Can Anodization be Removed?

Hey guy, I really like how raw yoyos look after a nice polish but most of my yoyos are anodized. Is there an easy way to remove it so its raw?

satining is a pretty easy way to remove ano. sandpaper + a drill
or I’ve heard of ways to do it chemically, but I’ve never done that, so I can’t speak for how easy they are.

Yes, no, and maybe.

It depends on your requirements.

If you’re looking to simply remove it, you can grind it off using sandpaper, files or other methods of sanding, filing and grinding. You could also use blasting methods.

If your intentions is to have it re-anodized, you have to use a chemical stripping procedure to remove the anodizing and have the material ready to be anodized again.

You may want to contact forum member “yoyospirit”. He stripped a VS. Newton Concepts Battosai and then polished it to a beautiful mirror shine, and then I was fortunate enough to buy it. Either have him do this and pay him for it, or have him teach you how to do it. The work on the Battosai was amazing and smooth as glass. Clearly, he knows his stuff!

YoYoExpert does not recommend any of the following methods - you must be careful and everything is at your own risk, etc. Do not do any of the following without parent supervision!

He used a kitchen cleaner, I believe it was called “Easy Off”

I am also very interested in learning to raw yoyos but my first attempt went terribly wrong. Long story short, my Yuuksta is out of commission. I believe most chemical methods use Sodium Hydroxide (Lye) mixed with boiling water. Just put the yoyo in the solution and let it sit. You have to be very careful when using chemicals. It’s a lot faster and easier than satining but you could potentially ruin your yoyo if you leave it in too long.

Im not sure about easy off though. I know it has Sodium Hydroxide, I just don’t know if it’s enough to kill your yoyo. Maybe someone more experienced can chime in?

I deleted the guide because I realized I was very ignorant for posting this, pm me if you truly want to know.

1 Like

YoYoExpert does not recommend any of the following methods - you must be careful and everything is at your own risk, etc. Do not do any of the following without parent supervision!

Yoyospirit’s method works wonders!

I recently got a FG Chief in a trade. FG due to ano flaws and I figured I would give this polishing thing a try. I picked up the Easy Off yoyospirit pictured at a local Wal-Mart. Sprayed it on the yoyo and let it sit for a few minutes. After it was done I used Mothers brand Aluminum and Mag polish to get it nice and shiny. That stuff works miracles!

Here’s the picture:

Thanks yoyospirit!
I hope this thread becomes a valuable resource for other people looking to learn how to strip and polish yoyos.

YoYoExpert does not recommend any of the following methods - you must be careful and everything is at your own risk, etc. Do not do any of the following without parent supervision!

do you take the bearing out when you do that and can this be done with any yoyo?

YoYoExpert does not recommend any of the following methods - you must be careful and everything is at your own risk, etc. Do not do any of the following without parent supervision!

Always remove the bearing and response before doing this. Remove the bearing so you don’t wreck it. The response pads are typically replaceable or you can use flowable(or maybe reuse them). Worse case is if you don’t remove the response pads, the stuff might not remove the anodizing from that area. That might be a cool tribute to “what once was”.

1 Like

YoYoExpert does not recommend any of the following methods - you must be careful and everything is at your own risk, etc. Do not do any of the following without parent supervision!

Take the bearing and axle out. Cover the axle hole with a cotton swab. Spray the easy off on the yoyo and wait for a few minutes then wipe it off. You may have to do this more than once to get off all the ano. Then all you gotta do is polish!

I did not remove my pads and it didn’t hurt them at all. I may have to spray down the response area with some easy off once they fall out, though. Also my bearing seat looks like crap because it didn’t get all the ano off. Just make sure you clean it out a lot once you’re done. Don’t want to hurt the bearing!

1 Like

I’m so very tired of seeing people post information on a kid dominated forum about using TOXIC AND DANGEROUS CHEMICALS. It’s extremely stupid, plain and simple.

Not to mention chemically stripping yoyos is a horrible idea, and CAN destroy your yoyo and all related tolerances. There is a reason that yoyo manufacturers like myself and YYF absolutely advise against this practice. Chemicals don’t work evenly, and they don’t just do exactly what you want because you will them to… they can very easily eat away at the aluminum and cause both tolerance problems and structural weaknesses.

If you want to remove anodization, the only safe and effective method is sandpaper… you’ll want the yoyo spinning on a drill or lathe to get the best results.


I’m 13 and I can chemically strip, but I guess it was kind of stupid to post that. Should I remove the post?

On the contrary, most of the time you use an axle to hold it in place, it wobbles on the drill. This causes uneven sanding which causes vibe. Its also a lot harder to get the ano off, especially around the bearing seat.

1 Like
  1. Kids use dangerous chemicals all the time, Look under the sink. Advice on using them isnt stupid. Using them without supervision or personal protective gear, (goggles, gloves, well ventilated areas …ect.) is stupid.

  2. Always have an adult supervise. Be responsible.

  3. Easy off isn’t going to destroy any tolerances. Maybe if you ano and strip 40+ times. But not after the original anno is removed.

4.Drill wobble wont make an un even sand and cause wobble in the yoyo.

  1. That Chief is sick!

Here is a Marmot that I did. Easy Off, 600 sand, and some polish from work. Not sure of the brand.


Nice, here is a M1 I did a while ago.

Yoyospirit does the best polishes. What’s your method?

I just used mothers and a microfiber cloth.

Thanks! I sand up using 320 first, then 400, then 600 wet sand, then 0000 grade steel wool, and finally I finish off with Mothers Polish.

1 Like



Here’s one that I did for yoyotrader123 on this forum using the yoyospirit method*. Again, it is NOT recommended to pursue this practice without using the proper safety precautions!

Another word to the wise: Depending on the type of anodize and the design traits of the yoyo, sanding a yoyo to remove anodizing can produce extremely undesirable results, not because of the wobble of the drill/dremel necessarily, but because the hardness of the anodize can cause it to come off in patches leaving areas of anodize intermingled with areas of raw aluminum. And when this happens since the raw aluminum is so much softer than the anodized layer, the material can come off unevenly and effectively ruin a yoyo if you’re not extremely careful and precise. I have a YYR Blink casualty in my case for proof.

*By the way yoyospirit, I seem to remember you being quite adament about advising against the use of the Easy Off oven cleaner until a certain someone gave you the method and showed you their results. :stuck_out_tongue: I’m just kidding with you man. Your work looks great!

And P.S. Kyle (kyo), before you say anything, that’s not my best polish :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry lol, I have known about easy off for a while, but just didn’t try it until I heard you used it.

If you set up a lathe or drill properly, there is absolutely no yo-yo you can not remove anodizing from perfectly. When you sand/polish, it all comes off evenly because it won’t move down until the entire surface is even on that level… assuming your lathe/drill is spinning true.

A lathe is by far the better option, but a drill can work.

To those brushing off the dangers of the chemicals used… that’s a very, very careless attitude that can end up getting someone hurt… maybe not you, but perhaps somebody who reads what you say. This forum is, by and large, made up of young kids. Those young kids do not always demonstrate the same level of discretion and care you might naturally expect someone to use.

Adult supervision, WELL ventilated areas, and extreme caution should be use when handling ANY potentially dangerous chemical or process.

I’m well aware that many people have used chemical stripping to remove anodizing from yo-yos… I’m also aware of -many- who have destroyed perfectly good yo-yos doing it. Sure, it can work, but there is a very significant failure rate that everybody should be very aware of.

Chemical processes do not work ‘evenly’. This means it may eat away one area long before another, it means that it may very well be eating into the aluminum in one spot while still working on the oxide layer (anodizing) in another area.

It also does not just stop at the ano layer. IT WILL EAT THE ALUMINUM as well. Yes, this can be minimized by careful monitoring, but it can happen so quickly that you don’t even realize it… a thousandth of an inch is all it takes.

Removing anodizing from the bearing seat is actually -always- a bad idea. The bearing seat is a very specific size, and removing any material (anodizing for instance) is going to ruin that fit. If you plan on re-anodizing it later, this ‘can’ work… but because oxide layers don’t just build ‘up’ you still run a pretty significant risk of messing up the bearing seat tolerance… this will be a bigger problem in some yo-yos than others depending on the original fit and design of the seat.

I’ve polished hundreds of yo-yos over the years… the only time I even consider using a chemical agent would be very tight corners/grooves that would require a lot of material removal to get to with sandpaper.

As a manufacturer, I side with YYF in saying that chemical stripping is simply a bad choice… it’s lazy and can yield extremely undesirable results.


1 Like

While I agree with everything you say, doesn’t the ano on the bearing seat already wear off from repeatedly taking out the bearing? The bearing seat on my Genesis is raw from doing so.