It can be quite an eyesore if your keyboard starts turning yellow, several factors contributing to this "phenomenon". Plastic component may start to destabilize. Even though newer plastic composition has improved, that wasn't the case for my MicroKorg S and Yamaha Reface. How to whiten yellowed plastic keys?
If you can't get your hands on Retrobright, there are alternatives. Mainly the composition of Retrobright is made up of Hydrogen peroxide! If you are familiar with hair colour, hydrogen peroxide cream are being mixed with hair dye as part of the colouring process. You can get it at a reasonable price! Disclaimer: You can try but result may varies depending on the plastic or how severe the yellowed keys are. I am using the VIP Hydrogen Peroxide 40 Volume 12% . You can buy other brands, it should provide similar results.
Disassemble or just apply it on your keyboard?
It's entirely your choice! Best if you have the time to disassemble, there are plenty of Youtube tutorials depending on the model. I choose the latter, as I don't want to put in too much effort. What you need?
1. Hydrogen Peroxide 40 Volume 12% 2. Gloves (optional)
4. UV light (Optional) I use the Sun :)
Apply Hydrogen Peroxide
Apply Hydrogen Peroxide evenly using a brush. Important not to get too much cream in between the gaps.
If your knobs are removable, you can remove it and apply the cream separately.
What's the purpose of UV?
UV will create some reaction for the plastic to turn white. If you don't have a UV light, leave it out under the sun!
I left it under direct sunlight for an hour and the remaining 7 hours indoor with adequate sunlight.
After hours of leaving it out, the cream should have been dried. Use a slightly damp kitchen towel to clean off the cream. Next, wipe it dry to remove any residues. Ensure that the knobs are dry especially the inner part, to avoid any water contact. Once done, use a heat gun or hair dryer to ensure no water are left after cleaning the keys.
Moment of truth!
The plastic keys should be noticeably whiter as compared to before restoration. It won’t be looking 100% new, but definitely better! See the difference between the first photo and after restoration below. Knobs, pitch bend and the keys are definitely whiter! Let me know in the comment if this method works for you! Here's a short video of my process to restore the keys!
Watch the video!
- Adel Shah