rocket vapor honing

Frequently Asked Questions

Vapor honing is a very gentle process in which the media we use is fine glass beads, suspended in water.

What materials can be vapor honed?

Practically any solid material that can fit inside of our cabinets. We have had great results with aluminum, stainless, brass, copper, mild steel, rubber, and plastics. Ferrous metals will flash rust soon after vapor honing. We can treat these with a rust inhibitor if requested.


Can vapor honing remove paint, powder coating, or plating?

We do not use angular media in our cabinets. Our processes are not aggressive enough to remove automotive finishes or powder coating. This process will not remove chrome plating but will leave it with a satin sheen. If your parts to be vapor honed currently have paint or powder coating on them, please contact us so we can discuss solutions.


How do I prepare my parts before I leave them to be vapor honed or ultrasonically cleaned?

We need parts to be reasonably clean when you drop them off. Remove grease, oil, and contaminants as best as you can so you do not have to pay us to do this. Parts to be vapor honed must be completely disassembled; all bearings and seals must be removed prior to leaving your parts with us. Gasket sealant must also be removed as vapor honing is too gentle to remove sealant.


Does vapor honing damage bearing and gasket surfaces?

No, gasket surfaces will be left clean and smooth. Old gaskets and sealant must be removed prior to dropping off your parts. Regarding bearing surfaces, let us know if you plan to reinstall original items (cams, crank journals, etc.) on those surfaces. Make this clear on your work order and we will mask those areas, so we do not alter the wear marks on mating surfaces.


Will vapor honing damage threads?

No! Vapor honing is very gentle and friendly to threads when spherical media is used like we use here at Rocket. You will be impressed at how well we remove corrosion and grime. This process will not repair damaged threads or heads of bolts and screws, but it will make these parts look as good as possible.


What results can I expect if my parts are deeply corroded, badly pitted, or otherwise damaged?

Our processes do not add material where material is missing. Vapor honing will remove surface contaminants and polish the surface but will not smooth out or somehow reduce prior damage.

Depending on the severity and location of scratching and pitting, we can often gently remove these, leaving the clean, even satin finish we are known for. This work is done by hand and is done at an additional cost.


Can you vapor hone the outside of my motorcycle engine or carburetor without disassembling first?

No. Items brought for vapor honing must be fully disassembled. Vapor honing involves blasting a slurry of fine glass beads and water under high pressure. Media will infiltrate any crack or tiny opening in spite of best efforts.


What sort of items are good candidates for ultrasonic cleaning?

Ultrasonic cleaning uses high frequency sound waves transmitted through a liquid solution that causes cavitation on the surface of the parts. This cavitation is microscopic bubbles that implode on the surface of the parts with enough force that surface contaminants are dislodged. It is great for metals, glass, rubber, and plastics. It is especially useful in cleaning items with blind holes, cracks, and recessed areas. Some good candidates are carburetors, fuel injectors, fishing reels, tools, firearm components, print heads, fountain pens, and even gets the dirt out of the grooves of vinyl records.


Are there any chemicals involved?

Our vapor honing process uses water, air, and glass beads. We employ a closed loop system where water and media does not go down the drain. Water is filtered and reused, and media is replenished as worn media becomes less effective.


What size parts can you handle?

We can vapor hone parts that will fit in our cabinets that still allow some room to maneuver. If you have parts larger than those you see on our website, please contact us with a picture and dimensions. The basket in our ultrasonic cleaner measures 10” wide x 17” long and 6” deep. If your part will fit in the basket, but is taller than 6”, but less than 12”, we can do half then invert it and do the other half.


What to expect once we have your parts and work order:

We inspect your parts, inventory parts against your work order, review work order instructions and contact you if we have any questions or concerns.


  • Request a free, no obligation quote
  • Drop off or mail us your parts
  • We photograph your parts and clean them if necessary
  • We inspect your parts and contact you if our quote could change
  • We perform the steps of our vapor honing process
  • We rinse your parts thoroughly and dry with clean, dry air
  • We inspect your parts
  • We photograph your finished parts
  • We text or email you before and after images and also your invoice
  • Pay online or in-person for your services and pick up your freshly cleaned parts


We love to hear from our clients.