Monday, March 18, 2013

Remove Brass Plating Easily, While Channeling MacGyver

Recently I purchased in bulk for one of our projects and by mistake, ordered the wrong finish on our D Rings for our leather belt loops. Instead of wasting time and money to send the D Rings back, I started researching about how to remove brass electro plating from the nickel plated finish that we originally wanted.

Instead of spending hours with sand paper I learned about the quick process of high strength oven cleaner and the magic that it uses. Well, not necessarily the magic of one as great as Gandalf, but the magic that resides within sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. Depending on which oven cleaner you find, check the information on the spray can if you are interested in the exact chemistry. I got lucky and scored this Easy Off from the Dollar Store.

To make the process even easier and much more ideal for my eyes and nose, I dropped the D Rings into a plastic bowl and sprayed them with the oven cleaner to cover them thoroughly. With the D Rings covered I let the chemicals do their magic and left them to soak for about 16 hours. After checking on them once to see if they were done, I noticed they needed a bit more time and added some more oven cleaner.

After a full 24 hours the D Rings, all the brass electro plating had been removed and now I just had to clean them off with some towels. Included is a photo of one of the cleaned D Rings in our custom leather belt loops. Whatever you are deciding to clean a brass or gold plating finish from, do it in a well ventilated area as the chemicals within the oven cleaner are quite strong.

Check out the post we wrote up for this on

Get the brass removing process started. Go buy some oven cleaner and grab a plastic bowl
The D Rings ready to go into the chemical bath.
Dropped into the cup and ready to spray down.
The brass plated D Rings soaking in the chemical bath.
Make sure to thoroughly coat the brass that is to be removed.
Almost done, at this stage it was about 16 hours of chemical soaking. Add some more oven cleaner and keep soaking for a few more hours.
D Rings are all finished
One of our signature style belt loops using engraved Indian Head nickels on the snap rings