So, a couple of years ago, some Amiga fans found that the solution to rejuvenate old plastic is a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, Oxygen laundry booster (Hi, Billy Mays!), and UV light. Basically, how it works is that the older plastics use bromine as a flame retardant. The oxidation causes the yellowing, and the mixture of hydrogen peroxide and Oxygen laundry booster (as a booster to the reaction) and the application of UV light (or sunlight) reverses the reaction, and causes your stuff to become de-yellowed! Basic Formula:UV LIGHT + HYDROGEN PEROXIDE + OXI-CLEAN + TIME = New Looking Parts A Discussion of the Ingredients: - hydrogen peroxide [square brown bottle, 3rd from the left] (I rather use weaker stuff - I can get 3% hydrogen peroxide for cheap and it's much less dangerous that the stronger stuff)- oxygen laundry booster [yellow capped bottle, 1st from the left] - a brand name is Oxi-clean, and it's pretty easy to get a hold of in the laundry aisle (I have two bottles of the stuff at home)- UV light (You can use the sun, but I have a black light, any how - it is sufficient for creating the reaction of the change)- patience- Xanthan Gum [white bag, 2nd from the left] - a product made with bacteria used to thicken foods. It's a pale white powder, and can be found in Bulk Barn or any health food shop. Try the gluten free section!- cornstarch - another product made out of corn. It's also used to thicken stuff, although it needs to be heated. Find this in your local supermarket - it's common stuff. (The international aisle has cheaper brands.)- glycerin [fourth/last from the left] - used for adding moisture to chapped hands. There are two versions - one scented with rosewater and one not. Find in your local pharmacy. This is used in some variations of retr0bright to let it retain more water and stay active longer. Light Sources:Basically, you need UV light - and this means "sunlight lamps" or blacklights or actual sunlight. People who retr0bright frequently use reptile uv lights (these are faster), but tend to be very annoying to use with different light types and different wattages. Plus, these bulbs are uber expensive. I like to use blacklights (those things that only emit UV light), but I find that these take a bit longer, and usually aren't that expensive. (Reptile lights are like $20+, and black lights are $8 at the local Walmart.) I've also used sunlight, but that's harder to control, and needs frequent tending and worrying about how hot the solution and parts are getting. Indoor Versus Outdoor Lighting Rigs: Indoor:Pros:- control everything!- results every time Cons:- may be expensive to set up- expensive to maintain- annoying to sleep with (lights on all the time!) Outdoor:Pros:- free, and eco friendly!- cheap - can be done every time Cons:- worry about theft or lost equipment or parts- uncontrollable weather (hello, snow, or cloudy weather or rain!)- may not be doable in small environments I personally prefer an indoor environment, but this gets annoying. I've been sleeping with a UV light on all the time, and I honestly do not like it. But it means that my results are slow but steady. Watch out for heat buildup on outdoor rigs. What Method Should I Use? Method A: Liquid Activated Peroxide Pros:- easy to use- good for small parts Cons:- expensive if you treat large parts- can spill the solution everywhere- might need ballast for your parts Method B: "Original Recipe" Gel Recipe Pros:- found to work the best (doesn't dry out as much)- makes enough to treat large parts (maybe even a computer bay)- stays put very nicely Cons:- Xanthan gum is hard to find/expensive- Xanthan gum gets everywhere!- needs a blender or electric tool to combine the ingredients Method C: Cornstarch Gel Recipe Pros:- cheaper to make and store- doesn't require so much equipment- easier to clean up Cons:- dries uber fast- may not let enough light through * Probably good for indoor applications where you control the heat, wind and humidity of the area. Method D: "Sneakerhead" Adapted Recipe I developed this adapted recipe after seeing sneaker fans use it on their soles of their shoes. This is a hybrid method which uses glycerin to help create a more wet environment for the gel. Pros:- simpler to make- cheaper to make- easier to clean up Cons:- can be pretty nasty to clean up (I think it's the glycerine...yuck.) Method E: Just Plain Laundry Booster and Nothing Else: One of the main people behind retr0bright used this successfully to whiten his plastic. It's just a mixture of water and the less expensive detergent! Pros:- simple to make- much cheaper to make- easier to clean up Cons:- don't know if the concentration is to much (Oxi-clean doesn't list the active ingredients and their percentage!)- can be knocked over- really rusts metal parts! The Recipes: Method A: Liquid Activated Peroxide You'd Need:- hydrogen peroxide- Oxi-clean- a tiny bit of hot water- a place big enough to hold your parts Dissolve a tiny pinch of Oxi-clean in your hot water. It should make an opaque liquid. Put your hydrogen peroxide into your treatment area, and mix throughly with your dissolved Oxi-clean. Put your parts into the bath, and stick into a lit area. Solution should bubble - if the solution is still after a while, you should dump it out, and start new. Method B: "Original Recipe" Gel Recipe * what the goop looks like! (This is a quarter of the full recipe.) You'd Need:- hydrogen peroxide- Oxi-clean- a tiny bit of hot water- glycerin- a blender or a stick blender- measuring spoons Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of oxi-clean in hot water. It's going to make a white liquid when it fully dissolves. Add 500 mL (one small bottle) hydrogen peroxide into your blender. Add 2 tablespoons of xanthan gum. Whiz for about ten seconds. Add 1 teaspoon of glycerin, and whiz again for ten seconds. The gel should have formed. Let rest for about a minute (hydrating the ingredients), and whiz again for ten seconds. You can store this gel is a dark container until you need to use it, just don't add the oxi-clean mixture yet! (You can add it if you are going to use it now - if you want to split the batch, dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of Oxi-clean into hot water, and mix it in.) ** Oxygen laundry booster does expand...don't put the mix into a small jar! Method C: Cornstarch Gel Recipe You'd Need:- hydrogen peroxide- Oxi-clean- a tiny bit of hot water- a microwave- cornstarch- container to hold your gel Dissolve about 1/4 teaspoon of oxi-clean in hot water. It's going to make a white liquid when it fully dissolves. Add your small bottle of peroxide to your container, and add a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir to combine. Heat in your microwave for about 30 to 45 seconds, until a gel has formed. Stir this gel until it cools down a bit. Add your dissolved oxi-clean, and stir - it will foam up. Apply to the parts and stick them outside or in your set up. Method D: "Sneakerhead" Adapted Recipe You'd Need:- hydrogen peroxide- Oxi-clean- a tiny bit of hot water- a microwave- cornstarch- container to hold your gel- glycerin Dissolve about 1/4 teaspoon of oxi-clean in hot water. It's going to make a white liquid when it fully dissolves. Add your small bottle of peroxide to your container, and add a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir to combine. Heat in your microwave for about 30 to 45 seconds, until a gel has formed. Stir this gel until it cools down a bit. Add your dissolved oxi-clean, and stir - it will foam up. Add 1/2 teaspoon of glycerin, and stir! Apply to the parts and stick them outside or in your set up. Method E: Liquid Oxygen Laundry Booster You'd Need:- Oxi-clean or similiar product- hot water- some bravery Take about two tablespoons of your oxygen laundry booster, and dump it into your treatment bowl. Add about 2 cups of hot boiling water. Watch as it foams or expands. Stir well until fully dissolved - DO NOT STICK ANYTHING METAL in here - it will rust. Stick under your light source. My Favourite Set Up: * My ghetto-licious set up - I recommend you upgrade your light bulb to a "sunlight bulb" - it's much faster! I like a big plastic tupperware bin, aluminium foil, cling wrap, and a bottle of water inside the de-yellowing chamber. I mostly use the indoor method on my stuff, because it's more controlled and it tends to work a lot better. I take a large tupperware bin, line it with aluminium foil, toss in the coated pieces, and throw in a bottle of water. I top off the top with cling wrap, and sit it under a blacklight. This set up can be done for about a day, without worrying that the stuff will be damaged by the retr0bright. * Addendum: You can mist your parts that are drying out with water to help keep the solution active (the Xanthan Gum one tends to hold up better), or just repaint the retr0bright on with a paintbrush. I actually had a medicine dropper, and ended up squirting two tablespoons of water across the parts. Problems with Retr0bright: i) White Bloom on Finished ProductThis is damage to the plastic treated by retr0bright. You could have added too much oxi-clean, or let the mixture dry out. It is a chemical burn, and can possibly be covered up by the a acrylic clear spray when finishing your stuff. ii) White Skin on HandsYep, this is a dangerous by-product of hydrogen peroxide. It tends to kill skin on contact. Wash with cold water, and make sure your hands are covered in gloves next time. If they don't fade within a couple of hours, see a medical professional! * It takes a while for the feeling of the chemical burn to arrive. It actually feels like a mild stinging sensation on your fingertips, and can last for quite a while. Wear gloves! iii) Uneven de-yellowingThis could be because your plastic is very yellowed, and de-yellowing it is very difficult. Try to treat the parts with the liquid version, and try to reapply the retr0bright at times. You can even try sunlight outside! iv) Rusty Metal Parts *** This was a NEW paintbrush. I stuck it into the liquid oxi-clean for about five minutes, and it had oxidized the metal on it. Quite scary. Ooops. This is a big rust-causer because of the nature of the product. Make sure you don't get it on your metal parts, or to remove everything metal next time.