dump in a drain (might even clean your pipes). :D

I see that you are in Germany.  I'm surprised that you can find some of those chemicals in your country. Germany might also have stricter laws for chemical disposal than USA.

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12 hours ago, peteski said:

Brake fluid (ethylene glycol based) is not very good for removing "chrome" (actually thin layer of aluminum and a clear coat) from plastic.  This liquid cannot be dumped into a sink - has to be disposed of properly.  Maybe your local car mechanic can recycle it. But I would not use it for "chrome" stripping.

Sodium hydroxide (Lye) is much better for the job.  Purple Stuff, LA Awesome and Easy-Off oven cleaner are Lye based.  Lye is also main ingredient in drain pipe clog removers.  Those are all household chemicals and should be safe to dump in a drain (might even clean your pipes). :D

I see that you are in Germany.  I'm surprised that you can find some of those chemicals in your country. Germany might also have stricter laws for chemical disposal than USA.

Peter, thanks a lot for your reply. Ha-ha, might even clean my pipes, that's a good one!! Will think about that:D. Well, we certainly do have the products over here as well but we surely use different names for them. Actually I don't know the US laws so we might have stricter laws here regarding the disposal of said chemicals. I thought I read somewhere in this thread that someone used brake fluid in a Tupperware container and put the whole body of a car into it to remove the paint. But I might misread it because of my poor knowledge of your language. Anyway, this thread is really interesting to me, I've learned a lot. Thanks again and take care.

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8 hours ago, HJK said:

Peter, thanks a lot for your reply. Ha-ha, might even clean my pipes, that's a good one!! Will think about that:D. Well, we certainly do have the products over here as well but we surely use different names for them. Actually I don't know the US laws so we might have stricter laws here regarding the disposal of said chemicals. I thought I read somewhere in this thread that someone used brake fluid in a Tupperware container and put the whole body of a car into it to remove the paint. But I might misread it because of my poor knowledge of your language. Anyway, this thread is really interesting to me, I've learned a lot. Thanks again and take care.

Yes, I suspect that German environmental protection laws are stricter in Germany than in USA (especially in the last 3 years).

You are correct. Ethylene Glycol based brake fluid is used by some modelers to strip paint (not "chrome" plating) from plastic  car bodies.   So it is more of a paint stripper than "chrome" stripper.  It will eventually affect "chrome", but the sodium hydroxide solutions are much better for "chrome" stripping.   And going the other way, sodium hydroxide also works for stripping paint from plastic model cars. There is another sticky thread dedicated to paint stripping.

So while both ethylene glycol, and sodium hydroxide are good for stripping paint from plastic items, I prefer sodium hydroxide for stripping "chrome".

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On ‎5‎/‎29‎/‎2020 at 10:39 PM, peteski said:

Yes, I suspect that German environmental protection laws are stricter in Germany than in USA (especially in the last 3 years).

You are correct. Ethylene Glycol based brake fluid is used by some modelers to strip paint (not "chrome" plating) from plastic  car bodies.   So it is more of a paint stripper than "chrome" stripper.  It will eventually affect "chrome", but the sodium hydroxide solutions are much better for "chrome" stripping.   And going the other way, sodium hydroxide also works for stripping paint from plastic model cars. There is another sticky thread dedicated to paint stripping.

So while both ethylene glycol, and sodium hydroxide are good for stripping paint from plastic items, I prefer sodium hydroxide for stripping "chrome".

Peter, thanks again. Ok, I've got the message regarding sodium hydroxide. But how often can you use it to strip paints? Do you have to dispose it after one truck or car? Or do you have to pour it through a strainer after each use and dispose only the residue in the strainer?

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I’ve never tried using caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) more than once, but it’s a chemical reaction with the aluminium that forms the “chrome” coating. As long as there’s still sodium hydroxide in the solution left to react, it will keep working, but when it’s all formed aluminium hydroxide it won’t. One reason I’ve never tried it more than once is that it’s cheap enough not to worry about ... a lb of caustic soda powder is £1 more or less, and lasts a year or more... about 10-12 builds. I put a couple of tablespoons in a pint of water to strip a full chrome spruce or two. The other good thing about it is that since it’s sold as drain cleaner you can just pour it down your sink when you’re done... WEAR GLOVES!!!

best,

M.

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2 hours ago, Matt Bacon said:

I’ve never tried using caustic soda (sodium hydroxide) more than once, but it’s a chemical reaction with the aluminium that forms the “chrome” coating. As long as there’s still sodium hydroxide in the solution left to react, it will keep working, but when it’s all formed aluminium hydroxide it won’t. One reason I’ve never tried it more than once is that it’s cheap enough not to worry about ... a lb of caustic soda powder is £1 more or less, and lasts a year or more... about 10-12 builds. I put a couple of tablespoons in a pint of water to strip a full chrome spruce or two. The other good thing about it is that since it’s sold as drain cleaner you can just pour it down your sink when you’re done... WEAR GLOVES!!!

best,

M.

That's the info I wanted to know. Thanks a lot Matt.

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On 5/28/2020 at 6:09 PM, peteski said:

Brake fluid (ethylene glycol based) is not very good for removing "chrome" (actually thin layer of aluminum and a clear coat) from plastic.  This liquid cannot be dumped into a sink - has to be disposed of properly.

Maybe all the members here who use brake fluid to remove paint and chrome plating can let us know how they properly dispose of it.

Easy-Off in the spray can is a one-time use product, and is water soluble, so it's relatively easy to wash down the drain.

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4 hours ago, HJK said:

Peter, thanks again. Ok, I've got the message regarding sodium hydroxide. But how often can you use it to strip paints? Do you have to dispose it after one truck or car? Or do you have to pour it through a strainer after each use and dispose only the residue in the strainer?

I not meaning to cheeky, but this thread (with over 240 messages) has answers to those questions.  You might want to consider reading through the messages (or at least skimming through them to find your answers.).  There is also similar thread about chemicals for stripping paint from plastic models (this one has over 500 posts in it). Again, skimming over those posts will answer your questions.  These threads are made "sticky" on purpose (so you can find answers to questions that have been frequently asked).

I don't just use straight sodium hydroxide for paint or "chrome" stripping. I use products which contain sodium hydroxide (like I already mentioned: Castro Super Clean, generic "puprple power", Original Easy Off Oven Cleaner).  Oven cleaner is a spray, so I only use it once.  But the other liquids can be reused multiple times until they are too weak to be useful.   Also worth mentioning is that the temperature of the stripping liquid plays a role in how well it works.  Cold makes it work slower, and warm makes it work faster.  You don't want to make it hot, but warm works really well (probably around 30 deg C). Again, at leas skimming through this and the paint stripping thread will give you lots of useful information.

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