Undoing the coffee-stained plastic trick

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by SixStringSlinger, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I've used coffee-soaking to get parts I could only get in white to something more like aged white a few times now with success, but this time I went a little too far. If we're talking Fender colors, it looks more like cream. Any idea how to lighten thing back up again? I'd rather not use anything abrasive (sandpaper, baking soda paste, etc.), and I'm afraid of messing up the color inside the numbers.
     
  2. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've never had a single bit of luck aging things with coffee but to reverse the process i might try bleach. Way diluted at first of course.
    Just a thought.
     
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  3. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    My guess would be bleach too. Maybe try a stain remover that's ideal for coffee?
    Try the home economics forum or old school housewives forum?:)

    There are lots of old home remedies for stain removal that most guitar players might not know about. Maybe white vinegar?
     
  4. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    vinegar is mildly acidic
    sometimes it's used in laundry stain removal

    Pics?

    Peace - Deeve
     
  5. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Well most of what I can find involves abrasives, which I'd like to avoid since I don't want to take the numbers with me. Same with bleach; I have to imagine it will also bleach the black. One page suggested hydrogen peroxide, but one knob has been sitting in that for nearly two hours with no perceptible change. I thought of vinegar, but haven't tried that. attached is a pic pf what I'm dealing with.

    The parts on the guitar (including the S1 knob on the left) are Fender aged white, which I wan't to match, or at least get close to. The knob in the middle is a success; a little darker than it needs to be, but good enough. The one on the right is what I'm trying to fix to make it more like the middle one (the gold pickguard is making it look darker, but it is plenty dark).
     

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  6. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    This is what they look like in their natural state, though they seemed a little whiter in person.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Dirtsquirrel

    Dirtsquirrel TDPRI Member

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    Was suggesting hydrogen peroxide also but see it was already included.
     
  8. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    WHat is your key to successfully staining them? I've never had luck & tried many times.
     
  9. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    None at all, just coffee and a few hours. At home I used whatever was in the pot, nothing special. That was the first set. For the second (problem) set I wanted it done quick, so I took the knobs to work and used whatever was there (surely even less special). I want to say I let them soak roughly the same amount of time in each case (3 or 4 hours), though in the second case I replaced the coffee every hour or so to keep it warm. Not sure if that made any difference. If any one factor makes a difference I'd say it's the plastic part itself, though I don't know enough to get more specific than that. Some just seem to take easier than others.

    The first set of knobs I stained are starting to lighten up a bit around the part you grip to turn them. Nothing obvious, but you can tell if you look for it.
     
  10. Torren61

    Torren61 Tele-Afflicted

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    Polydent. :D
     
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  11. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Friend of Leo's

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    I tried to darken a pickguard using really strong instant coffee for 24 hrs years ago and it barely did anything to the mint guard. I'm surprised the real coffee darkened them so fast and so well.

    If you aren't in a rush you could probably lighten them up a lot by leaving them out in the sun for a month.

    You could try adding milk.:)
     
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  12. rich815

    rich815 Friend of Leo's

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    Buy new ones. This seems entirely too much trouble for the cost.
     
  13. ReverendRevolver

    ReverendRevolver Tele-Meister

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    Crest white strips?

    ;)
     
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  14. Junkyard Dog

    Junkyard Dog Tele-Afflicted

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    Had no idea staining things with coffee was even a trick, but I am VERY good at it!
     
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  15. spellcaster

    spellcaster Tele-Holic

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    Just throwing out a couple of thoughts.....

    -CLR ? It's supposed to be good for cleaning coffee-makers. I'd try soaking the knobs or perhaps scrubbing with a tooth-brush.

    -Scrub with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser that's soaked in water. This did a great job of removing the coffee stain that seemed indelible in the counter-top formica in front of my coffee-maker.


    (Edited to add:) One of the recommended methods of tooth-whitening is scrubbing with a paste of lemon juice and baking soda. It works great on teeth - maybe it would do plastic parts?
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 12:46 AM
  16. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I left one in the CA sun in a bath of coffee for 3 weeks, refilling the pan everyday with leftover coffee as evaporation happened. Still bone white.

    I think they're slightly different types of plastics.
     
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  17. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Try a saturated solution of baking soda, with agitation and rubbing (but need not be rubbed with anything that will seriously abrade the plastic; a wash cloth or sponge is along the lines of what I'm suggesting).

    Try straight hydrogen peroxide.

    Try rubbing alcohol.

    You can't do anything that involves the slightest amount of "grit" because your black numbers will rub off.

    Quite honestly, I would buy new knobs. The very low cost of doing so would be well worth not having to invest your valuable time monkeying around with crap that probably will never work exactly the way you want it to work.
     
  18. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a white pickguard on a fender p-bass I’ve been wanting to stain slightly to about the color of that middle knob, maybe a bit lighter... but I worry it would come out looking, well, coffee stained. But hey, no stain, no gain, right?
     
  19. Boubou

    Boubou Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    Nvm
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019 at 6:54 AM
  20. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Vinegar is used to clean coffee cups and coffee machines. It's quite likely your best option at least to try first.
    Use a q-tip on the back side (I assume you dunked them in the coffee) first to see if it works.

    .
     
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