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thetallguy24

Removing Yellow on XE/XEGS

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Just acquired a XEGS. The color isn't too bad, but the buttons have yellowing on the edges, and the console has yellowing on the edges, sides, and bottom.

 

I know that the 40% hydrogen peroxide cream works well on restoring SNES's back to their white, but will it work with restoring the XEGS back to the gray? Essentially, I'd be bleaching the plastic, so I'm concerned about making the XEGS too bright or white compared to the original color.

 

Also, would it work on restoring the original color of the buttons?

 

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I saw that, but again, my big concern was although it would remove the yellow, would it return it to close to the original gray or would it make it to light. The guy in that thread says, "I tried some keys off a XEGS, but results were not so good", so I'm a bit skeptical.

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That makes sense. I thought you might have missed the "secret" addition to the peroxide. Beyond that link, I'm not sure what to tell you. I've never tried de-yellowing a case. Somehow I think of the yellowing as part of the natural process for an old Atari, like the wrinkles that seem to have mysteriously appeared on my face.

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The only way to be sure how the particular formulation used on your machine will react is to try it - remember, this things were built over a period of a few years by a couple different manufacturers. The plastics, even if spec'd identically, will have batch variations. Each machine was exposed to different conditions over the course of its life and will yellow more or less than any other machine.

 

So, having said that, I'd suggest you do an experiment. Do a small square of the very bottom of the case and see how it goes. Last weekend I de-yellowed one of my 1200XL's which was dark yellow, tending toward brown. It's now nearly pristine white again, much like the photos in all the XL magazine ads and catalogs. But XE and XEGS machines were never purely white; as you say, they were gray. So I'd suggest you spend an hour or so and read the very long pinned thread in this section and pay close attention to the XE-specific posts. Very recently, Jon (flashjazzcat) resorted to painting an XE computer and it looks quite fantastic.. However, he and others have successfully used 40 Vol Cream hair peroxide products on other XE machines.

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Not really. Keyboards were made by different companies and those were usually not the same ones assembling the computers so they likely used different sources and types of plastics as well. You could try to blanch them with peroxide cream in a plastic baggie but your results are likely to be inconsistent.

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I have done many ST and XE cases. Do not get the cream conditioner get the clear. Just lightly brush it on with a brush and leave it out in the sun and reapply with a brush every 15 minutes and then in a few hours it will not have any yellowing and the gray will be fine. (The cream can cause blooming). You can do the keys without even dismantling it the same way. Just lightly brush on and reapply every 15 minutes!

Edited by tjlazer
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I used a mixed solution of laundry booster and water and submerged the parts for a few hours in the sun. The keys are harder to do but it does work. I did not do the bottom of the case fearing that the sticker on the bottom would be destroyed. At some point I'm going to re-do the keys to even out the results.

 

http://members.iinet.net.au/~davem2/overclock/Retrobrite.html

 

 

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1f4091ff053c3a5bf02f2126f6d1b947.jpg

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I would recommend leaving it be. Just disassemble and use mild detergent on the case plastics and denatured alcohol on the electronics if they need cleaning. Old toothbrush works wonders for removing grime.

 

As for Retrobrite, I have read somewhere it can make the case plastics more brittle than they already are. I would not mess with the patina much.

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The only way to be sure how the particular formulation used on your machine will react is to try it - remember, this things were built over a period of a few years by a couple different manufacturers. The plastics, even if spec'd identically, will have batch variations. Each machine was exposed to different conditions over the course of its life and will yellow more or less than any other machine.

 

So, having said that, I'd suggest you do an experiment. Do a small square of the very bottom of the case and see how it goes. Last weekend I de-yellowed one of my 1200XL's which was dark yellow, tending toward brown. It's now nearly pristine white again, much like the photos in all the XL magazine ads and catalogs. But XE and XEGS machines were never purely white; as you say, they were gray. So I'd suggest you spend an hour or so and read the very long pinned thread in this section and pay close attention to the XE-specific posts. Very recently, Jon (flashjazzcat) resorted to painting an XE computer and it looks quite fantastic.. However, he and others have successfully used 40 Vol Cream hair peroxide products on other XE machines.

 

And use the clear on the colored buttons as well?

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And use the clear on the colored buttons as well?

 

The 20/30/40 Vol Cream solutions you can get at places like Sally's, especially the Salon Professional and Clairol brands, seem to be pretty idiot proof most of the time so long as you don't leave them on for too terribly long. I've not done keys on any of my machines yet but if homemade laundry booster works, peroxide cream probably will as well. There's a video on YouTube I watched recently of a fellow who did the keys on a badly discolored Apple II; he pulled off the keycaps, coated them in 40 Vol Cream and put them all in a plastic bag for a few hours. They came out looking great. You mileage may vary, of course.

​So, as always, my advice is to experiment with lower-strength stuff to start (my experience is that 30 Vol Cream works almost as quickly as 40 Vol and it might be easier to avoid over-bleaching because it's lower concentration), and to do a test - just a SHIFT key or something for an hour and see. Good luck.

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