Super Nintendo (SNES) Project: Day 2 – Cleaning


Today was time for shopping some products that I needed to clean up everything before starting to apply retrobrite on the console.  To be more precise, I bought a toothbrush with soft bristles, a pack of Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), a roll of Polyvinyl chloride film (known as PVC plastic film or plastic film), a bottle with 900ml (30oz) of a solution based in Glycerin and Hydrogen peroxide (used by Hair Salons and on beauty treatments), and some disposable cleaning towels without alcohol. To find and buy these products and came back to my house took almost my entire morning! (An issue related to living in a large city) ;-(

The next step was finishing the removal of circuits and other things that can’t be wet from ABS plastics. In fact, this step is easy to disassemble, but it needs to be careful collecting screws, springs, and silicon-based layers. To be honest, I’m surprised with the aspects of ABS plastic and circuits, especially internally. However, this is not the reality found on stickers, requiring at least two to be replaced: the power switch message (that came almost blank) and the bottom barcode (that simple change to dust when I tried to remove some two void seals above it).

Finishing the disassembling, I started to wash the plastics with an help of the toothbrush to remove the hardest dirt spots. First, I only used disposable towels and neutral liquid soap for a wide range cleaning. But in the end, some dirty spots needed to be soaked with Sodium bicarbonate and scrubbed a little bit with the toothbrush for a complete dirt removal, especially found around the console and on joystick panels. This is very important to prepare the ABS plastics for the retrobrite process.

Speaking in retrobrite, at the end of the day I divided the ABS plastics parts into two piles: one with plastics parts that applying of Hydrogen peroxide solution will not be required and other with parts that retrobrite process will be required. As an exception, the eject cartridges button need to brighten only on a tiny spot of the left edge, and because of that, I’m thinking if I’ll use the Hydrogen peroxide solution only on that part.


Fernando de Assis Rodrigues, B.Sc., M.S., Ph.D., is a professor at Federal University of Pará (UFPA), Brazil.