View Full Version : Cleaning cases - Mr Clean Magic Eraser

January 10th, 2008, 09:57 AM
Amazing job. The product looks like a little sponge, and they pull almost any dirt off a computer. Will not remove the "yellow" from an Apple or any paint/glue/tape, but worth a try for almost anything else.

January 10th, 2008, 12:02 PM
It's definitely good as long as you keep in mind that it acts a bit like sand paper. It will take a very small layer off of the surface you're working with. And yeah, it doesn't work on discolored plastics because that's a internal chemical change, not a surface issue. I mostly use those magic erasers on wall scuffs, myself...

January 10th, 2008, 06:19 PM
Yes indeed. It does take some of the top surface off. One thing I cleaned had like a plastic texture on the surface, close to smooth now where I used the Eraser. Still, it lightened up the magic marker nicely.

January 10th, 2008, 07:19 PM
Dishwasher for the case, WD-40 for sticky residue and bath, tub & tile cleaner for markers and anything else Windex won't take off.

Terry Yager
January 10th, 2008, 09:58 PM
MeToo! Only thing I've found that will (easily) remove permanent marker (it practically wipes right off, no elbow grease required).


January 12th, 2008, 04:48 AM
There is a product called "Goo Gone", which takes sticky residue off of items rather well, and it has a nice orange scent ... and a product called "Oops!" takes permanent marker off also. Both of those products do a great job and I always have them on hand whenever it's time to clean the exterior of video game consoles, cartridges, and computers.

January 12th, 2008, 05:02 PM
I've discovered the "purple" cleaners work pretty good on stubborn stains. I use Purple Power which I picked up at an auto supply store. It does tend to leave a slick residue so I usually follow up with a quick wipe with Windex. It doesn't get permanent markers completely out, but it does take them down a notch.

January 14th, 2008, 01:52 PM

What was your metoo agreement to? The most interesting tip I've heard that isn't mentioned and I've never tried but a friend said when he used to work at a used college bookstore, they used butane to remove sticky price tag labels from the books. He said it worked great. I'm not 100% sure I'd want to add any additional ignition source to my already flamable books but I do hate that stupid resedue from price tags.

My friend suggested paint thinner to get sharpie off a system. Admittedly I haven't tried it. I ended up being ok with the writing for now since it's actually the room number the computer was in at the middle school that owned them. The middle school was where I went and first learned programming on these Apple II's so it adds to the history and story as far as I'm concerned. They could be and probably are the actual systems I was using :o)

- John

January 17th, 2008, 08:34 PM
For cleaning painted metal and plastic cases I use SoftScrub. It has a very light abrasive in it and works really good. For stubborn residue I will use either Isopropyl Alcohol or Methanol (not rubbing alcohol, it is 30% water). I like Methanol because it dries a lot faster than the Isopropyl. NEVER USE ACETONE! It dissolves paint and plastics readily. I also would not recommend using paint thinner. It's most defining characteristic is that paint is soluble in it.

I guess you have to be careful with anything you use. IBM Thinkpads have a strange dull rubbery coating on them. Not typical of any other computer I have seen. I ruined the finish on one trying to remove some sticker adhesive. It looks awful now.

January 19th, 2008, 01:11 PM
I usually use Windex or 409, and on occasion, something alcohol based if there is sticker goo to remove. I just leave the yellow there, it gives the machine character in my eyes, kind of like an old beat up guitar, or an old pair of worn-in jeans.

April 2nd, 2008, 06:35 AM
One of my friends who was a huge Amiga collector and also ran a repair center in the middle 90s said there was a way to fix yellowing.
He said it was the normal dishwasher cycle but adding some kind of lemon juice mixture and it would take almost all yellowing out.
I cannot find his old email.

April 2nd, 2008, 05:44 PM
For kicks I took the lid of a yellowed Apple //e and washed it in the dishwasher with the dishes. I left the rest of the chassis unwashed. I took before and after pics.

Here is the result.


This is the best pic - an itty bitty noticable change


April 5th, 2008, 12:02 PM
I've been researching this topic today both in other posts on here and on goggle. My Vic-20 is yellower than it should be and I'm looking to lighten the colour. I've been bidding on a mint unit on our local auction site. It's untested but the case looks well cared for so I don't really care if it works or not. Anyway, the bids have climbed to a price I'm no longer prepared to pay just for a case (particularly as my collection budget has been molested by a particulary expensive import from the USA :) ).

I found this link which others might find of value. There is a bit of off-topic chatter but it's largely relevant. The link has other links from it.


Perhaps soaking the case in a solution of bleach might be the answer?

April 5th, 2008, 07:15 PM
I tried submerging one edge of a Tandy CoCo 2 in a 1:1 bleach/water solution for a week to see what it looked like after the week compared to the other sides. Some lessening of the yellowing but not enough to make it worth while. Perhaps if it was left in there for a year.....

I've heard about a procedure where you spray bleach on the plastic and leave it out in the bright sunlight. I haven't tried this nor have I ever sat down and worked out what chemical interactions are likely to occur.

Anyone got sun?

April 5th, 2008, 07:33 PM
I've got a yellowed keyboard and plenty of sun. It was in the 80s a few days ago, only got to 75F today. Shall I perform a test on a nice day?


April 5th, 2008, 08:52 PM
Hmm, if I remember all my "pool buddy rants", they stated that sunlight messed up the chlorine sooooooo I would think that no sun would be better.

April 5th, 2008, 10:30 PM
There is a product called "Goo Gone", which takes sticky residue off of items rather well, and it has a nice orange scent ... and a product called "Oops!" takes permanent marker off also. Both of those products do a great job and I always have them on hand whenever it's time to clean the exterior of video game consoles, cartridges, and computers.
I use both of those items and they work great.

April 6th, 2008, 12:06 AM
Putting it in the sun seems rather counter productive to me. The suns UV rays causes a chemical breakdown in the plastic causing it to yellow in the first place. UV Stabilizers are sometimes added to plastics to prevent this, but thats usually only done to things that are going to be outdoors most of its life. UV light is a form of electromagnetic radiation so generally its going to break down most anything that absorbs it. There's not really much you can do to prevent it beyond just keeping things out of direct sunlight.

On the other side of things I think a little bit of yellowing adds character as long as its not too much or its to the point the plastic has become brittle.


April 9th, 2008, 09:49 PM
Anyone decide "screw it, I'll paint it!" I am tempted to experiment, but I have never done it.

Most consider a yellowed chassis to be more desirable than a painted chassis. Once in a while a computer will change color in a nice way. Anyone who has seen a stack of Apples or VIC 20's will notice a whole variety of colors. A touch of color gives a system character.

That said, personally I don't like the chicken soup color yellow that Apples/MACs/etc. can acquire. Too much is not good.


April 10th, 2008, 07:39 AM
I would have to agree with you. I would rather have a yellowed one then a painted.

April 10th, 2008, 01:05 PM
I use an arsenal of cleaners:
cigarette Lighter fluid (naptha) for sticky things like labels (used to buy by the gallon)
WD40 for other sticky things that lighter fluid won't touch
Windex for NO scratch surfaces like monitor screens
Goo Gone more sticky residue stuff
Goof Off more sticky residue stuff.
Alcohol, best cleaner for keyboard grime. Just don't use Jim Beam or JACK. rubbing is what I use........on keyboards:D
Graffiti Gone Paint and marker pen -- my own "works almost every time" concoction. Disolves 20 year old paint. Takes out marker pen ink. I sold it for a while in small bottles, but never got the power to go commercial.
Simichrome Polish for polishing and smoothing
Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish polishing again
Tape and other stickies require different cleaners.

Razor blades for peeling labels and tape off. Buy a box of single edge MADE IN USA blade. (I for why I did not like the foreign made.)

Always use a sharp blade. and run it almost parallel to the surface. With practice you will NOT cut into the paint or plastic of the item you are cleaning.

I put a drop of lighter fluid at the edge of a label and then peel under it with a razor blade. As the label starts coming off, I drip another drop of lighter fluid on the sticky part.

Be careful with any cleaner and test it on the bottom of an item first. Some of them will melt plastic.

Yellowing: It is a reaction between the plastic and UV light. It goes deeper than the surface. About the only way I have ever found to get rid of it is remove the surface.

With Macintosh SE computers I used to use #600 wet or dry sandpaper and a palm size electric sander to take off yellowing. I used it wet and yes I would disassemble the unit first. Care needs to be taken around logos and text.

Same wet or dry 600 on any yellowed surface. I do not do it any longer.
Anyone want to buy about 70 Mac SE & similar style computers, most with yellowing? LOL REALLY I have them --- STILL:(

Some monitors used to have a plastic coating over the glass. I guess it was a built in glare screen. I messed up a couple big CRT monitors trying to clean the screen. Use only window cleaner on monitor screens.

April 10th, 2008, 02:04 PM
I think the acid in the lemon juice reacts with sunlight (vs bleach which I don't know what that does) but that's just a trick that I've heard people use on their hair not computers. Yes some yellowing is from sun, another popular source of yellowing is from tar in cigarettes when people could smoke in their offices (was always fairly disgusting working on a system that was yellowed from that even after the fact).

The only other thing I remember strongly was a vintage shop who yelled at a friend when my friend was looking at a monitor on their table and he put it glass side down right quick which they said never put your monitor glass on wood because it will scratch it or cause microscratches. The same goes for cleaning a monitor, don't use a paper towel use cloth otherwise you'll end up getting little micro scratches as well.

- John

April 10th, 2008, 02:16 PM
Adding onto that last comment, NEVER put a monitor face down against the glass. On a rug, car seat, bench, NOWHERE, NO TIME.

If the monitor moves across one tiny grain of sand you can have a nice scratch. If it moves back and forth, like traveling in car, it can be a major scratch(es):(

April 10th, 2008, 02:35 PM
If you need a realy great screen cleaner, check out this one -- video