Retrobrighting with just Sun? This forum says yes. ▼ Read description FAQ

Retrobrighting with just Sun? This forum says yes. ▼ Read description FAQ

100 thoughts on “Retrobrighting with just Sun? This forum says yes. ▼ Read description FAQ

  1. Talk to a Breyer model horse collector, and they’ll tell you that if your model horse has gone yellow, leaving it out in the sun will reverse the problem. That’s been known for quite a while (the plastic Breyer uses is cellulose acetate). So I’ve known about this from the plastic horse world for a while, but as the plastics are different, I assumed the chemistry would be. Seemingly not.

  2. This what I do with my various collectable fashion dolls. They are from the 1960's up to the past 15 years. I use Oxy10 cream in a thin layer on the area of the doll which is yellowed or stained, then lay the affected piece on the windowsill in the sunlight. I check it every couple of days until it's the colour I want.

  3. Yeah… this doesn't work. You're actually changing the chemistry of the plastic and damaging your hardware.

  4. Might give this a go with a pair of old pc speakers. a pair of juster multimedia speakers model ac-691n, I'll probably take them apart though for this just so i don't have too worry about moisture or them getting stolen from my balcony.

  5. If you're looking for a better translator than google, try out DeepL translator. It really is impressive in it's accuracy.

  6. LOL. If this were true, I should have the clearest car headlights from being outside in the sun. But instead I have yellowed headlights, and getting more yellow as they get older. Oh wait I'll just set them out in the sun, that will fix them. HaHa.

  7. Just tried this on my Atari 800XL. Noticable difference after 6 hours glorious sunshine. What a discovery!

  8. I am wondering if this will work on Commodore 64 breadbins… I've got one that was damaged in shipping so I may try it on that and do a video of the results.

  9. Just wanted to say I've come over form My Mate Vince's channel and you're videos are amazing plus he was right you're voice is booming and calming

  10. I tried this on my Nes that I Retr0brighted a few years back that slightly started to turn yellow again and it really made a difference only after 6 hours! Thank you!

  11. Well… Hamburger is the right translation, because we have a state that's called Hamburg and people living there are called Hamburger (which is plural as well) 😆

  12. It's true that glass filters out some light waves. But also I've seen many things bleaching in the sun at home, so…

  13. You told the secret insiders know for years! Damn! The whole chemicals crap is only used to reduce the a mount of time to bleech it via sun! The used procedure with all that cremes, toxic chemicals are only "turbo" features in the attempt to get a good result in a very short timeframe. The backside is – and that is something I already told for years but people do not listen and have it's own sight of the universe – that all these "helpers" do not stop it's chemical process and some kind of re-yellow returns quicker and a broken surface is the outcome which seems to be not glossy after a while. Pure sunlight was the solution all the time – bad you told everyone! My stocks in peroxid companies is most likely decreasing quickly as I do not earn money anymore by all these guys having used the method even told it is crap… ;-(

  14. I've been trying this with a couple of keyboards, and Atari TT one and an Acorn RiscPC one. The results really do depend upon the plastic. The Acorn keyboard has been bleaching nicely. Even in Britain after a few days of "solar brightening" the yellowing is almost gone. On the Atari keyboard it's a different matter. I'd previously retro-brightened the case but the I didn't want to pull the keycaps off as they're too easy to break. Anyway, the main keyboard is one plastic formula, the function keys another and the case a third. The results have been that the case is re-yellowing in the sunlight, the function keys have brightened but the main keyboard hasn't really changed.

  15. I got an A1200 yesterday, and the colour of the plastic is practically like new. It was used for a long time in an office with no sunlight coming in, and no fluorescent light (old fashioned light bulbs). It has been sitting in a dark attic for a few years after that. Without comparing it to an actual brand new system, I can't be sure how much it may have yellowed, but seeing it on its own, it could almost look like it was bought brand new in store last month.
    I will NOT be putting it outside in the sunlight.

  16. I use to remember when my cousin do the laundry for us in the Philippines that I cannot replicate how white she can make our school uniform. Doing that here in the US using dryer to dry clothes compared back then you hang clothes in direct sunlight. Btw I watch a couple of guys restoring old Jordan shoes with their DIY UV light box to whiten the white rubber on shoes 🙂

  17. Sunlight destroys ABS plastics if exposed for long time and high temperatures. More than peroxide does. Watch out!

  18. Incredible work. The solution is so simple, but it was just so counter-intuitive, because everyone seemed to think that the Sun was the main culprit. I love your scientific approach to this, much appreciated. I wish I had known this yesterday, when I bleached my C64 with good, although not perfect results. But now I can at least treat my precious Amiga more gently. I guess I can also re-yellow the C64 using my newfound knowledge, and then use the new method for a better, more stable result. Again, thank you for this.

  19. there are cases where the plastic yellowed inside their boxes unopened and having just sat for years in plastic protective bags while on store shelves. how do you explain that? simple. whats happening here is are temperatures and response of the fire retardant material used in the making of the plastic. coupled with the artificial lighting in the average home/store bleeding through the boxes and plastic protective bags.

  20. Awesome discovery thanks for sharing! Just posted my week and a half test on a slightly yellowed Sega Dreamcast and a very yellow SNES

  21. Extra Like for that Max Headroom clip. My brother had that demo on his C64 when we were kids back in the day

  22. After a couple of successful tests on yellowed CD case trays I left my BBC B case inside a sunny UK window and I’m happy with the results. These computers were only ever cream in colour, and mine was a pretty good one with little yellowing so only needed a little sunbathing to get it the same inside and out. I’ve done the top case now, just working on the bottom if the sun ever comes out again…

    My question is now how best do we store our vintage computers (or other plastic kit)? I’d always assumed it was daylight that yellowed them, so one should store them in their boxes in the dark. I think it is now pretty clear this is flawed thinking as they clearly yellow there. I’m still a little confused as to what exactly caused the yellowing, though it certainly looks like florescent and tungsten lighting may be much to blame. As such, other than avoiding those two, where is it best to keep our vintage computers from now on? On show fairly near a window so it just gets a very gentle dose of sun? I’ve already moved to all LED lighting now so hopefully that is kinder, but I’m still very curious as to what part of a typical room would best preserve the restored colour, and is this better than in-box storage?

    PS Thanks very much for publicising the idea. I’ve always steered clear of proper chemical ‘Retrobriting’ as it seems so risk prone, and this method has to be much safer (especially indoors as I did it).

  23. This makes a weird type of sense. I have an old RC toy from childhood that was left properly boxed up in the styrene packaging. ONE side has yellowed in complete darkness over 20+ years.

    Also, we were always told to close the piano lid to stop the keys yellowing. It also turns out that sunlight exposure reverses that.

  24. Currently trialling this with an ice white Apple Pro Keyboard (M7803) which has gone very yellow (seems to be very common with that model). After 2 days (~20 hours) of modest British sun it's already visibly better though a few more days needed yet I think.

  25. Good idea, but won't this just make the old plastic even more brittle… Sure I read someone else tried this recently and their case cracked not long after.

  26. 17:50 Puppyfractic actually had some valuable insight to share, but it was pitched too high for human hearing.

  27. Me : – oh cool, i have to try that on my famicom !
    "See a famicom photo result on the video"
    – yaaaayyy !

  28. I'm going to try this on some Altec Lansing computer speakers that have yellowed badly. Subscribed! (Your voice is awesome BTW)

  29. Jesus H Christ !!!!!!
    I thought i'd give this a try with an Atari ST original mouse, i put some black electrical tape on part of it to see if i could then see a difference after trying the good olde sun technique, now i didn't put it outside, i layed it in front of my window which only gets about 4-5 hours sunlight as the window is facing eastwards, anyway i left it there for 2 days with the sun coming and going with the clouds, so i'd say maybe it got approximately 3-5 hours of sun, on the second day i waited till the sun had stopped shining on my mouse as it moved more towards the west, then took it away from the window to inspect it.
    I removed the black electrical tape and as soon as i did that "HELL NOOOOO !!!!!!", i instantly saw the mouse had lightened with still the obvious yellowing present from where i removed the tape.
    The mouse is now going to sit in my window until i'm satisfied with it, and also until the yellowing from where the tape was has gone, you are sir a genius and a god send for all us retro computer nutters lol.
    I tell you what, you've started something now as i'm now gonna end up putting allsorts of stuff in my window now in the coming months ahead, god knows what the neighbours are gonna think lol, thanks Perifratic (aka Christian) 🙂

  30. I am totally going to try this on some of my gear, I have a really yellowed NES controller that I can try this on. Thank you so much for sharing this information, now I don't have to by all this gear and chemicals which can get expensive, the sun is FREE!!!

  31. My super nes was all yellow in the half bottom, i use peroxide with pure sun, without disarming the console, and all went perfect !!. Even you can leave your electronics for several days, it is not supposed to work under sun directly because of the heating, even more considering the years of work. Didn't know the sun could de yellow your plastics.

  32. Yes…succes!
    Put my classic II plastic parts in the sun for some time now and I can confirm that this method does work! NO CHEMICALS NEEDED!
    Thanks to you….and the German Guy…..

  33. Mostly indoors and through glass you will get a lot of infrared light, or heat. Ultraviolet light is filtered by most glass. So perhaps the yellowing is caused mostly by the heat and the brightening is caused by the UV light even in the daylight?

  34. Does the UK (specifically wales!) Have enough Sunlight? I have an ancient PC that i wish to restore (aesthetically as well as functionally) The function part is fairly straightforward and easily achievable (E Bay for second hand ..and some old/new parts) but cases. keyboards and even Mice is another kettle of fish…or should that read another UV oven of fish? whatever….cool experiment …but not that cool as sunlight isn't! PS I love my Commodore too, just making my own mini 'Home computing' museum complete!

  35. This video is a revelation! My yellow Dreamcast is back to it's white color! I also deyellowed my PS2 controllers. Thanks Mr Fractic!

  36. So the best brightening rig would be a box that contains a turntable and a bright mercury discharge lamp that is unshielded, so it will heat up the box and flood it with UVA and UVB rays. Much like a large microwave oven.

    Shouldn't even be very difficult to build that if you have a lot of stuff to de-yellow. Or you can just hang your keyboard off the clothes line for a week.

  37. Hi bud, I'm going to be trying this tomorrow with a badly discoloured Gameboy DMG shell, but I was wondering something.

    In the vid you seem to believe that it's the combination of UVA & UVB radiation in the suns rays that actually have the effect that we're looking for. This makes some sense given that all but the more recent windows are designed to filter out UVA as you showed on your hypothesis diagram.

    My question is, have you tried to replicate this effect indoors? I've been looking for light bulbs designed to generate UVA & UVB and keep coming back to reptile bulbs. I'm wondering if using a few of these to create a "Lightbrighting Box" ™ could enhance the effects and even out the light distribution.

    Obviously this theory only works if you and the professors believe it is these specific radiation bands that are causing the Lightbrighting effect as I think pretty much anything else in the suns light spectrum isn't going to be replicable at home.

    Love to know your thoughts on the subject before I go out and by a small zoo's worth of reptile lamps lol.

  38. Thank you for sharing your discovery. I want to try this out, but I live in Florida where it is currently 102 F and am worried that leaving my computer out in directly sunlight for 8 hours would melt the components or cause them to overheat (especially a monitor!). Have others tried this in hot locations? Any adverse effects? Thank you!

  39. You might reach out to someone to print out a new set of keyboard keys to replaced the damaged keys.

  40. I have bleached my 1541 using just light, before (I am a german user in the forum you found).
    Btw: That's not an Amiga 2000's, but a way more rare Amiga 4000 keyboard you sacrificed there 🙁

  41. Hi there, i want to share my thoughts with you. As a child. when we went to holdiday by car, i often had a comic book with me during the travell. I once forgotten it behind the rear-glas and a few days later it was so bright that you even could not regognize the cover any more. So i ask myself, if putting the things behind the rear or frontglas of a car will speed things up ? Greetz from Germany

  42. Hi Chris! I mentioned you in my latest video – It is about painting plastic parts and a short look at bleaching with your sun light method. I hope this is ok for you! Take a look at it! Many greetings, Doc64!

  43. Did you already see this video by Odd Tinkering? There's a nice retrobrighting method used, and it looks quite fast, too…

  44. I put an Atari SM124 monitor behind a window for a couple of months now and although this sounds very subjective, I'm pretty sure the yellowing has gone away "considerably". The hypothesis (not theory mind you 🙂 ) just got a little more tested. Now putting a Megafile30 HDD in the sun outside…

  45. Just found this video and can't wait to try it! One question though: My SNES is only partially discoloured (two parts seemed particularly subjective to yellowing) and if the whole thing brightens equally, I'm still left with a different shades of gray. Is it reasonable to assume that the parts that were subject to yellowing originally will also be the ones that will brighten fastest?

  46. Light-Brighting. Who would have thought?? I am in Brisbane Australia and fortunately in the Autumn to Spring months the Sun isn't quite so insanely hot that I can give this a go without likely melting anything. I have had some very good success with a Apple 2e cover and about 2 days worth of sunlight. I'll give it another day to get rid of the remaining yellowing but here is a photo showing the difference to the case. It does look even better than the camera can show. What is so fantastic about this is De-Yellowing without the awful marbling effect is now possible. Thanks massively for thinking outside the box to come up with this solution. Here's a before photo, doesn't show the yellowing very well but does show that there was even colouring across the unit.

  47. Just want to say thanks again for bringing this up to attention, and for the detailed FAQ that you've put extra and continuous work into!

  48. I have a SNES where the top yellowed. This SNES was in a cool basement all it's life with not even diffused low sunlight, and only lighting was old incandescent bulbs but was covered when not used. Basement was always fairly cool and not hot even in the summer. The only variable that makes.sense is maybe just the air

  49. Wrong.

    Plastics from the late 1970- through 1990's contained Bromine as a fire preventative. Bromine reacts with oxygen and browns or yellows with age. Sunshine causes UVA and UBB damage which also acts on the bromine to whiten it via breakdown of oxygen-hydrogen into ozone. Contaminates in the atmosphere clouds haze, smoke, co2, can dirty plastics. Ozone does the cleaning action. This is why the Retrobrite process works, it breaks down the hydrogen peroxide into ozone under sunlight. Sunlight alone will not clean this type of plastic, nor is Retrobrite a one shot process. Because plastics contain Bromine, it will yellow over the life of the plastic, so will need cleaning every few years.

  50. I found an old Nerf Whiteout blaster in the shed the other day. It had yellowed really badly, so I thought I'd give this a go. I left it outside for a few hours (on Winter Solstice so there was less light than normal) and it went completely white again by the end of the day on the side I left exposed to the sun! So I finished it off the following day and it looks new again. It's incredible!

  51. This is good to know, i put my recently bought yellowed Nes top case in the sun now. In my room under an open window. Hopefully this helps. I have to wait putting it outside because i have people walking here.

  52. The hot Texas sun wins again! Look how brilliant this keyboard looks.

    If you were still on Twitter I would've tagged ya. 🙂

    P.S. My previous tries on this post seemed to fail, trying again.

  53. so I’ve got a vic 20 with really bad yellowing (it’s almost brown!) in one spot but the rest is pretty average. should I mask everything but that section?

  54. This would also work with a thin sheet of clear plastic as rain cover as it supposedly passes UVA/UVB light? Grow houses use plastic windows for this reason.

  55. Can anyone tell me if this works, or should work, if you covered it with a clear plastic bag? I have some units that it would be impractical to remove the covers, but am worried that a sudden rain storm could destroy them if left out naked, so to speak.

  56. The heat from the sun is a little bit frightening. Doesn't it has some degradation effect over the plastic and the electronics itself?

  57. 'Hamburg' is one of the biggest cities in the north of germany, Hence the 'Hamburger' i.e. 'person or thing from Hamburg' 😂.
    It's notorious for shitty weather, so I imagine they were talking about the relative strengh of the sun in the north of germany vs. central and south germany.

    Fun fact: The Hamburger is allegedly called Hamburger because immigrants from Hamburg brought the recepie for the meat patty, then served in a roll, to america, where it evolved into the Hamburger we know today.

    Edit: BTW: There's a second thread on that topic on that forum with some logterm test results for this method.
    Someone was trying to test the effects of the traditional retrobright method and the assumption that sunlight caused yellowing. He sawed a commodore 64 mouse into pieces and retrobrighted one, layed one in the sun (expecting the yollowing to worsen) and exposed one to heat, but kept it in a dark environment. The last piece was kept as a refence piece in a drawer t room temp.
    To his amazement, while the retrobrighted piece was overbleached, the sun bleached piece returned to it's original color.
    He did revisit the pieces periodically and the sun bleached piece did show reyellowing, but didin't get as bad as it originally was, wich lines up with your own test results as well. He says the de-yellowing takes longer in subsequent treatments though.

  58. I absolutely love the music you have on your intro and throughout all of your videos. Keep up the great work 🙂

  59. Ok, now that the retrobright problem is over, find a way to definitively restore world peace ! :-DD

  60. @11:06 shouldn't it be 32 degrees Celsius instead of Fahrenheit? 🙂 0 degrees Celsius in California in probably April seems kinda weird, even with nowadays weather. 😉

  61. Please retrobrite that mac plus, its a platinum edition! You would be the first one to retrobrite one on youtube. Its a very amazing looking machine when done right!

  62. Intresting, thanks. Cheers from Poland. Tumorow i retro bright my philips green amiga crt monitor 😀 but i use sun + hydrogen + 80 *C worm water as alweys 😊

  63. Thanks for this. I recently purchased an Atari 1050 FDD that had a bit of yellowing, mostly along one side and the back of the drive. I've had it out on the back porch, enjoying the bright August Florida sunshine, and damned if it isn't working. I'm amazed at the result and thankful for your video. Good job!!

  64. My dad, who doesn't have an interest in retro computers or consoles, asked what I was doing with my yellowed plastics and peroxide. When I said that the sun had turned the plastics yellow, he actually pointed out that it didn't make any sense, as painted doors and skirting boards in the house had turned yellow where the sun hadn't managed to reach them. So this whole theory makes so much sense to me now.

  65. gobsmacked I put a very yellowed Amiga power supply case in a window for two days and… HOLY CRAP! It's nearly back to normal color. This is so counter-intuitive, but totally real.

  66. Hey Peri, thanks for the great solar tip. Here is what I found…
    cheers mate,

  67. Damn! This is quite amazing! I'm definitely going to try this out. Thanks for bringing this to our attention! BTW, I'm surprised you passed on the recap pun @ 15:26. Or, perhaps you've already made it to much–I'm new around here.

  68. This is great! I wonder though how it would work on yellowed resin? And what about tan colored plastic or resin, turning green – is there a way to reverse that?

  69. I was just at the local lego store a couple days ago, and I saw them grab a yellowed piece and stick it in direct sunlight in their front window. Asked them about it, and they said they'd been doing this for years to bleach the yellow out of old lego bricks… I guess we just need to talk to professional toy people more often.

  70. I'm tempted to try this.. but I live in arizona so I better try it before the summer and my yellowed snes becomes a yellow puddle of plastic.

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