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nickel plating question Answered


There is instruction on this address https://www.instructables.com/id/High-Quality-and-safe-Nickel-Plating/
how to make high quality and safe nickel plating,and i have some question about that.
When he showed to add salt to the vinegar in order to make the vinegar  more conductive,isnt the salt become Na and Cl ions?
Will the Na positive ion stick to the negative nickel plate?(while making the nickel solution-step 3)?
Will the Na positive ions stick to the item that we are plating besides the nickel( in the plating process-step 5)?
will it spoil the object that we are plating with nickel?

I see in the supermarket vinegar which said"synthetic vinegar" 5% acetic acid,water.(for food).Is it ok?

when he said(step 4)"You can further clean your object by reverse electroplating (ie "electrocleaning") it for a few seconds.  Hook your object up to a negative voltage, a WIRE to the positive voltage, and drop them both in a vinegar salt solution for 10-30 seconds.  This will remove any left over oxidation"
What wire did he mean?

and the last one:how pure is the nickel should be?because i notice that most of the nickel sheet are about 99%-99.7% purity.is it ok?
can i use pure nickel strip(97% pure nickel)that is used for battery welding?

Thanks in advance.


Bobblehead Einstein

5 years ago

basically you are making a nickel acetate solution(for the electrolyte),I am no chemistry genius but i know this thing will work(i run a electroplating plant that involves me to electroplate stuff for other's)

the purity of nickel is not much issue (the imputity will settle in the bottom of the container as annode mud)........nothing to worry about

electroplating causes particles from anode to move toward's cathode,basicaly nickel particles move from the anode to the cathode(object to be plated).......where as in reverse electroplating (connecting object to the annode) will remove any layer of oxidation......resulting in a good plating.

during electroplating keep in mind

More voltage=faster plating but poor finish

less voltage =excellent finish but very slow!!!

xchcuiBobblehead Einstein

Reply 5 years ago

Hi Bobblehead Einstein.

Thank you very much for your explanation.
Now the subject is much much more understandable.
I had one more question that regards to what is happening in the solution when the two nickel plates(as anode and cathode)are in the vinegar salt solution.(while makind the nickel acetate).
I understand that the H+ ion are going to the cathode and the Cl and O ions are going to the anode while nickel ions get into the solution from the Nickel anode,and after awhile the solution becomes light green(nickel acetate).But at this reaction,when the nickel positive ions dissolved from the anode into the solution,doesn't they should be attracted to the cathode and plate the nickel cathode?
It seems like it doesn't happen as i seethat the solution become after all,nickel acetate,but i can't figure out what is exactly happen?

Bobblehead Einsteinxchcui

Reply 5 years ago

Chemical Reaction:-

Ni + 2 CH3COOH → C4H6NiO4 + H2
NiCO3 + 2 CH3COOH → C4H6NiO4 + CO2 + H2O
That's all i can do , as i said earlier i am no chemistry genius.(Theory is not my thing).Was able to help you with the prior knowledge i had on this subject.
giving you a link to a person who can help you clear your doubt


Send him a PM he is always's there to help

xchcuiBobblehead Einstein

Reply 5 years ago

I understand that by reversing the polarity i can clean the object.
The object should be the Anode(+),
But(regard to the solution electrolyte in the article)what material should be the cathode?
You said"a metal piece"Do you mean any kind of metal?
Can it be nickel plate,copper wire,iron,steel and ect.
And what should be the solution when i make that reverse electroplating?Should i prepare new electrolyte with vinegar and salt?or i should do it with the green acetate vinegar electrolyte(that was made before the forth step)?
My confusion is also due to the instruction in the article at step 4 when he mention to hook the object up to the NEGATIVE voltage for the cleaning(electro cleaning),and a WIRE(which kind of wire?)to the positive.While,as far as i understand,it should be opposite?

Bobblehead Einsteinxchcui

Reply 5 years ago


For making the electrolyte-anode and cathode should be nickel

For reverse electroplating(you are basically trying to send the oxidation to the other matherial from the object)-use a piece of steel or un insulated copper wire

for reverse electroplating use only a plain salt vinegar solution(not the acetate one).

Step 4- could be a typo on the negative voltage.

the wire he is mentioning is for the cathode in reverse electroplating like i mentioned a wire (coper, steel or iron) or a piece of metal

xchcuiBobblehead Einstein

Reply 5 years ago

Hi Bobblehead Einstein.
Thanks for your reply.

There is something that i have not understood,yet.
In reverse electroplating,in order to remove any layer of oxidation,as you mentioned,i should connect the object to the annode.
And what should be connected to the cathode?the nickel plate?
Because I am trying to understand step 4 when he said:

"You can further clean your object by reverse electroplating (ie "electrocleaning") it for a few seconds. Hook your object up to a negative voltage, a wire to the positive voltage, and drop them both in a vinegar salt solution for 10-30 seconds. This will remove any left over oxidation."
He mentioned to connect the object to cathode(negative voltage),
While i didn't understand what should be connected to the anode(positive voltage)?The nickel plate?What did he meant when he said WIRE?
And should i use new vinegar salt solution as mentioned or he intended to the nickel acetate solution that had been made before?

Thanks in advance.

Bobblehead Einsteinxchcui

Reply 5 years ago

For electroplating:-

Anode(+)Nickel(bar,rod or anything you can find)

Cathode(-)The object you wish to electroplate

For Reverse electroplating simply change the order of object

Anode(+)the object(to remove any Rust/oxidation)

Cathode(-)a wire or a metal piece

1-Thoroughly clean the object with a soap solution(to remove any oil or grease residue)

2- Acid clean the object(this will remove most of the oxidation rust and stuff)

3-reverse electroplate the object(this will remove any remaining oxidation)


To prepare the electrolyte take some Vinegar and add some salt(to increase the conductivity),put this solution in a non metallic jar(like plastic or glass) place 2 pieces of nickel pieces big enough & connect them with 2 wires (with the help of alligator clip's or any other method you prefer)away from each other in the solution(do not let the alligator clips or wires touch the electrolyte or it may get contaminated) , connect those wires to a DC current source.Leave it for a while(nearly 1-2 hours),the solution will turn green in color , if the color is any other than green then it may be due to impure nickel pieces or that your wires came in contact with the solution).During the process bubbles of hydrogen and oxygen will form accordingly on anode and cathode respectively).

Hope this helps you to understand

The picture attached below is to help you understand better on this topic.(e- in the pic shows the flow of electrons)