Dull zinc plating, patchy black oxide, non uniform brass antique/patina caused from metal cleaning problem. Cleanliness is next to Godliness.

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By Eric Olander


We have all heard being clean is a sign of spiritual purity or goodness, as in don't forget to wash your ears—cleanliness is next to godliness. This phrase was first recorded in a sermon by John Wesley in 1778, but the idea is ancient, found in Babylonian and Hebrew religious tracts. It is still invoked, often as an admonition to wash or clean up.

A cleaned metal (steel,copper,brass zinc,stainless steel, aluminum and  plus others) surface is good for all types of metal finishing.



The two zinc plated parts above show how a dirty part can cause a dull zinc plated finish. Operator tendency will be add more zinc brightener thinking a zinc plating problem of being low in brightener. The only difference in the two parts is the cleaning chemistry as they were both plated out of the same zinc bath.

 Parts not blackening? The video below speaks for itself.

The first time you see the panel being pulled out of the Insta Blak 333 you can observe the blackening solution running of and leaving a bead/streak of solution. If the part was cleaned the solution would blacken the part and and the solution would uniformly wet the surface.


EPi has cleaning processes for:

Electroplating E-Kleen SR line for soak and electro clean applications.

Black Oxide E-Kleen SR102-E  prior to Ultra Blak 400/Kool Blak 225 and E-Kleen SR-148-E prior to Insta Blak 333.

Brass antiquing/ patina for architectural hardware  E-Kleen 163 and/or E-Kleen 154 phosphoric acid based remove lights oils and acid dips in one step.

High pressure spray cleaning E-Kleen 149-L, E-Kleen 148-B, and E-Kleen 166.

Additional steps for cleaning include an E-Pik Acid salts for deoxidizing and E-Preps  metal preps for black oxide and other preps prior to plating