The most important process in electroplating is cleaning and pre-plating preparation. This cannot be stressed enough!
What do we mean by clean?
It is the removal of all dirt, oxides, and unwanted contaminants that will affect adhesion and finish of the metal surface. In plating terms, a clean item will have an activated surface made entirely of metal particles.
If the surface is not clean, then the subsequent electroplate will have various problems. This can be black marks, peeling and delamination, sludge’s, and could potentially lead to contamination of the electrolyte which can cause the kit to no longer work.
It is therefore definitely worth the extra time taken to clean the part thoroughly.
There are 5 main types of cleaning methods:
soak, abrasive, solvent, detergent, electro. You may have to use a combination
of these to achieve a soil free surface on the part you want to plate.