Does Nickel Plated Rust?

Nickel is trusted by many when it comes to protecting metals from rust. However, it is also common to hear this question, does nickel plated rust? Most people tend to have a misconception of the nickel type that rust. So read further.

Yes, nickel-plated will not rust. However, it may rust due to poor plating and some other factors. In other words, poor nickel plating is worse than no plating at all as it will rust without wasting time.

Nickel plating resists rust and corrosion very well. If a nickel-plated object is scratched deeply, the steel or copper underneath can rust, but the overall appearance of the nickel finish has to be badly damaged before you see any rust.

Also, Nickel plating is commonly used for products that need to be corrosion and wear-resistant. As such, it’s the finish you see on the highest quality door handles and faucets. In addition, it is widely used to provide a decorative coating on top of another metal, often steel.

It provides an extremely durable and relatively inexpensive coating that is both decorative and resistant to tarnishing. You should read further to learn more about Nickel-plated materials, how to use and ways to prevent and protect from rust.

What Can Make Nickel Plated To Rust?

Several things can make nickel-plated to rust, some of them are:

What Can Make Nickel Plated To Rust

Poor Plating

This is one of the major factors why some nickel-plated rust. Not plating the metal properly will leave some parts open. This will in turn oxidize and rust, also exposing the plated sides to oxidation too, thus making your nickel-plated to rust.


Like all preservation methods, nickel plating is meant to preserve your metal for an extended period. As time goes on, the nickel plating can become dull and start to tarnish. That is why most nickels are lacquered to slow down this process.

Scratches and Crevices

If you scratch the nickel plating or it somehow gets a bore on it, the nickel plating can rust. This is because the exposed area will be open to air and external factors like humidity.  This can make the nickel-plated rust.

Does Nickel Rust In Saltwater?

Yes, it will. Saltwater bores holes on metals and nickel plating faster than normal water. It is highly corrosive and will act on the plating very aggressively.

Does Nickel Rust In Saltwater

Nickel-plated metals rust faster in flowing seawater than in stagnant ones. If a nickel plating is exposed to saltwater, though it will not rust immediately, the exposure will hasten the rusting process. Nevertheless, being exposed to sprinkles of saltwater or an insignificant quantity of it will not make much of a difference.

Is Nickel Plating Durable?

Yes, it is. Nickel plating is very durable. Another distinguishing property of nickel plating is its hardness. It will last even in metals that continuously undergo friction. For any metal that will be undergoing constant friction, it is advised that it should be coated with nickel.

Is Nickel Plated Better Than Stainless Steel?

Nickel-plated metals are more resistant to corrosion than Stainless Steel. Moreover, it allows for a more uniform coating than Stainless Steel. Nickel-plated metals are also harder and are a level higher than Stainless Steel in fighting oxidation. Therefore, to answer your question; is nickel-plated better than Stainless Steel? Yes, it is.

Is Nickel Plated Better Than Stainless Steel

Moreover, Stainless Steel can also be nickel-plated. So, when you ask can Stainless Steel be nickel-plated? We reply in the affirmative. Most times, this is done to further enhance the hardness of the Stainless Steel and improve its corrosion resistance. More so, nickel-plated Stainless Steel adheres better and makes for better tools. However, nickel plating Stainless Steel is complicated due to the nature of Stainless steel and needs the proper guidance of a professional to achieve.

Nickel-plated Stainless Steel is also easier to work with. It’s easier to solder and resists radiation better than normal Stainless Steel.

How To Prevent Rusting?

Rusting can be a huge problem, especially in very important projects. You might have been wondering what you should do to protect your metals and steel effectively. We have listed very important things you must do to prevent rusting.

How To Prevent Rusting

Use Alloys

Using alloys like Stainless Steel, brass, bronze or copper will help you to protect your metals efficiently. These alloys do not contain metal and do not rust. They are highly effective in blocking out oxygen and thus do not oxidize easily. Using alloys will slow the rusting process down and make your metals last longer.

Apply A Copious Amount Of Oil

This might prove problematic in some situations. It is worthy to note that not all tools and machines fall under this category. However, applying oil on metals will reduce the inflow of moisture and further inhibit air from touching the metal.

Paint The Metal

A good painting also works well in protecting your metals from rusting, at least until the painting peels off. This is why it is advised to use very well and quality paints to coat your metals. This will significantly reduce the rusting process and also prevent moisture from seeping in.

Apply Dry Coating

There are products specially made for this. They will help you prevent rust without leaving residues. They work by forming protective barriers around the metal, therefore, barring any form of external factor to come to play.

Apply Dry Coating

Choose A Dry Storage

Improper storage of metals also makes them rust faster. It is better to choose a store with very low humidity when storing your metals. Moreover, you can use special drying agents on the metals to further protect them from moisture.

Galvanize The Metals

This is a very strong method to prevent rusting. It will give your metals another protective layer and further improve their external look. Moreover, it is a cheap and easy-to-use procedure.

Final Verdict

Does nickel plating rust? It will not if handled properly. Poor nickel plating will make it ineffective and it will rust faster than even unplated ones. Saltwater is also another bane of nickel-plated metals. Exposing any metal to saltwater is the same as exposing it to corrosion. Moreover, leaving marks on a nickel-plated metal might render it vulnerable to rusting. There are many ways to effectively prevent your metals from rusting and nickel plating is one of the best of them.

Evan Cooper

Evan Cooper

Hi, I’m Evan Cooper, the founder and an editor of this site, Doesitrust. I’m a chemical engineer and working in a rust-eliminating paint manufacturing company. Besides this profession, I’m a researcher and blogger.

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