Aluminium Electroplating at Home




Anodization (aka electroplating) a kind of hydrolysis that used to prevent long term corrosion on metal and make them scratch-resistant. also it's plated metal holds the paint better.

Usually it's an expensive process and hard to access necessary materials, but most metals such as aluminum & copper can be anodized with household items.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Components

- sandpaper

- salt

- distilled vinegar, rice vinegar works too

- cellphone charger (5v / 350~500ma)

- a nickel plated thing such as coin, wrench, key etc.

Step 2: Prepare Metal

First clean the material and remove the crust with sandpaper, that's removes the self-oxidated surface and increases the electrical conductivity

Step 3: Prepare Solution

fill electrolysis cup with the 1/4 vinegar, add salt and water

Step 4: Placement

connect positive probe to nickel plated element and negative to material to anodize. Vinegar leaves dark traces on edges that voltage doesn't reach, try to align center and use multiple positive probes if possible.

Step 5: Power On

observe the white bubbles around the material, if it's affects only one side, rotate the element on each 30 seconds. Also you need to do that in a well ventilated area due to poisonous gas output.

Keep the power on until anodizer completely dries out, remove the material and clean with a paper towel. it's important to remove dark scars while it's fresh.

Step 6: Results

you might not notice so big visual changes on first sight, try to scratch element. process is successful if material not easily getting damaged.

1 Person Made This Project!


  • Made with Math Contest

    Made with Math Contest
  • Cardboard Speed Challenge

    Cardboard Speed Challenge
  • Multi-Discipline Contest

    Multi-Discipline Contest

3 Discussions


2 years ago

Anodizing is creating a thick, porous aluminum oxide surface on aluminum metal which can then be dyed various colors and sealed to retain the color.


2 years ago

Unless I misunderstood, this is electroplating, not actual anodizing, right? Anodizing is only done on aluminium normally, and it involves building up an oxide layer of aluminium on the surface to make the metal's finish more durable. Because you added the coin, this is electrolytic nickel plating, right?

Nice job!

1 reply

Reply 2 years ago

you right that's nickel plating, terms can be confusing. most people referring anodizing to a similar process that involves electrolytic painting like cases of apple products