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The Case of the Yellowing White Bricks

24

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  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^Mine has done the same and that is going to be one of my many projects to restore.
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,572
    @Pitfall69, you're just doing the hydrogen peroxide in the sun, correct? Nothing else to it?

    Thoughts as to whether this would do anything for blue pieces too? I have a decent amount of older Blue, Light Gray, Dark Gray, and White pieces that are in desperate need of some new life. 
  • inklingbricksinklingbricks Member Posts: 80
    Does anyone have any experience with UV window film? Does that help reduce yellowing?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    @Pitfall69, you're just doing the hydrogen peroxide in the sun, correct? Nothing else to it?

    Thoughts as to whether this would do anything for blue pieces too? I have a decent amount of older Blue, Light Gray, Dark Gray, and White pieces that are in desperate need of some new life. 
    Ok. I have not had a good experience with blue. The 1x6 Blue Tiles on my UCS Tie Interceptor got discolored and I soaked them and they all got ruined. That was just once instance and I am willing to try again. 

    As for the first question; I am just using regular strength Hydrogen Peroxide and sunlight for 1:30.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    Before
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    After
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    As you can see, it brightened the white, but it did not restore them to original condition. Here's a better comparison:


    catwrangler
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    What I forgot to add was that I reused the same solution 6 times and it still whitened the bricks and got rid of the yellowish tint from my grey bricks. So, I'm still thinking that the potency of the Hydrogen Peroxide is not as important as making sure you place the parts in direct sunlight. Also, you can't just dump a bunch of parts into a container full of HP and put it into the sun and hope to get good results. I place all of the parts onto a baseplate and place the baseplate into a clear plastic or glass container and weigh the baseplate down with a rock or something heavy enough the keep the baseplate from floating to the top.
    omniumbandit778catwrangler
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,572
    I like the baseplate technique. I'll gave to give that a try. LOTS of sun in my immediate forecast. Time to Billy Mays some bricks!
  • gmonkey76gmonkey76 ChicagoMember Posts: 1,443
    Jangbricks has a good YouTube video on this subject. I not sure how many sets/pieces of mine I'll have to do. Unfortunately I had to unbuild most of my sets in 2010, and after two cross country moves they are still in boxes. I'm in the process of moving for a third time, and most if not all of my sets will go into a storage unit, as I seriously down size so I can save up to move out of the city.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    Looks like micro gravesites.
    gmonkey76omniumstluxSwitchfoot55SprinkleOtterricecakecatwranglerAddicted2Oxygen
  • flordflord CanadaMember Posts: 673
    ^ Have you noticed the hydrogen peroxide affect your green plates? Brighter green?
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,351
    What is 'regular' strength Hydro Peroxide? 3%? Is it just that, or is it 'cut' with water?

    I have a ton of yellowed classic light gray parts that I have been tempted to try this with as they are castle related parts that I just did not have the heart to throw away.

    Maybe I missed it (I know it has been said in other threads) but how long do you leave it soaking in the sun in the HP?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    flord said:
    ^ Have you noticed the hydrogen peroxide affect your green plates? Brighter green?
    I haven't noticed a color change with any of the plates. 

    What is 'regular' strength Hydro Peroxide? 3%? Is it just that, or is it 'cut' with water?

    I have a ton of yellowed classic light gray parts that I have been tempted to try this with as they are castle related parts that I just did not have the heart to throw away.

    Maybe I missed it (I know it has been said in other threads) but how long do you leave it soaking in the sun in the HP?
    3% Food Grade is what I use. I'm not a chemist, but I know that Hydrogen Peroxide degrades into oxygen and water over time and quicker in high temperatures and UV light. That is probably why lots of bubbles form all over the LEGO after it has been out in the sun for a bit. I have no idea how to test the potency of HP after each use, but I do know that it still lightened my bricks after 7 uses of the same solution. 

    As far as the time you should leave your parts out in the sun? I only leave them out for 1 1/2 Hours, but a standard time has not been established. I am always afraid to leave them in the solution for too long for fear of oxidation, which HP is also used for. That is why I am afraid to use a solution nighter than 3% What I have noticed while lightening all my parts is that the sun seems to be more important than the potency of the HP.
    omniummadforLEGO
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 378
    If it doesn't discolor the green, then how did the blue pieces get "ruined"?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    If it doesn't discolor the green, then how did the blue pieces get "ruined"?
    I don't know why? The blue plates had oxidized. They turned a milky blue color. I wish I would have taken pictures. The plates are made differently than regular bricks I think. The plastic seems softer and that might be the reason why some of the light grey pieces in my model did not change color due to UV exposure. 
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 873
    The baseplates are made by someone other than LEGO, and I'm sure they're a different plastic. I have some white pieces (from bulk purchases) that are pretty much tan/brick yellow... I should experiment with them, since they're not from my sets (therefore expendable) and see what happens. 3% hydrogen peroxide is 97% water, right? I don't believe they mix anything else in, so as it ages and breaks down, eventually you'd just have water- and more oxygen in the top of the bottle than is in regular air. 
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^My plates are genuine Lego baseplates.

    I don't know about food grade HP, but HP is unstable and they usually add something to keep it stable; like an acid or something. 
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    I did 3 experiments today:

    I soaked discolored white elements in both a fresh bottle of HP solution and another in the same solution I reused 7 times. The result was pretty much the same. I some of the exact same elements in both solutions.

    In the second experiment I poured HP solution that my elements had been soaking in; back into the bottle it came from. It is almost 90 degrees farenheit today. The solution was very warm. What I found was that after a few minutes. the bottle expanded and looked like it was going to bust open, so I poured some out. I guess when you heat up HP, it becomes volatile. 

    My 3rd experiment is a tad gross, but anyway...

    I had a hangnail and there was a little blood, so I decided to test the solution I had used for the 8th time today. I put a little blood on on a piece of plastic and pour some solution on it and it still bubbles up like crazy.
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 873
    "Genuine" LEGO baseplates are made by an outside vendor, and I think this is why LEGO is moving away from baseplates.
  • kbenjeskbenjes Member Posts: 70
    Pitfall, you should compile your research and findings into a post of some sort. You've done a lot of good work that should be shared.
    catwrangler
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,928
    edited July 2018
    "How to Treat a Hang Nail w/Hydrogen Peroxide - by @Pitfall69"
    Switchfoot55Pitfall69gmonkey76Baby_YodaSprinkleOtterMynatt
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^^^When did Lego start outsourcing baseplates? The ones that I am using are at least 17-18 years old. One plate it from my King's Castle circa 1984-85.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^Is your hangnail back to it's original color though?
    SumoLego said:
    "How to Treat a Hang Nail w/Hydrogen Peroxide - by @Pitfall69"
    Don't laugh...Our bodies naturally produce HP when food is metabolized and stored as energy. My next trick is to submerge myself in a vat of HP for 1:30 and see if I can be restored to my natural young looking self ;)
    Switchfoot55gmonkey76Baby_YodaSprinkleOtterLittleLoricatwranglerLuLego
  • 560Heliport560Heliport Twin Cities, MN, USAMember Posts: 873
    @Pitfall69 I'm sure I read here on Brickset that LEGO doesn't make baseplates, and hasn't for many years, if ever. I tried searching "baseplates" and got 86 pages of results. Looked through several pages hoping something would jump out at me, but no luck. I'm not sure how to narrow the search more.
  • datsunrobbiedatsunrobbie West Haven , CTMember Posts: 1,461
    https://www.eurobricks.com/forum/index.php?/forums/topic/54302-plea-for-base-plates/

    In this thread @Aanchir posts "I wonder if that might have something to do with the "insourcing" of a lot of LEGO's production in the past several years. Note this press release from 2005, which mentions about Greiner Packaging that it "has supplied can packaging and building plates to the LEGO Group for many years." Since LEGO has reclaimed control of much of the production that had been outsourced to Flextronics over the years, the same could possibly apply to their partnership with Greiner Packaging."


  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,928
    Pitfall69 said:
    My next trick is to submerge myself in a vat of HP for 1:30 and see if I can be restored to my natural young looking self ;)
    Or just poop some white bricks?
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    SumoLego said:
    Pitfall69 said:
    My next trick is to submerge myself in a vat of HP for 1:30 and see if I can be restored to my natural young looking self ;)
    Or just poop some white bricks?
    ...and they stepping on Lego bricks is painful.
    SprinkleOtterBaby_YodaSumoLego
  • SprinkleOtterSprinkleOtter Member Posts: 2,731
    Pitfall69 said:
    SumoLego said:
    Pitfall69 said:
    My next trick is to submerge myself in a vat of HP for 1:30 and see if I can be restored to my natural young looking self ;)
    Or just poop some white bricks?
    ...and they stepping on Lego bricks is painful.
    Footstool stool hurts the most.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    Pitfall69 said:
    SumoLego said:
    Pitfall69 said:
    My next trick is to submerge myself in a vat of HP for 1:30 and see if I can be restored to my natural young looking self ;)
    Or just poop some white bricks?
    ...and they stepping on Lego bricks is painful.
    Just noticed I didn't put "say". It's supposed to be "...and they say" That's what happens when you are right in the middle of a post and your kids jump on you. 
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,572
    ^Don't pretend you weren't distracted by trying to see what else you could soak in HP. 
    Baby_Yoda
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^I poured some on a cut potato yesterday. My wife is almost fed up with me.
    Switchfoot55Muftak1SumoLegoBaby_YodadavetheoxygenmanSprinkleOttercatwrangler
  • Muftak1Muftak1 Somewhere cold, probably raining (aka Ireland)Member Posts: 490
    Pitfall69 said:
    ^I poured some on a cut potato yesterday. My wife is almost fed up with me.
    Almost?
    SumoLegoPitfall69M_BossflorddavetheoxygenmanMAGNINOMINISUMBRAdmcc0gmonkey76SprinkleOtter
  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,351
    When I went to a Walmart near me I was buying some TLBM sets on clearance and walked by 32oz 3% Hydrogen peroxide bottles on sale. After I checked out and was on my way home I realized they were being sold for only 88 cents.. Should have bought more..
    Pitfall69
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806
    Pitfall69 said:

    I soaked discolored white elements in both a fresh bottle of HP solution and another in the same solution I reused 7 times. The result was pretty much the same. I some of the exact same elements in both solutions.

    You should find that the times needed to whiten just become longer the more you reuse the solution.
    Pitfall69 said:

    In the second experiment I poured HP solution that my elements had been soaking in; back into the bottle it came from. It is almost 90 degrees farenheit today. The solution was very warm. What I found was that after a few minutes. the bottle expanded and looked like it was going to bust open, so I poured some out. I guess when you heat up HP, it becomes volatile. 

    That would have happened even if you hadn't already used it too and just left the bottle in the heat.  The H2O2 doesn't become volatile, by heating it you are forming water and oxygen. And the oxygen is causing the bottle to expand. A 3% solution can give you about 10x it's volume in gas. That is why you should store it in a cool place. It is also a similar reason as to why you keep it in a brown bottle, as UV catalyses the degredation too. Have some fun, fill up a clear plastic bottle, and stick it in a hot place in the sun. For more fun, add some pig's blood and get the cap on quick. Even better if you have dried pig's blood.
    Pitfall69 said:

    I had a hangnail and there was a little blood, so I decided to test the solution I had used for the 8th time today. I put a little blood on on a piece of plastic and pour some solution on it and it still bubbles up like crazy.
    The reaction is the same, but there is an enzyme in blood (catalase) that speeds the reaction up. That crazy bubbling is just oxygen being formed.
    Switchfoot55Pitfall69
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,928
    (Unless you're simultaneously being bombarded with gamma rays.  Then you turn into a farting rage monster.) 
    SprinkleOtter
  • IstokgIstokg MichiganMember Posts: 2,099
    SumoLego said:
    (Unless you're simultaneously being bombarded with gamma rays.  Then you turn into a farting rage monster.) 
    Ha!  One good Gamma Ray burst... and we won't have to worry about LEGO.... or the rest of the planet!!  :-O

    Pitfall69davetheoxygenmanSumoLegoPumpkin_3CK5
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 11,928
    I think you're wrong there.  If I've learned anything from comic book science, gamma ray bombardment means I get bendy arms, the ability to have flaming skin, invisibility or rock-monster/rage monster capability.  
    gmonkey76davetheoxygenmanBumblepantsSprinkleOtter
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    ^Green and Bendy Arms? Super Gumby?
    gmonkey76SumoLegodavetheoxygenmanBumblepantsdmcc0SprinkleOtter
  • Wookie2Wookie2 Leeds, UKMember Posts: 185
    I've just received my Monster Fighters 9465 The Zombies set eBay purchase (~£35) and disappointingly the most expensive minifigure in that set (the Zombie Bride) has been sun damaged. The yellowing is on the left hand side and back (including the printed area at the back of the torso). Would the same solution work on this minifigure (given how expensive she is to replace)? The video by JANGBRICKS seems to indicate that it won't damage the print.

    Some of the LBG bricks are yellowed too but they're much more replaceable and cheaper. I've also got a Luna Lovegood minifigure with sun damage to the torso (but the damage isn't as obvious, just a slightly different shade of pink).
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    I have soaked many Stormtroopers and the like and none of the print was damaged, so you should be ok. I have never done pink, so that is up to you on whether you want to try to restore that minifigure. 
    Wookie2gmonkey76madforLEGOstlux
  • BobflipBobflip Member Posts: 475
    Just saw this on Maxx 3001's Flickr:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/maxx361/42746563465/
    madforLEGO
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,374
    Interesting. I have the same Stormtrooper. 
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Minnesota, USMember Posts: 2,472
    Bobflip said:
    Just saw this on Maxx 3001's Flickr:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/maxx361/42746563465/
    I had never seen a reference to “whitening” transparent parts before. Has anyone tried this on old trans-clear LEGO?
  • Switchfoot55Switchfoot55 The Northwest, USAMember Posts: 1,572
    So he is suggesting to "sun bleach" the parts back to white? 

    I know it works with some stains on clothes as I recently experienced this while trying to battle a nasty stain on an outfit of my daughter's (trust me, it's life or death that the stain comes out). After just 2 hours in the sun, the stain was notably lighter. After a full day, completely gone. 

    Regarding the Transparent pieces, I have a number of cloudy pieces that I've been toying with the idea of using HP on just to see what happened. Not sure the same chemical thing is happening in them as compared to the white bricks, but might be worth a shot?
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,626
    So I have a (sand green) Giant Troll from the Fantasy Era theme that has gotten a little yellowed. Is there actually a reliable way to counteract this?
  • flordflord CanadaMember Posts: 673
    Peroxide does improve yellowed trans-clear Lego. Not perfect, but dramatically better.
    Astrobricks
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,806

    Regarding the Transparent pieces, I have a number of cloudy pieces that I've been toying with the idea of using HP on just to see what happened. Not sure the same chemical thing is happening in them as compared to the white bricks, but might be worth a shot?
    For transparent (and flat) parts you can use furniture polish or similar to get rid of clouding. You are essentially filling in the micro-scratches.

    You can also buy an artist's clear acrylic medium that dries a bit like a varnish, the idea being that you thinly coat the part and again the small scratches get filled and it dries smooth.
    catwrangler
  • CyberdragonCyberdragon Maryland, U.S.AMember Posts: 378
    Would de-fading damage electrical components? What if you need to de-yellow a light-up fig or a light-up brick? (Note: definately remove the batteries from the fig to prevent electrolysis) 
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