THE SNUGBUS Archive

Restoring classic landline phones

A hobby that involves slathering on 12% H2O2 and irradiating with a shortwave UV germicidal ultraviolet lamp seems apropos when barricaded in the heavily fortified bunker for the coronavirus pandemic. The H2O2 and UV promote reaction with the bromine products of the decomposition of bromine-based fire-retardant additives, such as tetrabromobisphenol-A, of plastics such as ABS, that, over time, have caused the plastic to turn yellow or brown, thereby removing the yellow or brown and restoring (hopefully) the original color. The peroxide is strong enough to turn my blue nitrile gloves white, so I'm not too worried about any coronavirus that may have gotten on them, not that it wouldn't have already been inactivated by my quaternary ammonium sanitizer that I am always spraying on the gloves. Depending on the sensitivity of any colorants to the process, the original color may end up somewhat bleached, so I am starting with a low-value phone first to see how it goes.

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