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Removing Yellowing from Plastics - Part 4


Experienced Member
Apr 23, 2008
Manchester, UK
Blimey! we are now at Part 4, the saga continues. This idea has been taken on by the Airstream mobile home community, Lego and Transformer toy restorers, vintage telephone and radio forums, vintage pinball and fruit machine forums, the list goes on and on...

On the computer side of things, Apple, Atari, and Super Nintendo forums have picked up on Retr0bright as well as the wider Amiga community. Thanks to all at VCF for helping to make this as awesome as it has become!!

The condensed history so far can be found at the Wiki, which is located here:-


The Wiki has received over 130,000 hits and I noticed that the hit counter broke again today!!

This should bring you up to speed as to what we are doing and what has been achieved so far. This thread here is for ongoing discussions and experiments around this core project. If you clean any of your own parts using the methods described in the Wiki or can suggest any improvements, please do so here; We will always be looking for "before and after" photos of your work and we can add these to The Gallery, as part of the Wiki.

Part One of this saga is here:

Part Two is here:

Part Three is here:

I never expected this idea to capture people's imaginations in the way it has; God, how I love the Internet!!

OK, meanwhile, back in Retr0bright land......:)
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Hmm... it seems everyone likes reading 250-post threads; you must all be masochists, that's all I'm going to say!

Please use this thread to continue the discussions.

Here's my latest deyellowing project completed; a calculator that is at least 20 years old.


Calc before.JPG

Buttons: I hadn't realized how yellowed the buttons were until I took it apart. It's definitely UV that casues the yellowing - the underside of the buttons never saw the light of day, but the tops sure did. What a difference.

Calc buttons - tops & bottoms.JPG

After: looks good as new.

Calc after.JPG
Seems to me a rubber cement bottle be a good storage bottle for a batch of Retr0bright. Its dark brown bottle (almost opaque) would keep light out, and the lid has a brush built into it. :)
Nice work, Lorne!!

You would not believe the things that people are using Retr0bright on now; lego, Transformers toys, old telephones, vintage fruit machines, Super Nintendos, Airstream trailer parts, classic car lenses, the list goes on and on.... the Wiki still gets around 500 hits per day and more people are joining the Wiki.

I have loads of new photos to add to the Wiki but I need to get the time to do it. I have a day off next week so I'll probably do it then.

@ olePigeon

Good idea!! I thought about using those plastic 'jars' you can get cocoa and coffee in these days. They are dark coloured, opaque and ideal for this.
I can't seem to find 10% hydrogen peroxide around here. Everything else I need is around here, but I can't seem to find 10% hydrogen peroxide.
I can't seem to find 10% hydrogen peroxide around here. Everything else I need is around here, but I can't seem to find 10% hydrogen peroxide.

And here, would be where?

I, or someone else, may be able to tell you where to get it, but when no one knows where you are because you don't enter it in your profile in the User Control Panel, there's not much help that can be offered.

(Mods: noting your location in your profile should be a requirement)
Sorry, I just put it in now. St. Louis is where I am.

OK - now I can help.

You can get something of 30-40% strength from a company called Prochem. That's the stuff I use - you can dilute it, if you're not impatient like me.
(BTW: good quick response on getting your location added to the UCP) :)
The stuff is called Urine Rescue (it wouldn't be my choice of names, but...)
Prochem has distributors in MO: http://www.prochem.com/about/us.php?s=MO in Hazelwood and Kansas City - if that's too far for a drive, maybe they could ship it.
It shouldn't be more than about $ 25 for a gallon, which is way cheaper per oz than what others have been paying, when they buy 10 oz at the hair dressers.

Mods: I wish it was this easy getting everyone to add their location.
Wow, I didn't even know they could sell hydrogen peroxide that strong to civilians...

I just realized there is a Sally's Beauty Supply around here, and they have 12% "Clairoxide" for $4.20. Just need to stop by a Walgreens and I'm set.
OK, good stuff - it just looks too cheap for me.
I'm thinkning there might be something in there that you might not want in there.
I think it's meant to be mixed with other hair supplies, so what's in the bottle is just 12% hydrogen peroxide.
That looks like exactly the right stuff; hydrogen peroxide, stabilised with a trace of phosphoric acid. It's sold as 'Developer' in white opaque bottles here in the UK.

376 ml = 12.7 oz.
At $ 1.50 a bottle that's $ 0.118/oz
With 128 oz in a gal, that's $ 15.10/gal and in small bottles to boot.
That is the cheapest I've seen it.

Don't forget the rubber gloves and eye protection.