[vcf-midatlantic] Cleaning Franklin cases

Jameel Akari jakari at bithose.com
Thu Oct 1 22:51:38 EDT 2020

> On Oct 1, 2020, at 1:39 PM, David Gesswein via vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> For just cleaning crinkled finish I start with standard spray cleaner
> and a scrub brush. Hard stiff densely packed bristles don't work well since
> they don't get down into the texture. I found some brushes with medium
> bristles that aren't densely packed work well. I rinse well when done.

In a similar way of action, get a variety of medium-nubbly microfiber towels and try those with regular cleaners or dish soap solution.  The fibers help get into the crinkles and bumps of textured finishes.  I usually use a microfiber with 7th Gen (below) or rubbing alcohol for keycaps, being mindful of how the keycaps are printed.  Double-shot or really solid sublimated keycaps just go in the ultrasound cleaner for an hour, or until I can’t stand the noise the ultrasound makes.

I also use a natural bristle nail brush sometimes to get into edges and recesses:
https://www.amazon.com/Redecker-Natural-Untreated-Beechwood-4-Inches/dp/B003IJAPUU/ <https://www.amazon.com/Redecker-Natural-Untreated-Beechwood-4-Inches/dp/B003IJAPUU/>
Agreed with Mr. Gesswein, the tight-packed stiff bristles aren’t really good for this.  These kinds of nail brushes are just right.  (Incidentally, this brand, Redecker, makes all sorts of really nice brushes, mostly natural bristles, which have the advantage of not generating much if any static.  In typical German tool style, their tools get weirdly specialized.)

For spray cleaners, I like:
https://www.seventhgeneration.com/disinfecting-multi-surface-cleaner <https://www.seventhgeneration.com/disinfecting-multi-surface-cleaner> - usually computer cases don’t _need_ disinfecting, but this is a good all-purpose cleaner I don’t mind using indoors.  You can spray on the surface or your microfiber.  And I’m sure many of us have acquired machines that really _could_ use some disinfectant.

If you need more cleaning power or you have glass or clear plastic:
https://www.invisibleglass.com/products/product/91166CSTON01/invisible-glass/cp_/all-products/automotive?resizedesc1 <https://www.invisibleglass.com/products/product/91166CSTON01/invisible-glass/cp_/all-products/automotive?resizedesc1>
This wants to be sprayed evenly over the whole surface for the foam to work.  Best used with ventilation.
It really is the best for your car windows as well, hands-down.  As such it works great on smooth glass CRTs.

I haven’t laid hands on a Franklin since high school, but I think either of these would be safe and effective just to get the gunk off.

And while I’m plugging cleaning products, an odd obsession of mine, I’ll also mention Plast-X for clear or shiny plastics:
https://www.meguiars.com/automotive/products/meguiars-plastx-clear-plastic-cleaner-polish-g12310-10-oz-liquid <https://www.meguiars.com/automotive/products/meguiars-plastx-clear-plastic-cleaner-polish-g12310-10-oz-liquid>

A little goes a long way.  It can remove or at least reduce the appearance of scratches and abrasions, and can get sticky build up off smooth plastics.  Do NOT use it on screen-printed sides of clear panels, or at least be careful not to get it on the printing.  Be very careful on metallized raised or embossed lettering.  It’s a very fine abrasive polish with plasticizers.  Again an automotive product, but it’s usually in my workshop, not the garage.  I like to use it for clock faces and telephones - things we also collect. :)

My impression is that if you do retr0brite, the surfaces still need to be *clean* first.

> On Wed, Sep 30, 2020 at 01:25:08PM -0400, Bob Applegate via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
>> I’m looking to clean up some Franklin ACE-1xxx cases and am wondering if Retrobrite is the best option.  They were yellow when manufactured so will retrobrite do much to change the color?  Is there a recommended cleaner to get plain old grim off the crinkled finish?  That alone might be enough.
>> How about cleaning the key caps?
>> Bob

Jameel Akari
(Who likes to clean things)

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