To enable you to achieve a good finish on your plated work it is essential to prepare your items before any plating is attempted. The most important part of the plating process is the cleaning of the parts to be plated; the parts must be spotlessly clean and chemically clean. Parts that have any traces of film of any sort on them will plate poorly or the plate will tend to peel off.
Peeling plate is always a sign of poor cleaning procedure.
Jane Kits recommends and supplies two cleaners to ensure your items to be plated are chemically clean. These are Janeclean and Partswash.
If your items are new or are in good condition a brushing of Partswash would be sufficient.
If the items are in poor condition, rusty or corroded, hang them in the Janeclean and monitor them occasionally. Take them out and rinse when they are free of rust or corrosion.
Janeclean is a powerful rust and scale remover which will clean items showing signs of rust or other corrosion. It is ideal as a preparation for parts before they go into the plating bath.
Ideal mix for Janeclean is 1 part Janeclean to 2 parts water.
Janeclean can be used neat if required.
Partswash is a very strong cleaner which removes all traces of grease or films immediately before your parts go into the plating bath. Using this cleaner ensures that the parts to be plated are spotlessly clean.
The ratio of Partswash to water is not critical, a soapy solution is all that is required.
The best way to clean the items would be to brush them using a toothbrush for small items or a kitchen brush for larger items.
WATER BREAK TEST
The most valuable test for cleanliness prior to plating is the water break test where the part is dipped in clean water; the water should hang on the surface of the part in a thin unbroken sheet. Any beading indicates that there is still some sort of a film left on the part and the part will not plate successfully. The better the preparation and cleaning of the parts the better the final result will be. Cleaners containing solvents should not be used, water based cleaners will ensure success.