Super Nintendo (SNES) Project: Day 3 – Retrobrite


After the cleaning process, I wake up 8 am to prepare all ABS plastic parts that need to be repaired, with that yellowed aspect by actions of time. To achieve that, I decide to choose an industrial prepared solution with Glycerin and Hydrogen peroxide to make the retrobrite process. This kind of product is used in hair salons and other beauty treatments. It’s very easy to find in Brazil in large bottles at a fair price, mainly because Brazilian women profile, I guess. LOL

I decide to use this solution for two reasons. First, Brazil doesn’t have any problems related to an absence of sunlight, especially in Summer. Add to that, I had very interesting results using this solution on my Sony PSP last year. I saw this technique on The 8-bit Guy channel, an incredible channel to start in this kind of repairment and deserves it to be quoted.

I had used two paint brushes to spread the solution to plastic parts. It is important to avoid that the solution doesn’t form a thick layer over and to avoid folding the plastic film many times around the ABS plastics. Do not touch the solution directly with your hands.

Finishing this, I took to my balcony the prepared parts to react with the sunlight. I set an hourly alarm to remind me to rotate parts and watch if the solution is too dry (reminding that I’m in Brazil).

After 3 hours I brought back the parts to inside and washed out everything to see what’s happened. To my surprise, all parts seemed to react very well with Hydrogen peroxide and sunlight. In fact, only a few parts held the aged aspect, especially L and R buttons, and the front side of the console. Again, I prepared everything to go into sunlight, embedding them in the solution and wrapping out with plastic film. I also washed my paint brushes to assist me with the cleaning process in end of the day.

The first part to be ready was the eject cartridge button, as expected (one hour later). But unfortunately raining was coming and, for that reason, I repeated the process that I made after 3 hours of sunlight one more time and checked out the plastic parts.

After 4 hours and 30 minutes, the controller set back and front plates were done.

Then, 6 hours and 30 minutes later the sunset closes the day and I washed the remaining parts with neutral soap to see the results. In fact, Brazilian Summer temperatures had contributed so much to achieve the desired color in all plastic parts in few hours, with an exception of the front plate, that I’ll need to put again into sunlight tomorrow.

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