I have not had much luck with the acid-based gold plating
solutions. Unless there's been some new development I haven't
heard of, it's unlikely you'll be satisfied with the results.
They do work, but are much more picky about exact voltages,
really clean surfaces (use a good electrocleaner AFTER you’ve
used the steamer. Don’t skip the electrocleaner) exact bath
temps, and the like. And they contaminate more easily as well as
often not having as long a shelf life. but they do work.
I would like to point out that you might wish to do your
plating under the hood vent of your kitchen stove for
Stove vent hoods are pretty meager for really good ventilation.
Better than nothing, but don’t consider them adaquate for really
toxic stuff like cyanides. And, it’s critical to be sure that you
have a vent hood that actually exhausts to the outside. Many of
them direct the incoming air through an activated carbon filter,
a grease catching filter, and then right back into the room,
rather than through a duct to the outside. Be SURE your’s
actually exhausts if you’re using it for such uses.
And while I’m at it, please be VERY careful if you are doing any
sort of chemical operations, including plating of any sort, in
your kitchen. This is basically a very big taboo… Using toxic
chemistry in even the same area as food preperation areas is
dangerous. Small unnoticed spills can be more than unfortunate
if you then accidentally get it in your dinner the next week.
And there are hidden dangers too. You dump a used solution down
the drain. All gone, right? Wrong. Some is still in the drain
trap, unless you really let the water run enough after dumping.
Working in the kitchen with toxic materials just makes it
difficult to be safe. There’s the temptation to use
vessels/containers that later may need to contain food. Theres
the temptation to raid the fridge and munch on something while
you work… and so it goes. All of these are potentially
I’ll readily admit that I too use the kitchen now and then for
such purposes. But you better believe that when I do so, I am
very careful of where my hands and the materials go, what touches
what, etc. When working with these materials, you must behave
with all the meticulous methods of any good chem lab.