Open source computer polish: Retr0Brite

The Retr0brite Project is an open-source effort to develop the world's finest vintage computer polish, to whiten up the yellowing chassis of your old Amigas and such.

Dave from Manchester, UK, aka 'Merlin', the chemist behind the project, explains. “I came across the use of peroxide in July 2008 when Kristian95 told us about what people like AmigaGTI were doing with it over at I was intrigued by this, as I am a former industrial chemist. I am also a plant Safety Manager by trade and, purely by coincidence, around that time I read about a dust explosion that had occurred in the UK with a chemical called TAED, which is the booster in the ‘active oxygen’ laundry products.”

“This got me thinking, and after some really 'full-on', serious chemistry discussions with other EAB members, like Rkauer in Brazil, who is a plastics Engineer and my good friend Zetr0 from Kings Lynn, Norfolk, UK, who endured endless phone calls from me. We wrote some epic threads on English Amiga Board about the possible causes of the yellowing and eventually we arrived at the theory that it was the Bromine in the flame retardant that was the cause. We also knew that Ultra Violet light was another major factor. Having identified the culprit, the next stage was to try to develop and perfect a means of treating the plastic and reversing the yellowing without damaging the plastic. Being a former industrial chemist helped me tremendously, in understanding what was going on at the molecular level and to develop a treatment process to reverse the effect.”

“The problem was finally cracked in late July 2008 with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, a small amount of an “Oxy” laundry booster as a catalyst and a UV lamp. Proof of this concept was demonstrated on EAB by Tonyyeb from Hull, UK, Chiark from Leeds, UK and myself.

The “Retr0brite” Project (via /.)


  1. heh! when I were a young-un we depended on good old fashioned tar and nicotine. None of your posh bromine compounds and yer high-falutin’ ultra-violets!

  2. I was actually just mentioning this stuff to some other folks and am impressed. Vintage toy fans have gleaned onto this stuff and it seems to work quite well.

  3. I wonder if this will work with the yellowing Super Nintendos that dot the American landscape.

  4. Once again, we Commodore computer enthusiasts develop an innovative and practical solution* to a persistent problem.

    *pun intended

  5. Ozankayaweb, please don’t put unrelated links on your comments. They should go on your personal profile page.


  6. I wonder if this will work on white Lego, the most susceptible of all Lego colors to yellowing and discoloration.

  7. And to think we used to paint the yellowed monitors when we refurb’ed them! I need to use some of this stuff; my Amiga 1000’s external drive has yellowed quite a bit.

  8. Anyone every try a Magic Eraser on one of these? Granted its not vintage, but it worked wonders on my wife’s filthy MacBook.

  9. I’ve been searching the Amibay forums & still haven’t found their thread regarding Retr0bright. Even a search for “Retr0bright” on the website comes up nil. It’s become frustrating. I have a SNES in dire need of cleaning.

  10. Hi, this is Merlin, Sorry, we had sone confusion about how Retr0bright should be spelled. If you search using the spelling I have used here, it will find the support forum now.

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