Parts Cleaning Clinic: Brass Cleaning


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David Peterson



Q. How do I clean brass to be powder coated?

A. Assuming you have some mill oil or metalworking lubricant on the surface of the brass, the minimum pretreatment needed is a degreasing of some type. Depending on what you have available and the number and size of your parts, that could range from a manual wiping with a solvent from your hardware store (naphtha or mineral spirits) with clean, lint-free rags, to a fully automated, conveyorized spray wash system. You will need to make the decision as to what to do based on the size of the operation you are undertaking. 

If only applying a clear powder coat, then you will need to brighten the brass in some way. This can be accomplished by use of specially formulated cleaners. Most are mildly to strongly acidic. This deoxidizes and brightens the surface prior to powder coating. Most of these chemicals can be provided by suppliers at listed on PFonline.com.


Originally published in the November 2016 issue.