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Cleaning Formulations

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  • Cleaning Formulations


    I'd be interested in any cleaning methods that you have used to get the best plating results. This is a most challenging area. I've heard a variety of ideas that work for different people from brake cleaner to Dawn dishwashing soap.

    One trick I have learned is the use of ultrasonics. This is difficult because larger parts will not fit in an average sized (2-3 gallon) cleaner. There is a very good ammonia based degreaser sold for clock movement cleaning by L&R, Ronell and others. It is a concentrate. One cup makes a gallon of solution. Either as a soak cleaner or in the ultrasonic tank, it just lifts buffing grease right off!

    If you want to make the equivalent yourself, these solutions are basically a soapy mixture of 2 ounces oleic acid, 4 oz acetone, and 8 oz highly concentrated ammonia, with 1 gallon of water. Denatured alcohol works almost as well as acetone.

    Unfortunately this does not prep the article for plating, at least not completely. You can plate directly from this step, but the results may be erratic. I've found that some plater's professional grade cleaners using lye (NaOH) as a final soak clean will yield professional results every time. However, these are not generally available and can be extremely hazardous if they come in contact with the skin or eyes. Perhaps you've discovered some other tricks?

    Have you had good luck with SP Degreaser? What process do you use?

    Kind regards,

  • #2
    i use simple green heated to 125f and it lifts the grease right off then i wash it again with plain soap and hot water with steam jenny


    • #3
      I am not familiar with your "green heater" term. Can you explain?

      Kind regards,


      • #4
        I think he meated "heated"


        • #5
          electrocleaning works perfect for me.



          • #6
            I experimented with the pro cleaning solution and electrocleaning with astoundingly good results. However I noticed that this approach depleted the cleaning formulation quickly. But it cleaned very thoroughly. Bill what cleaning formulation do you use with your electrocleaning?

            I went to Kohl's one Sunday afternoon and bought a pair of tall stainless steel kitchen pots (for soup or similar) including lids. Both of them cost me under $8. Then I put the small container inside the large one, filling the void in between with water. I then put the whole thing on a $10 electric burner purchased at Walgreens. I haven't been able to find a better method for heating the cleaning solution. It protects me from accidentally boiling out the cleaning solution and regulates the temperature better than any other method I have tried. Talk about simplicity.

            When I get the itch to use electrocleaning, the stainless steel pot makes a great anode surround (or cathode if you prefer). I hang the part from the same wire to be used in the plating tanks and connect it to my power supply along with the stainless steel tank. Works very well.



            • #7
              Simple Green is a de-greasing product.
              I believe customandsound meant he sprays down the part with Simple Green and cooked it to loosen the grease.


              • #8
                Or did CustomsounD actually heat a pot of "Simple Green" concentrate ( mixed down or straight concentrate?) and drop the parts into it?