Has anyone un-yellowed Stormtrooper armor?

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Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
My trooper armor has taken on some yellowing while on display. I wanted to know if anyone else has had success.

has anyone done this:
Peroxide Method
You Will Need:
  • Hydrogen peroxide (the regular 3% kind)
  • Oxy laundry booster
  • Sunshine or UV light
  • Water
  • Bucket or large bowl
  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
Steps to Whiten the Plastic:
  1. Begin by protecting yourself with rubber gloves and goggles.
  2. Fill the bucket with hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Add ¼ teaspoon of Oxy laundry booster for each gallon of peroxide.
  4. If the items can be soaked, place them into the solution and allow them to soak. If they cannot be soaked, wet a paper towel with the solution, squeeze it out so that it’s not dripping, flatten it out again, and press it against the item. It should stick in place on it’s own, but if not, you can cover it with plastic wrap and tape the plastic wrap in place.
  5. The soaking time will vary with most pieces whitening in 2-6 hours. The mixture will last for up to four days before it needs to be replaced. Retr0Bright has also developed a way to make this into a gel that can be spread onto the plastic. This is especially helpful for larger items.
  6. Set the items under a UV light or out in the sunshine.
  7. When the item has reached the desired whiteness, remove and rinse thoroughly to remove any remaining cleaning product residue.
  8. If necessary, wash with dish detergent and water.

A few years back I had some success using this method except I used the gel method because it was for a large electronic R2. Ultimately it did work but it took many applications.
 

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Darth Lars

Master Member
I've done retr0brighting of plastic parts of old computer equipment. They had got yellow from bromine-ions (added for its flame-retardant properties) together with sunlight. Plastic without these flame-retardants don't yellow as much.
Retr0brighting is not bleaching: it is reacting with the bromine at the surface of the plastic. If you overdo it, then it will start bleaching which usually shows itself as white streaks — which you don't want.
UV light and heat each works on its own, but is better together. I've seen a sous-vide heater/circulator being used to keep the temperature over time.

I am unsure of how good Oxy Clean actually is. It contains TAED which should make hydrogen peroxide work better as a bleach at a lower temperature. On the other hand, Oxy Clean foams. I think most people omit this.

While computer equipment often has a coarse texture... for slick glossy plastic there is another method: ablation. Use fine sandpaper to remove the thin yellowed surface layer and then polishing compound to get it shiny again.
This method was recommended by collectors of old telephones, and I've used it on a vintage Ericofon. But it is of course labour-intensive and vintage phone enclosures are made from a thicker and harder plastic than armour tends to be.

... or ... You could convert your Stormtrooper into a Sandtrooper :p
 

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
Like I said, I have had some success in the past with an electronic R2:

I had done this:
Day 1: 50 ml 3% peroxide, 1/4 tbs Oxiclean, 1.5 tsb cornstarch - 4 hours
Day 2: 50 ml #10 developer cream (3% peroxide), 1/4 tps Oxiclean - 4 hours
Day 3: 50 ml #40 developer cream (12% peroxide), 1/4 tps Oxiclean - 4 hours
Day 4: 50 ml #40 developer cream (12% peroxide), 1/4 tps Oxiclean - 4 hours

I think I would have had better result if I left it out in the sun longer but I was thinking that once it dried, it stoped working, but that might be untrue.

The other thing is that the mix I used was very easy to do but not sure if it was as effective as the previous listed method.
 

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Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
I got an experiment going on today. I wanted to try the wet paper towel method. I got one of the pieces out in the sun now. The problem is that here in Florida, we have been getting afternoon showers every day. So I may one have a few hours of sunlight. But maybe it is enough to see if it works.
 

newmagrathea

Sr Member
I couldn't tell you one way or another. A few years ago I watched a video where someone restored some old yellowed toys. It was pretty interesting, and the result was that it looked brand new. Alternatively you could paint the armor white.
 

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
I went ahead an bought the Trooperbay product. Because it did not require any mixture as you see online.

However I watched another couple videos where they simply used the 40 Volume of Salon Care you can get at the beauty supply store and simply brush it ion and put it in a bag and wrap in plastic and put in the Sun or UV light. So I am kind of thinking the Trooperbay stuff might be the samestuff just repackaged. I'd like to think he might have added something more to it to make it better. We will see.

The 40 Volume of Salon Care is what I used in the past but I mixed it with the oxy clean. Not sure why that is important as it seems to work without it. But in the past, I was not told to wrap it in clear plastic. The plastic supposed to help keep the cream from drying out. For instance, i saw a guy in a video able to put the item out on two different days and not have to re-apply the cream. Where as when i did it prior and not wrapped in plastic, it dried out right away and I was not sure is the mixture still worked and I found myself re-applying a few times in one day with slow results.
 

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
I am experimenting.
67BE7C41-2250-4D3B-9F8B-7EDBA1C3E304.jpeg


if you see the bottom section of the inside leg, you will see the color the white is suppose to be. Oddly enough, that little section is a different kind of plastic as it is not prone to the yellowing.


9E8A8F08-7581-4F31-9853-C0B0FC73963F.jpeg

The problem is that here in Florida, it’s been day after day of thunderstorm. Not much sun. So it might be a while till I get results.
 

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
B3B981CB-C1CB-48DA-8C44-33F670D6BB96_1_201_a.jpeg


Some progress. Looks better in person. I'd say this have been about 8 to 10 hours of daylight exposure. However this daylight has been overcast. They say it's UV light that makes this work so I know that UV light is still very prominent even on cloudy/overcast days. I rinsed and reapplied the creme. We will see what happens next.

I found a brand new 18" black light at my Goodwill for $5. According to my research, a blacklight generates UV rays. So I may experiment with that as well overnight. The youtube videos show methods using this blacklight/UV light method.
 

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Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
I'd say that worked pretty well!
Agree.

after a few hours the piece of trooper armor is almost done. There is a slight tinge of yellow in. A spot. If you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t notice. I am keeping it under the uv lamp for the night.

I think I could get all the armor done in a day if I could just get a good non-rain day but I don’t know when that might be. I want to just lay the armor in the lawn and plaster the cream all over. If I could get 6 to 12 hours of uv exposure, I think it would be good.
 
Last edited:

Frogfreak

Sr Member
Agree.

after a few hours the piece of trooper armor is almost done. There is a slight tinge of yellow in. A spot. If you weren’t looking for it, you wouldn’t notice. I am keeping it under the uv lamp for the night.

I think I could get all the armor done in a day if I could just get a good on-rain day but I don’t know when that might be. I want to just lay the armor in the lawn and plaster the cream all over. If I could get 6 to 12 hours of uv exposure, I think it would be good.
I'll be watching! ;)
 

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Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
Here are the result.

935D8545-9C4E-434A-BC29-7377F6D0A6FD.jpeg


The 40 Volume is 32oz for $5 at Sally’s Beauty Supply. They has smaller and larger sizes. I am going to have more than enough for my armor.

Right now I am doing the small parts because I have small clear plastic bags to put them in and set in the yard. This way if we get a small rain shower, I don’t have to worry about it washing the cream off.
 

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
No rain on the forecast today.

I have all the rest of the affected armor in my backyard. Since these are bigger pieces, I don't have clear plastic large enough to cover the pieces and don’t want to waste cling wrap. Not sure how fast it will dry out or if that even affects the process. I will keep an eye out and might reappply. I am hoping this will be it so I can put the armor back on the mannequin but I need to move it away from the window or this will happen again.
 

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
An hour later.

A big improvement in just the first hour. The back piece of armor was mostly yellow except for the area when the belt covered. The noticeable line is gone. there may still be yellowing but the obvious aspect of the coloring seems to be gone.

And I still have a lot of the 40 volume cream left.

So the good news it that if you have yellow armor or toys, you can clean them up with $5 or yes of product and some time. The bad news for me is that the Trooperbay stuff I have on the way was an unnecessary purchase.
 

Mara Jade's Father

Master Member
Mara Jade's Father This is awesome to know! I've got a pretty aged set of Biker Scout armor I'm rebuilding, and i was dreading having to wetsand the whole thing!

I am glad this helped someone. Make sure you wear gloves.

Like I said at the beginning of the post, I had done some de-yellowing in the past but I used a mixture of various products. But it was for a much smaller item and the mixing was PITA.

Since the armor is so much bigger and I did not know how much I would need for reapplications, I really did not want to have to mix stuff once or twice a day. So my goal was to look for the easiest solution possible.

By the way, if you have any black scuffs you need to clean off first, Magic Eraser worked great.
 

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