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Removing Yellowing from Plastics - Part 4

Securix

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2009
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196
Location
New Joizey, USA
I've actually started retr0brightening one of my AT&T 3B1's just as a trial. I've since ordered 17.5% food grade hydrogen peroxide (on its way) but I first tried it with the regular 99 cent stuff from the drug store.

Xanthan gum at my supermarket is $11 a bag and $13 a bag at whole foods, while arrowroot in Tezza's recipe is only $7 a bag, so I opted for that and works quite well at making a nice gel-like consistency.

I did about three applications last week and left the parts out in few hours of NJ sun and the main body of the case is practically the original color (comparing to the inside of the case that is still the original color) and almost compeltely consistent. The CRT cover is the most obvious. I did the frame first and there's a clear difference between the frame and rest of the CRT cover now.

It was hot last week so I took some peroxide and put it in a small spray bottle and occasionally re-wet the surfaces so the drying mixture would moisten again with peroxide. That actually seemed to work and stopped it from completely drying out (as long as it was done consistently).

I'm waiting for the 17.5% solution to arrive, then I'll do the rest of the machine and post some pix. Good stuff so far.
 

twolazy

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May 22, 2011
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Chicago, IL
I found instead of using most thickeners which then make the retrobrite liquid white and opaque, I've been experimenting with clear cascade dish-washing gel instead! Having good results, and much easier to apply... Side effect is you have to rinse off the item afterward...
 

Securix

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Oct 7, 2009
Messages
196
Location
New Joizey, USA
Here's the 3B1 I did over the past few days or so. About four to six applications over several days.

3b1-brite2.jpg



Result....

Prior to processing the color was about the same as the one on the left. Very good results. Now I just need to re-assemble it :)

3b1-brite.jpg
 

krispkicks

New Member
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Dec 26, 2011
Messages
4
Location
Seattle
First Post in this website! I am wondering what advice you can give for an indoor set up? What lights should I purchase? I have been giving strong consideration to Black lights, but I really don't have a lot of $ to spend on lights that aren't going to be effective. Can anyone help me out? I would really appreciate it! I am new to this idea and really want to do it right :)
 

mikerm

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Jan 6, 2010
Messages
282
Location
Grand Rapis, MI
Only fluorescent black lights work. I have done a mouse and a keyboard with the liquid and fluorescent black lights, but it's a very, very, very slow process (with two lights). It took about 3 days around the clock to get them nice and white. Honestly, if you can do it outdoor in any way, then I would. Even on cloudy days, the suns rays help out a lot. If you live in an apartment, try to see if you can get a friend in a house or something to help you out. It's a lot cheaper in electricity usage too (as in none).

I buy all of my supplied at Wal-Mart, it's the cheapest, and the cashiers don't seem to care what you buy. Good luck!
 

Ole Juul

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Coalmont, BC, Canada
Only fluorescent black lights work. I have done a mouse and a keyboard with the liquid and fluorescent black lights, but it's a very, very, very slow process (with two lights). It took about 3 days around the clock to get them nice and white. Honestly, if you can do it outdoor in any way, then I would. Even on cloudy days, the suns rays help out a lot. If you live in an apartment, try to see if you can get a friend in a house or something to help you out. It's a lot cheaper in electricity usage too (as in none).

I buy all of my supplied at Wal-Mart, it's the cheapest, and the cashiers don't seem to care what you buy. Good luck!

Fluorescent black lights have low output because they are for human visual use. There are fluorescent tubes which are made for high output UV. I've gotten them for sterilization which is their intended use. You can't look at them when they're on - not that you'd see anything at the time, but you might not see anything later either. :) They are easy to identify because they are completely clear. Anything which is not clear will have a phosphor and consequently low output. The clear ones are broadband, so I know they will work - but perhaps something else is better.

Tanning lamps perhaps? They will probably have high output, but I don't know about the suitability of the wavelength. In any case, I would think you will have more shadow areas than with sunlight. That means you will have to do it from several sides or get multiple lamps.
 

krispkicks

New Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2011
Messages
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Location
Seattle
Fluorescent black lights have low output because they are for human visual use. There are fluorescent tubes which are made for high output UV. I've gotten them for sterilization which is their intended use. You can't look at them when they're on - not that you'd see anything at the time, but you might not see anything later either. :) They are easy to identify because they are completely clear. Anything which is not clear will have a phosphor and consequently low output. The clear ones are broadband, so I know they will work - but perhaps something else is better.

Tanning lamps perhaps? They will probably have high output, but I don't know about the suitability of the wavelength. In any case, I would think you will have more shadow areas than with sunlight. That means you will have to do it from several sides or get multiple lamps.

Thanks for the input guys! I know that outdoor is clearly the best, but not only do I live in Seattle WA, but I also live in an apt., add in a few other reasons and that is why an Indoor set up is my only chance.

So are you guys saying that even if I use fluorescent black lights, i won't be able to find any with a high UV output? If this is the case, any suggestions as to where I could pick up some sterilization lights? or what kind of lamp they would need to be in?

The tanning bed lights seems like a good idea as well, but don't they get hot? and aren't they very expensive??

Thanks again guys! I think with the collective knowledge here, I can pinpoint the perfect UV source :) (besides the sun!)
 

krispkicks

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Dec 26, 2011
Messages
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Location
Seattle
Only fluorescent black lights work. I have done a mouse and a keyboard with the liquid and fluorescent black lights, but it's a very, very, very slow process (with two lights). It took about 3 days around the clock to get them nice and white. Honestly, if you can do it outdoor in any way, then I would. Even on cloudy days, the suns rays help out a lot. If you live in an apartment, try to see if you can get a friend in a house or something to help you out. It's a lot cheaper in electricity usage too (as in none).

I buy all of my supplied at Wal-Mart, it's the cheapest, and the cashiers don't seem to care what you buy. Good luck!

So your saying that the black lights you bought, you got them at walmart? and that they worked, but very slowly? sorry, just want to explicitly understand, this is new and exciting for me !
 

tezza

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So your saying that the black lights you bought, you got them at walmart? and that they worked, but very slowly? sorry, just want to explicitly understand, this is new and exciting for me !

It's good you are getting input from the guys here. Yes, this is the same thing I found as I said in a private message. The UV (non-sterlizing) bulb did do SOMETHING but is was very very slow...so slow that I gave up on it after about 2 days. There was SOME de-yellowing but the bulb took two days what the sun took about 20 minutes to accomplish. I had the bulb very close to the machine too.

Tez
 

Ole Juul

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The sterilizing lamp that I've used for accelerated curing of paint is the G15T8 and I see a cheap one here: http://www.bulbtown.com/G15T8_p/g15t8.htm
These fit in standard fixtures so are easy to employ. The very important thing to remember though is that you cannot look at them or anything which might reflect the UV output either. Note that you cannot see the output but it will still hurt your eyes, so this is not a lamp to be trifled with.

I have not used these for the purpose at hand and they may well have low output compared to sunlight. It just seemed like a good idea and one that is not too expensive. For apartment use, I would try two of them to avoid shadows and cover the whole setup with a large cardboard box.

There is a site which discusses UV lamps here: http://donklipstein.com/uvbulb.html

PS: I just noticed that the above source of G15T8 is out of stock, but there's a picture there for you to see anyway. I'm sure they're not hard to find.
 

Lorne

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Chandler, AZ, USA
See page 9 of this Part #4 thread - post # 87 for the black lights I used.

They didn't de-yellow as fast as sunlight, but they're a good substitute for someone stuck living in the Pacific Northwest.
 

Trixter

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I hate to be a lump at the end of a 24-page thread, but for the past hour I've been reading the original retr0brite wiki, and most of these posts, and I can't find a single recipe+procedure that is appropriate for my situation:
  • I live in the northern midwest of America.
  • I have a back yard with ample sunlight.
  • I have access to Walmart and local mom'n'pop drug stores.
  • I am wary and uncertain of special-ordering and using industrial chemicals as I have no experience in this area.
Is there a specific recipe someone can suggest for me to follow? Something for an American who nearly flunked high-school chemistry? I found the following video that seems to be understandable to a lunkhead like me, hopefully this is correct? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ewI7nMgrB8

Also: Is it possible to apply this procedure during the winter, or is there not enough sunlight? (I am guessing that there is enough sunlight, but having the mixture freeze or exposing the plastic to extreme temperatures is probably not a good idea, but would like confirmation if possible.)
 

Lorne

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Also: Is it possible to apply this procedure during the winter, or is there not enough sunlight? (I am guessing that there is enough sunlight, but having the mixture freeze or exposing the plastic to extreme temperatures is probably not a good idea, but would like confirmation if possible.)

Winter would be fine if there is sunlight - it'll even work on slightly cloudy days (although full sunlight is better/faster).
I don't know for sure about doing it in freezing temps as I've never tried it, and rarely see freezing temps where I am, but I wouldn't expect it to provide good results.
You need to apply, and then re-apply once in a while, to make sure the coverage is even after some evaporation has occured, and that'd be a tad difficult if the stuff has frozen.
 

Trixter

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There's a link for various recipes to the left on the wiki page- http://retr0bright.wikispaces.com/Retr0Bright+Gel

I know; it used to list ingredients not native to the USA. But now that I check it again, I just realized in Tezza's recipe the exact "oxy" product does not matter as long as it advertises "oxy". If that's the case, then it looks like Tezza's recipe will work for me, as it also includes hydrogen peroxide that is easily obtainable.
 

tezza

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I know; it used to list ingredients not native to the USA. But now that I check it again, I just realized in Tezza's recipe the exact "oxy" product does not matter as long as it advertises "oxy". If that's the case, then it looks like Tezza's recipe will work for me, as it also includes hydrogen peroxide that is easily obtainable.

Hi Trixter,

Oxy is a brand name. What you are looking for is a laundry whitener that contains sodium percarbonate (20-30%). This seems to be the active ingrediant in those "oxy" products.

Cheers

Tez
 

krispkicks

New Member
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Dec 26, 2011
Messages
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Location
Seattle
See page 9 of this Part #4 thread - post # 87 for the black lights I used.

They didn't de-yellow as fast as sunlight, but they're a good substitute for someone stuck living in the Pacific Northwest.

will do. thanks for that.
 

Chromedome45

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Jul 6, 2009
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Central Florida
I have a better idea instead of messing with chemicals. Paint it! I repainted the top of my XT and looks great and matches the factory color exactly. Also found an exact match for the Apple "platinum" color scheme used on latter Mac and Apple II's. Ok maybe for a couple of items but IMO it's a lot safer. Just my 2 cents worth.
 

Lorne

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Chandler, AZ, USA
I have a better idea instead of messing with chemicals. Paint it! I repainted the top of my XT and looks great and matches the factory color exactly. Also found an exact match for the Apple "platinum" color scheme used on latter Mac and Apple II's. Ok maybe for a couple of items but IMO it's a lot safer. Just my 2 cents worth.

As long as you are wearing gloves and goggles (both just in case something goes wrong) it's safe.

Besides, after 20 years in sunlight or under fluorescent lighting, even paint will fade/change color.
 

helion

New Member
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Feb 13, 2012
Messages
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I made a solution of Vanish (another of those Oxy type of products) : about 120g in 8 litres of water. It is active even in the night, letting off bubbles and all. Its packaging did not make any mention of the concentration of the sodium percarbonate.
 
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