Testing Retr0bright

I recently heard about a method for restoring yellowed plastics called Retr0Bright. Its basically hydrogen peroxide and UV light source.

My test objects are a very yellow SNES and a slightly yellowed GameCube faceplate.

Yellow SNES

I couldn’t find consensus on the formula or method so I am trying out a setup of my own creation and proportions.

  • The container I used a 10 Gallon fish tank – Link
  • Light source 3 rolls of UV LED Strips – Link
  • One standard heating pad – Link
  • One Roll of tin foil – Link
  • Salon Developer (Strong Peroxide) – Link
  • Spray Adhesive – Link

First wrap the UV LED Strip from the bottom edge of the black plastic of the aquarium and go up by one inch for 3 and a half times. I used clear packing tape to attach the strip then on the next strip start in the same location so all power jacks line up but this time go up by about 3 inches each time around for about 3 and a half times. With the final UV Strip go around the top 2 times then use the remaining bit to weave back and forth on the top. I was able to get 3 lines but keep enough space to get parts in and out.

Then use the box the aquarium shipped in to attach tin foil to. First cut to size for all the sides of the aquarium except the bottom. Spray glue on cardboard and attach tin foil (Shiny side out) to the cardboard then spray glue to the bottom of the aquarium directly and attach tin foil there directly. No cardboard on the bottom because this is where the heating pad will be. Once all the cardboard is tin foiled up tape them together making a surround for the aquarium.

The measurements I used were 1 cup developer per gallon of water until objects are fully submerged. Speaking of which I need to get some small weights to hold down floating plastics.

I placed the heating pad under the aquarium on high to heat up the water as I have heard heat will speed up the process. I may test without this or perhaps get a fish tank water heater or something like that.

I have been running the test for 1 hour and will need to check if its doing anything….

UPDATE – Running for one hour shows no results. Will check back in 2 hours.

UPDATE 2 – 2 Hours might be showing results however its minimal and could just be in my head.

UPDATE 3 – Its been about 5 hours total and the changes to the plastic are minimal however there is activity such as bubbles forming on the plastic. I will go to sleep now since its 3AM and check it in the morning.

UPDATE 4 – It has now been about 13 hours and the plastic appears to be about half way done. A few problems arose however. First because of the heat condensation has built up on the top piece of tin foil which may short the stings of UV LED’s so I will either need to vent or remove the heat source. Second the GameCube parts began to float again during the night I really need some good weights, which leads me into the final issue which is the weights I used to hold the SNES shell down have caused certain parts to not get the same light as the rest which has left some untreated points. I adjusted the weights to new positions to account for this.

UPDATE 5 – So I left these parts in for a total of 48 hours and it seems to have done the trick for the most part. They aren’t 100% but are good enough. Next time i do this I think I will either double the UV light strips or Double the concentration of the peroxide to water ratio.