How I remove anodizing from trim

Discussion in 'Tips 'n' Tricks Topic' started by Scatter, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. 80WA7113

    80WA7113 Veteran Member

    May 22, 2002
    Indianapolis, IN

    Caustic soda is the ingredient in oven cleaner, greased lightning, etc... that is the chemical which breaks down the anodize finish on the aluminum trim. Do you have household Lye (crystal drain opener) in the Netherlands? Lye is caustic soda, and I guarantee it will cut your anodize-strip time down to a minimum.


    This is what I used and it works fast. It was about $4.00 for a 16oz jar, and I think I used about 4 heaping tablespoons/gallon of water, and in one batch I stripped the anodizing off of my windshield trim, rear window trim, and headlight bezels. It's MUCH cheaper and much more effective than greased lightning, and there's enough product in there for you to strip more trim than you'll ever want to.

    CAUTION: When working with caustic soda, always use heavy duty Nitrile gloves and wear eye protection (goggles). If you get any on your skin, rinse it off immediately. Caustic soda will burn you.
  2. 76 camaro car 1

    76 camaro car 1 Veteran Member

    Apr 23, 2010
    Is the lye safe to use on the aluminum bumpers?
  3. 80WA7113

    80WA7113 Veteran Member

    May 22, 2002
    Indianapolis, IN
    Yes, but to get the anodize coating off requires soaking for a short period. To strip bumpers may require a little creativity on your part. ;)
  4. Burbo

    Burbo Veteran Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    New Hampshire
    This is a great Thread thanks everyone. Im at this point with my t-top (1980 Z28) I was able to sand the outer trim and then etched (SEM) and then did the high build primer (SEM) Dont know what trim paint to use as of yet. But when I came to the larger piece of trim I sanded it etch it and the paint crack and chipped right off so im off to give this a try I'll try and post more pics as i go
  5. 70 RS

    70 RS Veteran Member

    May 27, 2012
    Laveen, AZ
    Back when I was a kid, I would use EZ Off oven cleaner to take the red anodizing off of my aluminum bmx bike parts, to take the red off it would take two or three coats but they would end up looking dark gray/black splotchey then I would get out my polish and they ended up looking like the other members headlight trim ring, you can also use paint Stripper in a spray can (home dept,lowes) it has the same effect with one coat. Greased Lightning works just as good, just not a concentraded EZ off or the paint stripper. Propper ventalation, gloves and mask a good idea in any of the products.
  6. kttrucks

    kttrucks Member

    Jan 13, 2014
    Nashville TN
    Ill second 70RS with the EZoff oven cleaner... works great. Eastwood's anodize remover is what I use now.
  7. 70sbudget

    70sbudget Veteran Member

    Mar 21, 2008
    san diego
    The acid in tomatoes works on copper in this case.
  8. 70 RS

    70 RS Veteran Member

    May 27, 2012
    Laveen, AZ
    You can get greased lightning at Lowes or Home Depot in a gallon or 16 oz spray bottle, its in the cleaner/broom/mop isle.
  9. buildinmy73

    buildinmy73 Veteran Member

    Oct 20, 2007
    Bernardston, MA
    what are you guy/gals doing with the trim after stripping the anodizing? clear coating ? powder coat? re-anodize?
  10. garyandcindy

    garyandcindy Veteran Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    I used this to strip my bumpers about 5 years ago.I took a long piece of osb and screwed some 1x8's to it to make a trough big enough for the bumpers.i then took some 6 mil poly and folded it so I had 4 layers.i tucked it down in the box I made and stapled it around the top.laid my bumper in and mixed up the lye and water.Let it soak for about and hour and flipped it over.Worked great.But think ahead about draining the solution.I drilled a 1" hole in the osb and when I was done I just put a bucket under the hole and stuck a screw driver thru the poly and let it drain.I then polished my bumpers.Did not coat them with anything.Just give them a good polishing about once a year.

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