Thread Number: 14744
retrOBrighting some sun yellowed Electrolux 600's
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items --- [As an eBay Partner, eBay may compensate if you make a purchase using any link to eBay on this page]
Post# 156279   10/21/2011 at 16:24 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
I decided this was the best forum to post this in, as the vacs are over 20 years of age.
Some time last year, in a thread about an Electrolux 612, I posted a picture of my 600's. I receieved a few comments asking about the colour of the 615, as it was very badly sun yellowed.
This led me to want to restore the machine back to its original cream colour.
I had not long before discovered, via a Commodore Amiga forum, that there was indeed a way to remove the sun yellowing from white plastics.

Its taken me a while to actually get around to doing this experiment, but I made some "retrOBright" following a recipe last month or so.
Simply made from hydrogen peroxide [12%ish], some thickening agent [xanthan gum], a little glycerine, and then some "oxi" washing powder just before applying the paste [this acts as a catalyst].
The past is spread over the affected area, and the piece placed under UV light for a few hours. I, ironicly, used sunlight, which caused the yellowing in the first place! It needs to be intense sunlight, daylight and shadey areas will not do.
Within an hour I could tell the difference!
Constant supervision and re-application is needed so not to let it dry out.
It is then thoroughly washed off with water at the end/ after a few hours.
Therefoes its best if the machine be completely stripped and all electronics and electrics removed.

I took my 615 to bits, [naughtily left the motor in, and just carefully washed the paste off after] and had a go, below are some pics of before and after :)
If anyone would like to know more please ask, I'm sure there are many yellowed vacs and other white/ whitish plastic appliances out there that the owners thought could never be restored!

Please be warned though, DO NOT get this on your skin! it will turn as white as a piece of paper! It does however soon scrub off! Also starts to irritate skin...
It can also have bad effects on the text on the vacuum, or keyboard buttons etcc where it starts to blur. It can also cause patching effects on the plastic if it is over exposed or left to dry out.
I constantly checked my machine every 10 mins or so and STILL had a few little bits of text blur, and a few pactchy bits you cant really notice.
I believe this may work on other coloured plastics, but it can leave bleaching marks.
I don't believe it will work on plastics that have lost there colour, ie a CREAM henry bucket that has been bleached WHITE by the sun. Only items that have YELLOWED it will work on :)

Post# 156280 , Reply# 1   10/21/2011 at 16:25 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
615 before

Post# 156281 , Reply# 2   10/21/2011 at 16:26 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
615 back, you can see the actual colour it should be!

Post# 156282 , Reply# 3   10/21/2011 at 16:28 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture

Post# 156283 , Reply# 4   10/21/2011 at 16:30 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
In bits, see that tan line...

Post# 156284 , Reply# 5   10/21/2011 at 16:31 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
after the first few hours! An amazing difference :)

Post# 156285 , Reply# 6   10/21/2011 at 16:32 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
was so pleased I then started on this 614 the next day to

Post# 156286 , Reply# 7   10/21/2011 at 16:35 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
the 615 hood after 2 days [8 hours], and the 614 after 1 day [4hours]
In the UK at the time 4 hours outside had about 2 hours of intence sunlight

Post# 156287 , Reply# 8   10/21/2011 at 16:38 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
The 614 once done [think it had 2 days]
I only did the hood, filter grill and very lower part of the main body.
bag door and handle were fine :)

Post# 156289 , Reply# 9   10/21/2011 at 16:41 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
615, after about 3 days.
Its still not perfect, but I couldn't really notice it getting any less yellowed.
The bag door was done after a few hours pretty much, but the handle is still not the right shade!
With more treatment I'm sure it would be 100% the original colour again.
Please note, this pic has bad lighting making it look different shades of colour!

Post# 156291 , Reply# 10   10/21/2011 at 16:46 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
All the 600's, sorry it was getting late and there wasn't great light :(
I've another, better condition 612 since this picture, need another 610 as mine is not great :(

Post# 156292 , Reply# 11   10/21/2011 at 16:48 (4,510 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
Andddd finally the last picture [I missed a few out too!]
Slightly brighter here :)

Post# 227039 , Reply# 12   4/6/2013 at 17:07 (3,977 days old) by jakesvacs ()        

James you have done a fantastic job restoring the Electrolux's!
The 615 really came up nice, Perhaps you could do a few vacuums for me ;P

Post# 227045 , Reply# 13   4/6/2013 at 17:20 (3,977 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
Thank you very much Jake :)
If we ever get some sunlight bring the vacs around and we can do a bit of retrobrighting!

Post# 227070 , Reply# 14   4/6/2013 at 19:51 (3,977 days old) by kirbymodel2c (Nottingham, England)        
Great work Mr James...

kirbymodel2c's profile picture
Great work mr James. When you come up here you can help me do one or two of mine...:o)


Post# 227144 , Reply# 15   4/7/2013 at 04:11 (3,977 days old) by dysondestijl (east midlands, UK)        

I have a 612. It's in bad condition tho and buried under loads of hoses!

Post# 227149 , Reply# 16   4/7/2013 at 05:22 (3,977 days old) by AlexHoovers94 (Manchester UK)        
Oh I would absolutely love...

alexhoovers94's profile picture
To get my hands on an Electrolux 612 they look awsome

Oh by the way since we are talking about electrolux - check out this Airstream advert.


Post# 227152 , Reply# 17   4/7/2013 at 06:42 (3,977 days old) by dysondestijl (east midlands, UK)        

James please come and give my Electrolux 185 that treatment!!! Lol!

Post# 227249 , Reply# 18   4/7/2013 at 15:06 (3,976 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
Thanks James, yes I need to give you a hand with a few machines, we need a strong UV light.
That 185 doesn't look to bad George :)

Post# 227253 , Reply# 19   4/7/2013 at 15:15 (3,976 days old) by Ultimatevacman ( Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK)        

ultimatevacman's profile picture
Wow, they look really nice James, great job! I might give this a go on my friend's 614 that's badly yellowed.

- Joe

Post# 227376 , Reply# 20   4/8/2013 at 05:27 (3,976 days old) by dysondestijl (east midlands, UK)        

Well James, if I put it next to my white 156 then it looks really yellow!

Post# 227506 , Reply# 21   4/9/2013 at 02:22 (3,975 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

You can get strong,powerful UV lights from Raytech and UVP products-these are marketed to Gemologists and lapidary-they are more intense than what comes from the sun.Mainly-the artifical UV light is closer to the item than the sun.Another powerful source of artificial UV light is a suntan light or tanning machine.To sum up the most powerful manmade shortwave UV lights are from quartz glass flourescent bulbs without the phospors and short arc quartz lamps-but be careful with these-don't expose skin to them and do not expose your eyes to them.They can blind you or damage your corneas-sunlight can do that,too.LEDS just cannot generate strong SW UV energy.They are LW only.

Post# 227523 , Reply# 22   4/9/2013 at 09:17 (3,974 days old) by James (Ware, Hertfordshire, UK)        

james's profile picture
Thank you Joe, it's well worth a try!

In that case George it best be retrobrighted ;)

Thanks for the information tolivac, very useful!
Hope something cheapish comes up, I don't want to spend to much on a UV light source. A sunbed was my initial idea for the source of something a bit more powerful :)

The yellowing does eventually start to come back, the 615 is yellowing up again, and I keep it locked away in a dark loft, although its not as bad as it once was. The 614 hood has also turned yellow again.
However if you laquer the plastic after retrobrighting then apparently it will be fine.
I have noticed that some bits such as the bag door, which took about 30mins to de-yellow, is taking longer to re-yellow.

Post# 227661 , Reply# 23   4/10/2013 at 02:41 (3,974 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Another low cost UV light is a germicidal lamp-its a quartz T8 36" or 48" flourscent bulb without the phospors to give white light.You can use them in a fixture that uses the 3 ft or 4 ft T8 bulb.You will have to take the lens or diffuser off the fixture-otherwise that will block the UV rays-again be very careful with these UV sources-they are powerful enough to burn your skin or eyes even being in the same room with it.So if you use it to "expose" something to the radiation-don't stay in the same room.Wear glasses over your eyes to protect them.And the area should be ventilated-shortwave UV lamps generate ozone-toxic form of oxygen.Germicidial lamps are used in sterile cleanrooms,goggle and mask cabinets(the door on the cabinet is connected to a switch that turns the UV lamp off when the door is open)Thought of another UV source---an EPROM erasor light.These are available from electronic parts suppliers.They are handheld or a small cabinet that has the UV light and a timer and door switch-you put the EPROM IC's in it and their programming is erased by the UV light so they can be reprogrammed with a new program.Sometimes these show up at surplus sales.The good thing about EPROM erasors is you can put the item to be radiated in it-if its small enough-and the case prevents stray radiation.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

Woops, Time to Check the Bag!!!
Either you need to change your vacuum bag or you forgot to LOG-IN?

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy