How to Polish Nickel Plating

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  • 1 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 25
What You'll Need
Soft, clean cloth
Pure ammonia
Oven cleaner
Steel wool
Nickel polish
Small dish
Cotton balls or pads

Many metal items, like jewelry and silverware, are plated with nickel because it’s cheap and has a shiny luster. However, this type of plating tarnishes easily. Check out the different ways you can polish your nickel-plated items to keep them looking newer for longer.

Warning: Do not use any of the products in these steps together. In addition, use these cleaners in well-ventilated areas only. If your nickel-plated items include silverware, make sure you clean off any chemicals before using them to eat with.

Step 1 – Clean With a Cloth

Before trying any harsher methods, you should remove as much dirt and grime from your nickel-plated items as you can with a soft, clean cloth. Buff the area in small circular motions.

Step 2 – Use Oven Cleaner

Next, try using a product you might already have in your cabinet ­— oven cleaner. Spray a small amount of the cleaner onto your plated items, and clean it off with a soft cloth.

Step 3 – Use WD-40

If the oven-cleaner trick doesn’t work, try using some WD-40 and steel wool. If your nickel items are tarnished or green-looking, use a small amount of WD-40 and steel wool to gently scrub your items clean. Wipe any leftover residue away with a soft, clean cloth.

Step 4 – Use Nickel Polish

One of the easiest and safest ways to clean your nickel-plated items is to purchase a non-abrasive product made specifically for polishing nickel. This polish usually comes in a bottle and is made to use with cotton balls or pads. Use the cotton and polish according to the product to clean the items.

Step 5 – Use Ammonia

Disclaimer: If the nickel plating is especially thin, or if you leave the nickel-plated item in the ammonia solution for too long, you could irreversibly damage your items.

Ammonia is not only good for cleaning floors and bathrooms, but also for cleaning nickel-plated items. Using pure ammonia, immerse the nickel-plated object into a small dish of undiluted, pure ammonia. Let the items sit for no longer than five minutes, or you could damage your items. Take them out of the solution, and wipe clean with a soft cloth.