Stripping chrome with Muriatic Acid?


Over 1,000 Posts
Trying to find a set of brake/clutch levers for the bike I'm building, but don't want to spend a ton on them if possible but also don't want shiny chrome all over them either. I found a set on Ebay -

and am looking into ways of stripping the chrome off them - apparently muriatic acid is one way of doing it. I know nothing about the stuff or the process/hazards involved - can anyone shed any light on this?

Also, will the muriatic acid strip the nickel plate underneath the chrome (hope so - my aim is to get these levers back to raw aluminium)

Thanks, and high fives from Montreal =)


Over 1,000 Posts
Thinking about it more, might make more sense to buy a set with black paint (pvd?) rather than chrome - that would have to be easier to remove, no?

Sent from my iPhone using DO THE TON


New Member
I've done it, but you'll likely be left with nickel plating under the chrome (as I was), which I believe is easier to sandblast off than chrome. If you want to strip chrome and nickel (electro)chemically in one go, sulfuric (auto battery) acid is a better bet. As shown here:

Edit: I've never tried the above, I'm just going by what's said in the video - where he claims he's removing "chrome" from the bolt (though the video title states "nickel" - but it definitely looks like chrome to me). A quick google search, however, claims that it's actually a two-step process, stripping the chrome with hydrochloric (muriatic) acid first, then stripping the nickel with sulfuric. I've personally removed chrome and zinc from steel parts with hydrochloric acid, but never tried the electrochemical method on chrome or nickel, nor either process on aluminum.


Active Member
If the levers are aluminum.... beware, the acid etches aluminum about 10x faster than chrome. If there are any pits or breaks in the chrome, you will have a canyon in the aluminum long before the chrome is gone.


If the levers are steel, the muriatic will do a fine job.


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