The key to getting a great finish on your rhodium plating is to keep your process simple. Before getting into process, though, you must always remember the “golden” rule: If it’s not clean, it won’t plate.

That being the case, it shouldn’t surprise you that the first orders of business are to:

  1. Polish the piece to a brillant, high finish
  2. Clean thoroughly in an ultrasonic cleaner
  3. 2-5 minutes: Rinse in clean, running water
  4. Steam Clean
  5. 30-60 seconds: Electro Clean at 100-120° F, using 2-6 volts in a stainless beaker with the positive lead attached to the beaker and the negative attached to the piece
  6. 2-5 minutes: Rinse again in clean, running water
  7. 30-60 seconds: Use activator at room temperature with 0 volts
  8. 2-5 minutes: Rinse yet again in clean, running water


Now to get down to the rhodium plating process:

  1. 15-25 seconds: Heat the rhodium plate to 98° F, using 2-4 volts with the negative lead attached to the piece hung on a gold wire, and positive to platinum titanium anode (Note: The more time in the rhodium the less volts; the less time, more volts)
  2. 2-5 minutes: Rinse in clean, running water
  3. Steam dry and wipe with a soft cloth


Simple enough, right? Well, what if it doesn't go as smoothly as planned and you end up with black plating, dark spots, or a frosty-looking finish? Here are some tips that may help:

  • Use a gold hook to suspend the piece from an alligator clip for plating. Never use copper in rhodium because it will contaiminate your rhodium.
  • Keep your plating bath covered when it's not in use.
  • Replace water, which has evaporated from your bath, with distilled water to the original level.
  • If you're getting black plating: Check that your mounting is clean; be sure to use an electro cleaner or activator; check that you're voltage isn't too high; replace your rhodium solution because it may be contaminated.
  • Dark spots are usually caused by pieces not being thoroughly cleaned. Though you can usually remove them using a soft, buff wheel with red rouge and light pressure, it's best to clean the pieces first and avoid the spots instead.
  • Frosty rhodium is usually the result of high voltage.

Now you're on your way to achieving a great finish with your rhodium plating. But, if you're still not getting the results, you want, just give us a call, email, or live chat with us. We're here to help.