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Thread: Getting the Yellow Out! (PC-Engines, SNES)

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Leroy's Avatar
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    Default Getting the Yellow Out! (PC-Engines, SNES)

    I posted this over at the PC-Engine FX forums but I figured the information might be useful here too. I bought a PC-Engine Duo-R the other week and like most of them doing the rounds these days (check eBay or Yahoo Japan) it was a bit yellow. As a collector, this wasn't acceptable; so I set out to make wrongs right.

    The below is written out for a PC-Engine Duo-R, but obviously any yellowed system should be much the same. Other PC-Engine systems or accessories, Model 1 SNESes, etc. Because the blue logo (lettering) on the Duo-R was not affected, I'm assuming the bleach isn't really whitening the system more than it's actually just breaking up and sucking out all the dirt and grime in the plastic.

    Here's the process I used, you can do this or your own variation of it. You'll need some Comet or Clorox gel all-purpose cleaner, a large bottle of bleach (or two) and a toothbrush or two (medium bristle for scrubbing). The Duo is a very nice system to take apart, everything is fairly simple and friendly unlike the hell that is taking apart a PS2. Everything on the CD lid can be taken apart so you're left with just the plastic and the small plastic piece over the CD drive and lens also removes very easily. The first step is using the gel and toothbrush to scrub the system down. This should get most of the color out and loosen up the deep-in surface color. You can be as gentle or rough as you want, just be careful as you could mark the surface lightly. If you want to apply major elbow-grease perhaps a sponge would be better. After you're satisfied with the scrubbing, place the shell in a cake pan (you'll probably have to do each half separately) and fill to the top with bleach. I can't say how long to leave it in, but I left each piece in for 16-24 hours before removing. Once you remove, rinse thoroughly with cold water, towel dry what you can and leave it to dry for an hour or so. You may use a hair dryer to speed up drying, and you'll need to make sure there isn't any bleach or water left in the corners or screw holes. Piece it back together and you're done!

    Now, this is what I did. Both steps may not be necessary. If anybody wants to try soaking in bleach alone (to avoid scrubbing the system) let me know how well it comes out. Take before and after pictures if you can!









    Enjoy!
    Zelda is NOT an RPG.

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    Cherry (Level 1) TEND's Avatar
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    Wow, that's the first time I've ever seen someone get the yellow out of the system, I had just assumed that it was permanent. I'll try it out on one of my yellowed SNES's in a few days.

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    Banana (Level 7) SkiDragon's Avatar
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    Ive used comet bleach powder to clean dirty systems, but It never took any "yellow" off, that I can tell. Are you sure this wasnt just dirty? Ill believe this when I see it on an SNES. Plus it will probably gradually turn yellow again.
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    I'd always heard that Nintendo used different suppliers for the plastic cases on the original SNES. Some were of lower quality and yellowed over time. It explains why other systems don't seem to ever turn yellow, and why some systems only turn half yellow (top or bottom parts).

    Seems like they can turn yellow just from grime and such also. I wonder if this method would work in both situations or just the latter. Regardless, nice job finding this... I would have never tried soaking it in bleach; seems like it would be too harsh on the plastic. Someone try this on a SNES and post results.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    In my search for a white Saturn I noticed those can get a little yellow too.

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    Strawberry (Level 2)
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    Oh craps, thats amazing! I've got a spare snes that I can try out. (My primary SNES is spray painted silver :P)

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    I am skeptical, but I'm going to try this on my yellowed SNES tommorow. That before picture doesn't look like dirt to me, it looks like a yellowed system. If this really works, then you sir are going to be legendary in the classic gaming community.

    Chris

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    That's very useful information. I don't have a pc engine duo unfortunately but I think i'll be doing that to one of snes' and my top loader.

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    ServBot (Level 11) Cauterize's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting the Yellow Out! (PC-Engines, SNES)

    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy
    After you're satisfied with the scrubbing, place the shell in a cake pan (you'll probably have to do each half separately) and fill to the top with bleach.
    Can you explain the Cake Pan business more please?

    Is the bleach in contact with the Console Shell, or is it the fumes which do the work (If bleach gives off any!?)

    The way you say place the shell "in" the cake pan, and bleach in the "top" kinda confused me


    (Feel free to call me a dumbass...)

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    That looks great man, awesome even, i have a SNES who i got in this yellow state i will try it soon.Thanx for the info!

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Leroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Getting the Yellow Out! (PC-Engines, SNES)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cauterize
    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy
    After you're satisfied with the scrubbing, place the shell in a cake pan (you'll probably have to do each half separately) and fill to the top with bleach.
    Can you explain the Cake Pan business more please?

    Is the bleach in contact with the Console Shell, or is it the fumes which do the work (If bleach gives off any!?)

    The way you say place the shell "in" the cake pan, and bleach in the "top" kinda confused me


    (Feel free to call me a dumbass...)
    Sorry if it was worded badly. It puts the lotion in the.. wait, wrong method. You place the shell of the system (obviously you want to remove all the insides as placing electronics in bleach would probably give negative results) in the cake pan. You fill the cake pan to the top with bleach, or at least to the point where the plastic shell is fully submerged. Like I said above, you'll probably have to do it one half at a time.
    Zelda is NOT an RPG.

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Leroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jibbajaba
    I am skeptical, but I'm going to try this on my yellowed SNES tommorow. That before picture doesn't look like dirt to me, it looks like a yellowed system. If this really works, then you sir are going to be legendary in the classic gaming community.

    Chris
    Legendary.. I like that.

    Let me know how it turns out. I did this to my Duo-R, 2 controllers and a multi-tap and all of them are sparkling white now. The controllers (as seen in my picture) were practically brown when I got them.
    Zelda is NOT an RPG.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) anagrama's Avatar
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    Man, that's sweet I've got a slightly-yellowed PC Engine in the post to me at the moment, so I'll have to give it a crack when that arrives. Thanks!

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    It really does work. I just tried it on my Duo-R controller. And now it's so pearly white.

    I have to do it to my Duo-R system shell itself sometime. The yellowing is not as bad as the controller was, but all in all the color is a little off in comparison.

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    I do not have a system to try this out on, but I do know some advice I can still give.

    Please make sure that all inard componets and any metal objects like screws are completly removed as the bleach WILL leave very bad side effects on them. One thing that I do know about bleach and I have learnd from expierence is that it is increable at making rust! That's right, seconds of having bleach on a metal object will result in rust!

    Just thought I'd give this little heads up. Nice job on your discovery Leroy!
    I will get around to editing this thing again.

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) Funk Buddy's Avatar
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    I may have missed this mentioned, but if it came from Japan it's probably cig smoke that yellowed it and not the plastic changing like the SNES systems.
    What have you done America?

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    Strawberry (Level 2) Leroy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Funk Buddy
    I may have missed this mentioned, but if it came from Japan it's probably cig smoke that yellowed it and not the plastic changing like the SNES systems.
    Is smoking THAT big of a problem in Japan? It's possible, but it's SO difficult to find one that's not yellow (especially the controllers) in Japan even that I'm leaning more towards just general yellowing plastic.
    Zelda is NOT an RPG.

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    Cherry (Level 1)
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    The big question now Leroy is how well is the video output working
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    2 words: knowledge base.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy
    Quote Originally Posted by Funk Buddy
    I may have missed this mentioned, but if it came from Japan it's probably cig smoke that yellowed it and not the plastic changing like the SNES systems.
    Is smoking THAT big of a problem in Japan? It's possible, but it's SO difficult to find one that's not yellow (especially the controllers) in Japan even that I'm leaning more towards just general yellowing plastic.
    I know mine smelled like smoke when I got it.
    What have you done America?

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