Taking the yellow off my SNES via retrobright

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For many years even decades my SNES went yellow on the bottom half. I bought it the first year the SNES was available. I have been wanting to restore the color on my SNES. Finally, I have decided to do it. The SNES is known to yellow because of the fire retardant treatment that is on the plastic has a chemical reaction over time that causes the yellowing and breaks down the plastic making it brittle. While my SNES is not a 1 chip model it is my original SNES. As amazing as it has been running still, I want it to continue to run for a few more decades to come.

Retrobright is a formula figured out by others online. There have been also some discoveries in making your own and other products on the market already made that will achieve the desired results. This can be found at beauty supply stores. I bought and used Salon Care 40 Volume Creme Developer.


I first put the SNES out uncovered at first. The picture above is when I first put it out then an hour later and then 2 hours later. You can see what a change a few hours can make.

Then I flipped it over and wrapped it up. I checked on it each hour and mixed it up so that it would get even treatment.


There is before and after. The difference is amazing. Here is two another 20 plus years.


After that I went and picked out some controllers. I knew one in-particular I bought a few years back knowing I might be able to remove the yellowing. Well I did retrobright the controller but after I did the one yellow controller I noticed the other two could benefit. Here is a look at my PC Engine controllers.

Here is the yellow controller at the beginning ready to go.

Here is the finished results. I went back and retrobright my other controller because after the first one was done the other looked yellow. Now they both look next to new. This looks good and I’m not going to open up my Duo-R and retrobright that one. It looks good as it is. Although I’m sure if I opened my Duo-R open it would be a nightmare to see the epoxy and plastic bags that likely make up the mod work. Someday I will send it to Voltar to fix up. The controller on the bottom was the original yellow controller.

I learned a few things I would recommend. I recomend cleaning the parts well before and wrap in cling wrap to trap the creme in so it will not dry out in the sun and keep its effectiveness up. Also check every so ofter to avoid spots and unevenness. Also to help the sides get more UV light use a tin basket or tin foil to help reflect lights on the sides. Also the first run will be good but go back and run it again once more to address any unevenness and also finish it off.


All in all I am really glad I did this. I plan on trying out a few more controllers and I will think twice when buying old yellow video game consoles and controllers. Maybe next I will pickup a really yellow PC-Engine or Famicom.


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