As for switches (Problem and Help)

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UncleFan

14 Jan 2018, 06:53

Hello! every one! Today I found a hard problem. :( I want to clean my switches.
some of them are dirty,dust and dirt. I think I can use detergents to clean them. but my clear switches are becomed yellow. This is a bad sign for me. I don't know how to make it back to the original...
Left M9 turns yellow
Left M9 turns yellow
MY.jpg (125.76 KiB) Viewed 1526 times
MY type2 in middle turns yellow
MY type2 in middle turns yellow
M9.jpg (119.75 KiB) Viewed 1526 times
I soak them by 3 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide.But no obvious effect.
IMG_9320(20180113-181342).jpg
IMG_9320(20180113-181342).jpg (414.13 KiB) Viewed 1526 times
Who had cleaned the siwtches and who know how to make "yellow" clear key-stem back to the original?
Thank you.

User avatar
ohaimark
Kingpin

14 Jan 2018, 07:27

Try watching the 8 Bit Guy video on retrobrite. He has some neat processes that might net you better results.

User avatar
UncleFan

14 Jan 2018, 07:32

ohaimark wrote: Try watching the 8 Bit Guy video on retrobrite. He has some neat processes that might net you better results.
THANK YOU! Can you give me that vedio's address?

green-squid

14 Jan 2018, 07:56

UncleFan wrote:
ohaimark wrote: Try watching the 8 Bit Guy video on retrobrite. He has some neat processes that might net you better results.
THANK YOU! Can you give me that vedio's address?
youtube.com/watch?v=VU7vXMezW_I

User avatar
UncleFan

14 Jan 2018, 08:00

green-squid wrote:
UncleFan wrote:
ohaimark wrote: Try watching the 8 Bit Guy video on retrobrite. He has some neat processes that might net you better results.
THANK YOU! Can you give me that vedio's address?
youtube.com/watch?v=VU7vXMezW_I
WOW! thank you. I think I need VPN. :shock:

Cattus_D

14 Jan 2018, 11:21

High concentrations of hydrogenperoxide do, indeed, work (hydrogenperoxide is also the most important ingredient in retrobrite), but people restoring old toys in this way have reported that the yellowing often returns within a few years. A few people have also stated that the yellowing ultimately got worse, although this does not seem to be a common effect of the treatment.

The ultimate cause appears to be a fire retardant used in plastics through most, if not all, of the 1980s. As it was mixed with the plastic, it cannot be removed, and thus will continue to react with the other components of which the material is composed.

UV radiation (such as that from the sun) will speed up the yellowing process, and there is evidence that certain components in other plastics (such as the transparent plastic used for ziplock bags) can have a similar effect.

User avatar
UncleFan

14 Jan 2018, 12:05

Cattus_D wrote: High concentrations of hydrogenperoxide do, indeed, work (hydrogenperoxide is also the most important ingredient in retrobrite), but people restoring old toys in this way have reported that the yellowing often returns within a few years. A few people have also stated that the yellowing ultimately got worse, although this does not seem to be a common effect of the treatment.

The ultimate cause appears to be a fire retardant used in plastics through most, if not all, of the 1980s. As it was mixed with the plastic, it cannot be removed, and thus will continue to react with the other components of which the material is composed.

UV radiation (such as that from the sun) will speed up the yellowing process, and there is evidence that certain components in other plastics (such as the transparent plastic used for ziplock bags) can have a similar effect.
Good answer! Thank you. But I only have medical hydrogen peroxide.It has only 3% concentration.Seems ineffective. Do you have a good idea to restore clear switches's key-stem?

Cattus_D

14 Jan 2018, 13:01

Good answer! Thank you. But I only have medical hydrogen peroxide.It has only 3% concentration.Seems ineffective. Do you have a good idea to restore clear switches's key-stem?
With white plastic, it should work, albeit very slowly. Put it in a closed jar, and check on the plastic a few times every day. Interestingly, UV radiation seems to speed up the whitening process (!). There's a post on the process here.

Just to be sure, is that stem supposed to be transparent? I am not knowledgeable about these switches, but noticed your referring to them as 'clear'. I do not know what hydrogen peroxide does to transparent plastics. Such plastics are often more brittle than coloured ones, though. Also, please be careful with the black plastic. A few years ago, in an attempt to 'de-yellow' some red plastic I accidentally bleached it, causing it to turn pink.

Finally, hair products often contain higher concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, but make sure that that stuff doesn't touch your skin.

rich1051414

16 Jan 2018, 15:32

Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, so it will make the stems white whether they ever were white or not. Also, UV is not required, and possibly will make them turn yellow again faster if they are exposed to heavy UV during the whitening process. All that is required to activate peroxide is heat. 120f-180f is ideal. Hotter and you will start concentrating the peroxide, and damage the plastic(and your hands if you touch it). Wear gloves either way, unless you want the outer layer of skin on your hands bleached. It itches, too.

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

16 Jan 2018, 15:43

rich1051414 wrote: Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, so it will make the stems white whether they ever were white or not. Also, UV is not required, and possibly will make them turn yellow again faster if they are exposed to heavy UV during the whitening process. All that is required to activate peroxide is heat. 120f-180f is ideal. Hotter and you will start concentrating the peroxide, and damage the plastic(and your hands if you touch it). Wear gloves either way, unless you want the outer layer of skin on your hands bleached. It itches, too.
Be very careful with the peroxide / heat method. I tried this on keycaps and while I got great results it bent a 10u space bar and some of the printing on the alphas started to bleed so switches or even switch parts that move may not be usuable afterwards.

codemonkeymike

16 Jan 2018, 16:16

To add to what seebart said, you should also worry about actually not knowing what temperature the plastic can handle. Plastic is not an element or a pure compound and even if it was a pure substance its melting point is still amorphous. The plastic could swell, shrink, or warp.

Cattus_D

17 Jan 2018, 09:12

rich1051414 wrote: Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, so it will make the stems white whether they ever were white or not. Also, UV is not required, and possibly will make them turn yellow again faster if they are exposed to heavy UV during the whitening process. All that is required to activate peroxide is heat. 120f-180f is ideal. Hotter and you will start concentrating the peroxide, and damage the plastic(and your hands if you touch it). Wear gloves either way, unless you want the outer layer of skin on your hands bleached. It itches, too.
That's good to know! Thus far, nearly everyone I've talked to thought that UV would speed up the bleaching process.

rich1051414

17 Jan 2018, 12:01

Cattus_D wrote:
rich1051414 wrote: Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, so it will make the stems white whether they ever were white or not. Also, UV is not required, and possibly will make them turn yellow again faster if they are exposed to heavy UV during the whitening process. All that is required to activate peroxide is heat. 120f-180f is ideal. Hotter and you will start concentrating the peroxide, and damage the plastic(and your hands if you touch it). Wear gloves either way, unless you want the outer layer of skin on your hands bleached. It itches, too.
That's good to know! Thus far, nearly everyone I've talked to thought that UV would speed up the bleaching process.
Yeah I hear that all the time but that simply is not the case. I have a theory that this is the source of the theory that peroxide bleaching causes the plastic to re-yellow even faster. I think it isn't the peroxide at all, but the people actually activating the peroxide with UV.

UV is not required, I don't even think it does anything but serve as a heat source, but I could be wrong. Either way, since it isn't necessary, there is no reason to subject the plastic to it since UV IS what causes the flame retardant in plastic to brown. Seems quite counter productive, or at the very least, cancels itself out :)

I think Chyros is a chemist, maybe he can chime in if he stumbles by.
seebart wrote:
rich1051414 wrote: Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, so it will make the stems white whether they ever were white or not. Also, UV is not required, and possibly will make them turn yellow again faster if they are exposed to heavy UV during the whitening process. All that is required to activate peroxide is heat. 120f-180f is ideal. Hotter and you will start concentrating the peroxide, and damage the plastic(and your hands if you touch it). Wear gloves either way, unless you want the outer layer of skin on your hands bleached. It itches, too.
Be very careful with the peroxide / heat method. I tried this on keycaps and while I got great results it bent a 10u space bar and some of the printing on the alphas started to bleed so switches or even switch parts that move may not be usuable afterwards.
Yes, it is better to be too cold and just leave it longer than to push your luck getting too close to the plastic's melting temp. When I retro-bright, I do it at 130F degrees because I am scared of temperature swing causing the plastic to sag. I have heard of people retro-brightening in a translucent container outside in the summer to take advantage of the greenhouse effect, but that scares me even more, the temps can get so hot in there you cannot touch the plastic. I would much rather have the temp regulated. Funnily enough, I retro-bright in an oven :) The only mishap I had was when my brother was visiting and thought he would preheat the oven to cook a pizza... while my keyboard was in there. That was a mess.
I think he is still confused as to why I had a keyboard warming in the oven.

codemonkeymike

17 Jan 2018, 14:14

rich1051414 wrote:
Cattus_D wrote:
rich1051414 wrote: Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, so it will make the stems white whether they ever were white or not. Also, UV is not required, and possibly will make them turn yellow again faster if they are exposed to heavy UV during the whitening process. All that is required to activate peroxide is heat. 120f-180f is ideal. Hotter and you will start concentrating the peroxide, and damage the plastic(and your hands if you touch it). Wear gloves either way, unless you want the outer layer of skin on your hands bleached. It itches, too.
That's good to know! Thus far, nearly everyone I've talked to thought that UV would speed up the bleaching process.
Yeah I hear that all the time but that simply is not the case. I have a theory that this is the source of the theory that peroxide bleaching causes the plastic to re-yellow even faster. I think it isn't the peroxide at all, but the people actually activating the peroxide with UV.

UV is not required, I don't even think it does anything but serve as a heat source, but I could be wrong. Either way, since it isn't necessary, there is no reason to subject the plastic to it since UV IS what causes the flame retardant in plastic to brown. Seems quite counter productive, or at the very least, cancels itself out :)

I think Chyros is a chemist, maybe he can chime in if he stumbles by.
The assumption is that both UV and Infrared serve as a catalyst for the retr0brite reaction. UV doesn't actually warm up the water all that much, give it a try. I did a retr0brite experiment with a small 6 watt CF bulb (probably was xenon-mercury but I digress) that emits a decent amount of short wave UV and not all that much heat and it did turn the yellow plastic white again. What exactly it is doing is not all that clear but it has to do something with Chlorinated additives.

User avatar
Chyros

17 Jan 2018, 16:44

rich1051414 wrote: Hydrogen peroxide is a bleach, so it will make the stems white whether they ever were white or not. Also, UV is not required, and possibly will make them turn yellow again faster if they are exposed to heavy UV during the whitening process. All that is required to activate peroxide is heat. 120f-180f is ideal. Hotter and you will start concentrating the peroxide, and damage the plastic(and your hands if you touch it). Wear gloves either way, unless you want the outer layer of skin on your hands bleached. It itches, too.
codemonkeymike wrote:
rich1051414 wrote:
Cattus_D wrote:
That's good to know! Thus far, nearly everyone I've talked to thought that UV would speed up the bleaching process.
Yeah I hear that all the time but that simply is not the case. I have a theory that this is the source of the theory that peroxide bleaching causes the plastic to re-yellow even faster. I think it isn't the peroxide at all, but the people actually activating the peroxide with UV.

UV is not required, I don't even think it does anything but serve as a heat source, but I could be wrong. Either way, since it isn't necessary, there is no reason to subject the plastic to it since UV IS what causes the flame retardant in plastic to brown. Seems quite counter productive, or at the very least, cancels itself out :)

I think Chyros is a chemist, maybe he can chime in if he stumbles by.
The assumption is that both UV and Infrared serve as a catalyst for the retr0brite reaction. UV doesn't actually warm up the water all that much, give it a try. I did a retr0brite experiment with a small 6 watt CF bulb (probably was xenon-mercury but I digress) that emits a decent amount of short wave UV and not all that much heat and it did turn the yellow plastic white again. What exactly it is doing is not all that clear but it has to do something with Chlorinated additives.
Catalysis doesn't apply in this process. Peroxide bonds photolyse in UVB and shorter though, so yes, UV light will definitely accelerate the process. Heat will also work, but I'm pretty sure not as efficiently, and it should be noted that heat will concentrate the mixture which can lead to extremely hazardous situations.

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ohaimark
Kingpin

17 Jan 2018, 16:47

The Ozone method from 8 Bit Guy was pretty cool.

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kbdfr
The Tiproman

17 Jan 2018, 16:59

Be careful with hydrogen peroxide.
Some time ago I ordered a 1 liter bottle pure hydrogen peroxide in my local pharmacy (you can do that in Germany),
when I came to fetch it they told me the bottle had exploded, ruining the room where they stored their orders.
If I remember correctly the reason was that the bottle was hermetically closed instead of having a venting cap.

Next thing I bought hairdresser's hydrogen peroxide cream where the stuff is diluted :lol:

User avatar
seebart
Offtopicthority Instigator

17 Jan 2018, 17:12

I got very good results with kbdfr's sunlight method for keyoboard cases but the downside is it's quite time consuming as the gel needs to be spread more than once every hour. I'll try the peroxide-heat method again sometime for keycaps with lower temps for a longer time. Check out the difference here on these keycaps:
Spoiler:
IMGP7302.JPG
IMGP7302.JPG (906.34 KiB) Viewed 1280 times
IMGP7352.JPG
IMGP7352.JPG (2.77 MiB) Viewed 1280 times

User avatar
kbdfr
The Tiproman

17 Jan 2018, 17:22

seebart wrote: I got very good results with kbdfr's sunlight method for keyoboard cases but the downside is it's quite time consuming as the gel needs to be spread more than once every hour. […]
Details here:
workshop-f7/g80-5000-mod-questions-t10958.html#p237608

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