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Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:18 pm
by Yukima
I mentioned a few days ago that I was trying out the Retr0bright de-yellowing process to de-yellow my Super Famicom console. Well, I'm finished! :mrgreen: And it worked perfectly! Basically, I mixed a solution of hydrogen peroxide and Oxi Clean, dismantled the SFC, soaked the plastic case in the solution, and left it out in the sun for approximately 10-12 hours. I took pictures along the way, and hopefully these will show up without causing massive 56K death... :roll: (Please excuse the crappy quality of some of these pics)

This was more or less how the top of the poor SFC looked like when I got it out of the box, attacked it with a gamebit, and carefully removed any extraneous plastic pieces that didn't need de-yellowing:
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A close-up of the yellowed area, with the "Nintendo" logo plate included for comparison:
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These were the tools and ingredients I used:
1. Six 32oz bottles of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (only 97 cents per bottle at Wal-Mart, and works just as well as the 30-40% H2O2 everyone recommends - 40% H2O2 is VERY dangerous if you don't know how to handle it. A 3% H2O2 solution is JUST FINE, and using a concentration higher than 10% is stupid, idiotic, and an unnecessary risk of your life and any others within a 10-foot radius of you... at least IMO)
2. 1/4 teaspoon of Oxi Clean
3. A relatively small plastic tub (with at least 10" x 10" area)
4. Nice, cold-ish weather to avoid plastic warping (approximately 40-50 degrees F)
5. SUNLIGHT!! Lots and lots of it! :twisted: (Best during the wintertime, when all the leaves are gone and skies are cloudless and the sun is like SUNNYZILLA!)
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After about 5 hours on one sunny day and 5 more hours on another sunny day (I had to stop because it got dark at 4:30 pm, and the next day was rain) the top had reverted to a beautiful shade of gray. The bottom hadn't been done yet (I was driving myself nuts trying to get the circuit board off of it) but with both the top and bottom together, you could tell just how yellow the whole thing was:
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I eventually managed to remove the electronics from the bottom (thanks to everyone here! :) ) and in the next few pictures you can see how much of a headache it was to take this sucker apart:
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Aaaaaand... after soaking the bottom in the solution for another 10 or so hours, over the course of 2 days, the bottom was done! (There were at least 2-3 days of flood-inducing rain in between... :shock: Virginia's weather has been wacky lately...)

The end result:

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Mission Accomplished! :mrgreen:

Re: Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:31 pm
by hiphophead34
I've been meaning to try this on my SNES. You just inspired to get myself to walmart and pick up the stuff I need to make it happen.

Re: Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:48 pm
by Original_Name
hiphophead34 wrote:I've been meaning to try this on my SNES. You just inspired to get myself to walmart and pick up the stuff I need to make it happen.


Go to a locally-run hardware store to grab it - it would make Original_Name happy. :P

Re: Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:11 am
by bacteria
Nice guide.

Re: Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:15 am
by Anapan
Congrats! I've been gathering the stuff for this for the past 3 days. I recently purchased a DMG gameboy that badly needs the treatment.
Where did you find the extra-strength (12%+) hydrogen peroxide? I got the glycerin, xanthin gum and Billy Mayes bucket-o-Oxy Clean, but the best hydrogen peroxide I can find is 5% and a hair bleach gel that didn't specify the percentage..

Re: Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:43 am
by Betamax001
Now I really want a GameBit screw so I can do this to my SNES...and I should probably wait till summer lest I want the liquid to freeze out in the cold harsh Chicago winter.

Re: Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:32 am
by Yukima
Anapan wrote:Congrats! I've been gathering the stuff for this for the past 3 days. I recently purchased a DMG gameboy that badly needs the treatment.
Where did you find the extra-strength (12%+) hydrogen peroxide? I got the glycerin, xanthin gum and Billy Mayes bucket-o-Oxy Clean, but the best hydrogen peroxide I can find is 5% and a hair bleach gel that didn't specify the percentage..


I only used the regular 3% strength hydrogen peroxide - you can find it in any pharmacy! Once I found proof that it was possible to do this with 3% strength (two people on the Vintage Computing forums did it and it worked) I didn't bother finding anything stronger. After learning about H2O2 and how dangerous it could be at higher strengths (it can eat through your hands at 30-40% strength and be explosive as a bomb at 98% strength) I didn't want to risk anything. I didn't try making the gel, since what I had was small enough just to dump in a small tub full of solution.

Re: Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:18 am
by benderx
Got to do this someday.

Re: Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:20 am
by benderx
I have found a lot of game gears and the games, but I'm not willing to waste batteries.

Re: Retr0bright de-yellowing experiment (with pics!)

Posted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:50 am
by Mod_Man_Extreme
Yukima wrote:
Anapan wrote:Congrats! I've been gathering the stuff for this for the past 3 days. I recently purchased a DMG gameboy that badly needs the treatment.
Where did you find the extra-strength (12%+) hydrogen peroxide? I got the glycerin, xanthin gum and Billy Mayes bucket-o-Oxy Clean, but the best hydrogen peroxide I can find is 5% and a hair bleach gel that didn't specify the percentage..


I only used the regular 3% strength hydrogen peroxide - you can find it in any pharmacy! Once I found proof that it was possible to do this with 3% strength (two people on the Vintage Computing forums did it and it worked) I didn't bother finding anything stronger. After learning about H2O2 and how dangerous it could be at higher strengths (it can eat through your hands at 30-40% strength and be explosive as a bomb at 98% strength) I didn't want to risk anything. I didn't try making the gel, since what I had was small enough just to dump in a small tub full of solution.

Cool, but how did the labels on the bottom fare after the soaking?

I'm the kind of person who likes all of his stuff in good condition so I'd be scared to soak my SNES's bottom in fear of my labels coming off or disintegrating.