I'm trying to put a copper layer on a piece of steel. Here is the equipment I'm using: -12v car battery charger -bucket -water -sodium hypochlorite -copper pipe -piece of steel I filled a bucket with water and added a bit of sodium hypochlorite (bleach). The hypochlorite is there to help oxidize the copper to get copper ions. I put curled copper pipe in the solution then connect it to the positive terminal on the battery charger. Then I put the piece of steel in the solution and connect the negative terminal. Here is what should happen: -the bleach will be forced to reduce at the negative terminal -the copper will be forced to oxidize at the positive terminal -having the steel connected to the negative terminal will protect it from being oxidized by the bleach -dissolved copper ions will be forced to reduce (turn into solid copper) at the negative terminal Much of this does happen. I know the copper is being oxidized because I can see it turning green on the surface and the solution itself turns green indicating copper(1) ions. Now here is the problem the copper that forms on the iron is not a plating; it is a crust. The copper can be easily wiped off with a rag! I've actually tried replacing the steel rod with a piece of carbon (which can be considered inert) and the same thing happens. Copper will form on the carbon but it can be wiped off with a rag very easily. I am aware that 12 volts is way too much but it's all I have. I've tried using 8 D size batteries in parallel but that doesn't work because the batteries run out of charge within 30 minutes. What am I doing wrong? btw I have done this before using a all the same supplies but I can't remember how the heck I did it.