An introduction to chrome stripping with Safe-T-Strip

An introduction to chrome stripping with Safe-T-Strip plus a trouble shooting table

You may want to brush plate an item that has already been chrome plated, for example an antique cigarette lighter or bathroom tap. If this is the case you will need to strip off the layer of chromium, as this plated layer is impossible to plate over.
Spa Plating has made this chrome stripping task much easier in a number of ways. Our Safe-T-Strip means won’t have to electro-activate after stripping and before plating; all you'll need to do is simply rub with MPU. Another way you can make it even more straightforward is by using our Expansion Box. It has a handy switch that allows you to quickly reverse and un-reverse the current, and means you don’t have to reverse current by plugging and unplugging your leads manually from the rectifier.

Chrome stripping Trouble Shooting

One of the most important things to remember when you are chrome stripping is to make sure you reverse the voltage in order to strip and then, when stripping is complete, that you reverse the voltage back again to normal for plating. It’s very easy to forget to do this, so keep checking as you go along.


Type of problem Possible reason What to do
No stripping taking place 1 Incomplete electrical circuit
2. Article not in fact chrome plated
but made from
some other highly polished metal, such as stainless steel.
3. Chrome already stripped!
1. Check all electrical connections
and clean if necessary. Make sure
the swab is fully soaked in solution;
if not, re-dip the stainless steel electrode
and leave to soak for a few seconds.
Check you have reversed the
normal current at the rectifier by
either plugging the black lead into
the red socket and the red into the
black or, if you are using the Expansion
Box, the switch is in the ‘strip’ position. CAUTION! Remember to reverse
back all of the leads and switches when you come to plate, as you may damage your work if you forget.
2. You may be able to go straight ahead with cleaning and activating with MPU and then plating.
3. Pay special attention to parts that you suspect only have a thin layer of chrome. You can reduce the voltage to 4 volts to increase the stripping time.
Chrome stripping very slow 1. Unusually thick layer of chrome plate.
2. Poor electrical contact.
1. Allow more time than usual to strip.
2. Check and clean all contacts.
After stripping, surface of work underneath is dull or is, in extreme cases, etched. Voltage for stripping set too high.
Reduce the voltage to 6 volts and continue. This problem is particularly common with thick chrome plate, for example on some kinds of car badges. If the work is getting quite hot, stop stripping for a moment to allow it to cool and then continue. Polish out the dullness or etch using the buffing wheel.

Our Expansion Box makes chrome stripping easier because it has a handy 'Strip/Plate' switch. This means to reverse and reset the current for chrome stripping doesn't involve having to unplug and reverse the red and black leads at the power source. All you have to do is flip the switch!

2 responses to “An introduction to chrome stripping with Safe-T-Strip”

  1. Hi ime looking to strip bright chome i polish antique metals and alot are chrome plated ive been grinding it off it takes a lot of time and work ive been told it can be striped in a tank by reversing the curent do you sell anything like that also do i need chemicals for tank hope you can help thanks reg

    • Hello Reg,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      The issue with chrome is that there is a thick layer of nickel below it which is a lot more difficult to strip than chrome.
      There are some nickel strippers on the market, but to work at a reasonable rate, they need to be heated and can get rather smelly.
      I think your best bet is to continue mechanically removing the chrome (and nickel).
      Best regards
      Spa Plating

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