(Topic ID: 158469)

Best non-ME and alcohol play field cleaning method


By phil-lee

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by mrbanjo
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#1 4 years ago

I'm starting on the play field of the Gottlieb Spin A Card highlighted in a previous Post. I do not like the Magic Eraser/Alcohol method because I feel it may take too much off. I have searched for a non-water based cleaner with little result, and none of the previous Post on the subject seem clear,with hand cleaner,etc, mentioned.Bottom line, what is the next-best cleaner to use on a play field other than ME/Alcohol? Or should I give this method another try?IMG_1360_(resized).JPG

#2 4 years ago

I've had great luck with ME and Simple Green. Go easy and it will clean up nice.

#3 4 years ago

Exactly what Dr Joe said. ME and simple green. Go light on the simple green, small areas, dry as you go. Alcohol strips away the clear coat and paint if you're not careful. Simple Green cleans away the dirt, leaves what's left of your clear. And it takes about 10% of the effort.

#4 4 years ago

I have had excellent results with Gel Gloss and a ME. From what I have come to learn, it's not too different than Mill Wax and has some mild abrasive and a waxy additive. I put a little on with a rag. Let it sit for a few minutes and gently wipe off. If stubborn, then I use the ME.

BTW...I'm not afraid to use the 92% alcohol. Allow yourself the time to work slowly and carefully one section at a time.

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#6 4 years ago

I have good results with Turtle Wax liquid auto polish compound. Very gentle, cleans really well. Then wax.

But I also use the ME/Alcohol method and as long as you go slow and careful, I've not had problems.

#7 4 years ago

Mother's Mag Polish is what I have used for several years with excellent results. Lots of debate on vid's guide to playfield cleaning.

Disregard this suggestion. Mother's isn't effective as an initial cleaner. It is great after cleaning for polishing the playfield surface.

#8 4 years ago

Novus 2 anyone?

#9 4 years ago

Novus 2 is technically an abrasive.

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from DrJoe:

I've had great luck with ME and Simple Green. Go easy and it will clean up nice.

I wouldn't spray simple green directly on the playfield. It's mostly water.

I typically use naphtha.

#11 4 years ago

ill vote Naptha also

--Jeff

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I wouldn't spray simple green directly on the playfield. It's mostly water.
I typically use naphtha.

Not spraying on playfield, moistening the ME with simple green, inevitably some will squeeze out and want to run down the playfield, have a towel handy in the other hand to dry it as you go. Seriously, very little effort, smells better than Naptha (which we can't get in Cali anyways) not flammable, and for the amount of liquid placed on the playfield for such little time, not really a danger of it lifting any fibers as standing water would do.

1 week later
#13 4 years ago

I just stumbled upon this thread. Vic Camp told me at Pinfest he gets his games so nice by using ME squares & Alcohol and I was honestly very surprised and intrigued, I'm so used to hearing Pinside scream about the magic erasers being WAAAAAAAAY too abrasive and I thought it was the general consensus that it was like worse than satan for playfields, interesting to see more threads pop up on it as a method.

I've used Naphtha on 3 games now and what does it even do? Surface dirt/dust? I used it on a game somebody paid me to clean and wax and after I was done they went through with other stuff which was kind of a bummer, even though it's a friend and I got paid. Kinda ready to say goodbye to Naphtha. Maybe it's good for games that have already been gone through but usually I'm cleaning games that have never gotten the treatment before and it looks great until it like dries 10 seconds later and you realize it was just the nice effect of the wetness making it look better. Nice for games with a LOT of dirt as well, but it doesn't really take out anything else it seems.

ME & Simple Green > ME & Alcohol?

#14 4 years ago

Naphtha is a very weak cleaner, in my experience. It's OK to clean up residue from a real cleaner, but it'll take forever to clean a grungy field with naphtha only.

MEs are a great tool as long as you use them properly. I'm convinced that ME and alcohol can dissolve vintage (pre '90s) clears, so it should only be used on fields that require touchup and re-clear. After that, the fields look great, and have a nice protective clear.

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

Naphtha is a very weak cleaner, in my experience. It's OK to clean up residue from a real cleaner, but it'll take forever to clean a grungy field with naphtha only.
MEs are a great tool as long as you use them properly. I'm convinced that ME and alcohol can dissolve vintage (pre '90s) clears, so it should only be used on fields that require touchup and re-clear. After that, the fields look great, and have a nice protective clear.

Agree ME will remove the clear coat and leave it dull, Yes they clean but, No more shine after ME is used.

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from Brtlkat:

Agree ME will remove the clear coat and leave it dull, Yes they clean but, No more shine after ME is used.

This is not entirely true. It leaves a dull haze that must be removed and then it will polish to a brilliant shine. I am going to be posting some pics soon that will prove it.

#18 4 years ago

Seen it in action, A buddy used it on a stern POTC and no more shine, No matter how much it was polished. So use at own risk

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from Brtlkat:

Seen it in action, A buddy used it on a stern POTC and no more shine, No matter how much it was polished. So use at own risk

Yes, that may be on a newer field, I don't use it on those.

#20 4 years ago

OK I am relatively new to this hobby compared to everyone else. But being new, I have experimented with a lot of different methods. Right now my preferred method for a pin that needs a completely shopped is ME and 92% alcohol. Obviously you need to be careful as everyone has already mentioned. I avoid any area of the playfield that has planking. ME, alcohol and a planked area of a playfield do not mix well together. At least in my unfortunate opinion. After the ME/alcohol, I remove the white haze with Naphtha. I polish with Novus 2. Then heavy wax. I only do this process once to a newly acquired EM that needs heavy cleaning. Any future cleaning is strictly Simple Green and wax.

#21 4 years ago

Agree 100% cantbfrank. Once you hit it with the Novus2 the dullness from the ME/alcohol is gone.

#22 4 years ago
Quoted from cantbfrank:

OK I am relatively new to this hobby compared to everyone else. But being new, I have experimented with a lot of different methods. Right now my preferred method for a pin that needs a completely shopped is ME and 92% alcohol. Obviously you need to be careful as everyone has already mentioned. I avoid any area of the playfield that has planking. ME, alcohol and a planked area of a playfield do not mix well together. At least in my unfortunate opinion. After the ME/alcohol, I remove the white haze with Naphtha. I polish with Novus 2. Then heavy wax. I only do this process once to a newly acquired EM that needs heavy cleaning. Any future cleaning is strictly Simple Green and wax.

The 'problem' with alcohol is that on older fields it dissolves the top coat leaving the original ink unprotected. Not a problem on fields you're gonna clear anyway, but on nice original condition fields that require no touchup don't need the topcoat removed...which alcohol and ME appear to do.

PS: I never use Novus2 on older fields. I do not like the results at all.

#23 4 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

I never use Novus2 on older fields. I do not like the results at all.

Interesting. What do you use to polish an EM playfield?

#24 4 years ago

The results of this type of thread are always clear as mud.

That said, for that specific playfield in the picture I would pull all the plastics and posts, vacuum the excess debris, spray a small amount of Novus 1 on a soft cloth and do an initial wiping of the heavy grime, wipe dry with new cloth, then I would go section by section with small amounts of Novus 2 on soft cloth, re-wipe/buff with a new clean soft cloth, then go nuts with the carnuba wax. Making sure to clean all the "cleaners/polishers" off the playfield completely between steps.

I tried alcohol and ME on some stubborn spots in the past and felt that it dulled the finish...plus 1 wipe too many with a ME and your paint is gone forever.

These 40-50 year old games are going to have some blemishes and checking etc. I wouldn't go nuts in the pursuit of perfection you'll end up screwing it up worse.

#25 4 years ago
Quoted from cantbfrank:

Interesting. What do you use to polish an EM playfield?

Well, let me relate why I don't like Novus2 on older fields. You may have different experiences and can disregard my methods.

I had been using Novus2 on every game for a long time, with "good" results. However, on one game I noticed that an area I just polished with Novus2, when looked at while reflecting overhead lighting, still had residual images of the dried Novus swirls. So I buffed it again. Then again. Now, I do all this by hand, so if you use power tools you may have entirely different results. Still, I could not buff out those residual images. So I was thinking what to do and saw my can of Mother's Mag Polish sitting there. Well, it sure does a bang-up job of putting mirror finishes on steel, so...

I tried a little dab of Mother's on the same spot I was unable to buff away the Novus. Rubbed it in with no special applicator, probably a paper shop towel, let it dry, then buffed it out by hand with a dusting cloth. The results were amazing. Not only were there no residual marks from the Mother's like Novus left behind, but the finish was super clean (you can feel the clean with your fingertips) and had a deep luster that mirrored the overhead lights in some detail. Not like real details, but you could see the individual light bulbs in the reflection.

So, based on that experience, I use Mother's Mag Polish on older fields with not "good" but fantastic results (compared to Novus). Granted, Novus does "OK", and you can't really see the residuals unless you look at a light's reflection, but it doesn't feel clean, and I know those artifacts are there.

Pics are coming soon...

#26 4 years ago

Try just plain alcohol with a rag. ME works great with alcohol but you must be careful.

If you need something stronger and want to avoid ME then DeSolvIt Contractors Solvent is great and does no harm that I have seen. Just don't use it on rubber which if you are shopping a pf all rubber will be removed anyway.

#27 4 years ago
#28 4 years ago

Simple green + ME look a good method

#29 4 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

Well, let me relate why I don't like Novus2 on older fields. You may have different experiences and can disregard my methods.
I had been using Novus2 on every game for a long time, with "good" results. However, on one game I noticed that an area I just polished with Novus2, when looked at while reflecting overhead lighting, still had residual images of the dried Novus swirls. So I buffed it again. Then again. Now, I do all this by hand, so if you use power tools you may have entirely different results. Still, I could not buff out those residual images. So I was thinking what to do and saw my can of Mother's Mag Polish sitting there. Well, it sure does a bang-up job of putting mirror finishes on steel, so...
I tried a little dab of Mother's on the same spot I was unable to buff away the Novus. Rubbed it in with no special applicator, probably a paper shop towel, let it dry, then buffed it out by hand with a dusting cloth. The results were amazing. Not only were there no residual marks from the Mother's like Novus left behind, but the finish was super clean (you can feel the clean with your fingertips) and had a deep luster that mirrored the overhead lights in some detail. Not like real details, but you could see the individual light bulbs in the reflection.
So, based on that experience, I use Mother's Mag Polish on older fields with not "good" but fantastic results (compared to Novus). Granted, Novus does "OK", and you can't really see the residuals unless you look at a light's reflection, but it doesn't feel clean, and I know those artifacts are there.
Pics are coming soon...

Never tried mothers mag polish. I'll have to try it next time. Thanks

#30 4 years ago

I'm with oldcarz, Gel Gloss and ME if needed. Takes much less rubbing than alcohol and ME. I know there's debate that the mystical protective coat might be removed, but on this game with this plunger, I think that's already happened.

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#31 4 years ago

I originally picked up the tip for the Gel Gloss from a post from several years ago:

http://bingo.cdyn.com/techno/overhaul/playfield/surface.html and several other Pinsiders have mentioned that it works well for them, too. Search "gel gloss" in the forum and you'll find several references for it.

I think it's very similar to Millwax and it doesn't have any strong abrasive properties. Sometimes letting it sit in an area for a few minutes is all it needs to get into the dirt.

Attaching a few old pix of when I used it on the Hawaiian Beauty playfield. The before and after pix aren't the exact same positioning, but the point is that it really cleaned up the wood in the shooter lane, arch, and the paint around the pop bumpers, etc. The dirt was really heavy at the top of the playfield and came off with a rag and the Gel Gloss. I replaced the new repro bumper caps with yellowed vintage ones that cleaned up nicely with the Gel Gloss. Afterwards, a little yellow carnauba wax added a slight amber sheen to the wood.

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#32 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Novus 2 is technically an abrasive.

Right, but isn't ME foam +cleaning agent much more abrasive than Novus 2? Regardless of the liquid used, the ME Foam is the one doing the abrasion.

I probably don't even have half the amount of experience that most people here do, but I've been using Novus 2 for a while now to great effect. I've only done the ME foam and alcohol trick once on a game just to try it. I didn't like how abrasive it was, so I stuck with Novus 2. I'd rather have some swirl marks than no lacquer finish.

I generally use only Novus 2 once--the first time I'm shopping out a dingy game, then anytime I have to clean/touch up the game, I find that simply applying another coat of wax is enough to clean out the grime, then I follow up with a light vacuuming to pick up the dust.

However, ever since I discovered the joys of Harbor Freight, I simply stock up on el cheap-o microfiber towels, and use them dry to clean up a playfield between waxes. I toss them once they're spent. I use the Novus 2 more now to clean up rubber rings than anything else.

#33 4 years ago

My results vary from machine to machine. ME and alcohol worked great on one, but I also had excellent results with Krud Kutter, sprayed onto micro fiber rather than direct to play field.

Got the KK idea here on Pinside and its my first choice these days for various cleaning tasks. But, of course, always try these things on a less conspicuous area (such as under a play field plastic).

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

Right, but isn't ME foam +cleaning agent much more abrasive than Novus 2? Regardless of the liquid used, the ME Foam is the one doing the abrasion.

ME is much much finer than Novus2 but you can make it much more aggressive if you are pressing hard

2 months later
#35 4 years ago

Krud Kutter for play field cleaning? I haven't tried that, but I am also apprehensive due to it's ability to remove ink. I'll try the Gel Gloss next.

#36 4 years ago

I use small ME squares and 92% alcohol for the initial cleaning. I work small areas at a time. I immediately follow up the area I've just cleaned with Turtle Wax liquid polishing compound. I go through a lot of cloth shop towels, ME, alcohol, and polishing compound when cleaning a PF!

I never leave an area of the PF with the haze of the alcohol sitting on it, I remove it immediately and re-polish the top coat after I'm done cleaning an area with ME/alcohol. The polishing compound not only restores the gloss of the PF topcoat, it also provides some additional cleaning.

I think it's important to note that this kind of aggressive cleaning takes skill and judgement. When you use ME and alcohol, it does start to strip the original top coat. The trick is to clean just enough to remove as much of the marking as possible without stripping off too much top coat. This is not a trivial judgement to make and it takes some practice to get a feel for it. Many of us end up "practicing" while we're working on our actual keeper games. If you can acquire an old PF and practice on that first, it's probably time well spent.

In any given area of a PF, the goal is to get the maximum cleaning done while doing the least amount of damage. The condition of the PF topcoat varies from game to game, and the condition of the topcoat will usually vary widely across a given PF. In general the upper part of the PF is in the best condition and is the most resilient to aggressive cleaning, while the area just above the flippers is the most worn and is the most easily damaged by cleaning. So I think it's important to evaluate each area before you clean it, and to pay close attention to what is happening to the PF surface as you clean it.

100% of the time, my experience has been that it's ALWAYS better to stop cleaning and leave a little bit of marking on the artwork than to over-clean in an effort to remove all the marking. Over-cleaning might work on the resilient upper playfield areas, but that same over-cleaning will NOT work on the worn areas. The marking doesn't come off, and the artwork just gets damaged. That's why it's important to evaluate the condition of each area you are cleaning and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Over-cleaning a worn area of the PF strips all of the topcoat away, leaving the screen-printed artwork without any protection, and also causing an unattractive "burn" on the artwork. The burn effect occurs because you are seeing the raw bright ink color without the patina of the topcoat over it. The topcoat adds a distinctive amber patina that mutes the colors of the artwork. To me, this patina is an important part of making an EM playfield look good.

- TimMe

#37 4 years ago

I absolutely agree. It started me thinking when vid suggested to quickly wipe up the remaining clearcoat after using ME/Alcohol. That means you can liquefy the topcoat without completely stripping it. The ME picks up the dirt particles that are trapped in the swirl cracks and the alcohol liquefies the topcoat to gain a more uniform surface when it reconstitutes. Is that your experience as well?

Quoted from TimMe:

I use small ME squares and 92% alcohol for the initial cleaning. I work small areas at a time. I immediately follow up the area I've just cleaned with Turtle Wax liquid polishing compound. I go through a lot of cloth shop towels, ME, alcohol, and polishing compound when cleaning a PF!
I never leave an area of the PF with the haze of the alcohol sitting on it, I remove it immediately and re-polish the top coat after I'm done cleaning an area with ME/alcohol. The polishing compound not only restores the gloss of the PF topcoat, it also provides some additional cleaning.
I think it's important to note that this kind of aggressive cleaning takes skill and judgement. When you use ME and alcohol, it does start to strip the original top coat. The trick is to clean just enough to remove as much of the marking as possible without stripping off too much top coat. This is not a trivial judgement to make and it takes some practice to get a feel for it. Many of us end up "practicing" while we're working on our actual keeper games. If you can acquire an old PF and practice on that first, it's probably time well spent.
In any given area of a PF, the goal is to get the maximum cleaning done while doing the least amount of damage. The condition of the PF topcoat varies from game to game, and the condition of the topcoat will usually vary widely across a given PF. In general the upper part of the PF is in the best condition and is the most resilient to aggressive cleaning, while the area just above the flippers is the most worn and is the most easily damaged by cleaning. So I think it's important to evaluate each area before you clean it, and to pay close attention to what is happening to the PF surface as you clean it.
100% of the time, my experience has been that it's ALWAYS better to stop cleaning and leave a little bit of marking on the artwork than to over-clean in an effort to remove all the marking. Over-cleaning might work on the resilient upper playfield areas, but that same over-cleaning will NOT work on the worn areas. The marking doesn't come off, and the artwork just gets damaged. That's why it's important to evaluate the condition of each area you are cleaning and adjust your expectations accordingly.
Over-cleaning a worn area of the PF strips all of the topcoat away, leaving the screen-printed artwork without any protection, and also causing an unattractive "burn" on the artwork. The burn effect occurs because you are seeing the raw bright ink color without the patina of the topcoat over it. The topcoat adds a distinctive amber patina that mutes the colors of the artwork. To me, this patina is an important part of making an EM playfield look good.
- TimMe

#38 4 years ago

Cody, yes that does describe my experience. From what I can tell, the topcoat is getting slightly liquefied. I've noticed that if I make a random motion with the ME pad as I finish cleaning with alcohol, I will end up with an imprint of that motion frozen into the topcoat. The imprint can usually be buffed out with polishing compound, but ever since I noticed that, I am careful to finish up ME-cleaning of an area with up-and-down motions that run parallel to the grain that was created by the original belt-sanding of the PF.

After I've cleaned the entire PF, I will take a somewhat larger ME square soaked with alcohol and draw it vertically down the entire PF several times from top to bottom, quickly working across from left to right. That seems to create the best lay-down of the topcoat when I follow that up with polishing compound. I will polish until the entire PF surface has a high gloss. Then I touch-up the artwork as needed (that's a whole other topic), and finally I will wax the entire PF with Johnson's paste wax - the stuff that comes in those round yellow cans.

There is a significant improvement in the quality of the playing surface after this cleaning process, as long as you do it right. The improvement is not only visual, you can actually feel it with your fingers as you mentioned in post #25. I don't have a way to objectively measure the improvement of the game play, but it really seems like the ball action is much better.

- TimMe

#39 4 years ago

I cleaned this Play Field first with a naphtha wipe-down,followed by gentle rubbing using liquid Bar Keepers Friend and a terry cloth.The formula contains a weak acid,I spread it evenly and wiped down after 3 minutes.I like the stuff,it leaves the field clean as a whisker but it still has a nice "Patina".I had to use several alcohol-laden rags to remove Bar Keepers residual left too long to dry. I then went straight to several wax routines with Maguire's Gold carnauba.
I will use this method on the next machine.
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#40 4 years ago

That Spin-A-Card PF looks great! Did you do any touch-up of the artwork?

- TimMe

#41 4 years ago

Here are before & after pics of a Wizard that I'm just about to finish rebuilding for the Seattle Pinball Museum. (Posted with their permission - thank you SPM!) I cleaned the PF artwork exactly as I described in posts #36 and #38. You can see there is still some marking in yellow area - it's very hard to get yellows 100% clean unless you do a repaint. The SPM folks wanted to keep the original art, so that's what I did.

I also did some minor PF artwork touch-up with colored Sharpies. Sharpies have their limitation as a touch-up tool, but within that limitation they work well.

Wizard as received

Wizard after rebuilding

- TimMe

#42 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Novus 2 is technically an abrasive.

...and water based.

That said, it is usually what I use.

#43 4 years ago
Quoted from TimMe:

I also did some minor PF artwork touch-up with colored Sharpies. Sharpies have their limitation as a touch-up tool, but within that limitation they work well.

If you don't mind expanding on that I'd like to learn more. Did you just mainly use black for some of the outlines? I can't imagine any other colors would match?

#44 4 years ago

Sure. I use the 24-color pack of Sharpies and do both color and black touch-ups. But, as I already mentioned, there are limitations on this method of touching up.

After doing a cleaning with ME and alcohol, there will often be small white dots and white hairline cracks in the color areas of the PF art. These blemishes are particularly noticeable in the darker colors. This happens when pinholes and cracks in the topcoat have gone all the way through, and the grime (marking) has been ground down into the ink layer. When you clean with ME and alcohol, it removes the marking from these areas but also removes the translucent colored ink, which in turn exposes the thicker base layer of opaque white ink.

These white pinpoints and hairline cracks can be effectively hidden with Sharpie ink, especially on the darker colors. Pick a cap color that is the closest color match to the PF but ALWAYS use a LIGHTER shade of Sharpie - the Sharpie inks go on much darker than the cap color! Draw the Sharpie ink over the pinpoints and cracks. While the Sharpie ink is still wet, rub the ink into the pinpoints and cracks with a clean cloth. Let the Sharpie ink dry for a minute or so. Then, use another clean cloth and Turtle Wax liquid polishing compound to remove all of the excess Sharpie ink.

The net result is that the Sharpie ink will work down into the hairline cracks and spots and it will stick to the base layer of white ink. Where the topcoat is still intact, the Sharpie ink won't stick and will be removed by the polishing compound. This will make the hairline cracks and spots virtually disappear.

As for the limitations (and other important details):

This method is most effective on white hairline cracks and white pinhole spots. It doesn't work very well on non-white blemishes, or on any larger areas needing more extensive touch-up.

ALWAYS do a test touch-up with your chosen Sharpie color on a small inconspicuous area of the PF first, and make sure you are happy with the result before applying that Sharpie color all over your PF. If you do accidently use a badly non-matching Sharpie color on the PF and you don't like the results, remove with ME and alcohol.

If the touch-up color seems too light after one application, you can usually darken it with a second touch-up application using the same Sharpie pen.

Where there are hairline cracks on a both a color area and some associated black keylines (such as "50 points" printed on top of a red background) you should only use the chosen color Sharpie to touch everything up. For the above example, you would use the orange-red Sharpie color to draw over both the red and black colors on the PF, and then use the polishing compound to clean off the excess Sharpie ink. The color ink from the Sharpie will effectively make the black area look intact again, and you won't need to deal with the problem of accidently contaminating your red color area with black Sharpie ink.

The above method can also be used to touch-up the black keylines around the inserts. Use the black Sharpie to fill in the white circular groove worn into the PF where the insert meets the playboard. Then remove the excess black Sharpie ink with a cloth and liquid polishing compound. The black Sharpie ink will fill in the white circular groove but will not stick to the insert or the undamaged part of the PF, and you'll have a pretty decent touch-up of your insert keylines.

If you keep your PF clean and waxed, the Sharpie touch-ups will last a few years. However, unless you put on a new topcoat, eventually the Sharpie ink will be worn away and you will need to re-do your touch-ups.

- TimMe

#45 4 years ago
Quoted from TimMe:

That Spin-A-Card PF looks great! Did you do any touch-up of the artwork?
- TimMe

No,not yet.I located the proper color dark Blue for the triangles(typical wear pattern from the kick-out hole) but the Sea Foam green (actually a bright Turquoise OEM) has been tough to match.

#46 4 years ago

Update, I just used Novus 2 on my Sky Jump restoration and couldn't be happier. As for abrasiveness, went over it several times sometimes even pushing quite hard with no lifting paint whatsoever. Only a little ground-in dirt left that went away with some hard-pushing spot cleaning with Novus 2. Looks brand new. Seriously.

Also gave Mothers' Pure Carnauba Wax (solid not liquid, also DO NOT USE THEIR "CLEANER" WAX!!! Only pure!) a try after the Novus 2 I absolutely could not be happier! I had a bad experience with Johnson's Paste Wax and I switched and WOW, I sure am glad I did. Even the cloth I was using to apply the wax starting sliding around because it was so slippy. Running my finger over the playfield after a coat of it was like feeling glass, I'm serious! I can't wait to see how great the ball reacts on it. It looked kind of dull when put on but after giving it adequate time to dry and then wipe off, it shines nearly like clear-coat. I was stunned. Still looks great days later, too. Couldn't be happier with this mix. This is my new go-to. I sound like a paid spokesperson but I am just really happy I figured out this mix.

Still baffled people are still advising Naphtha, but to each their own. I nearly had 0 results with it regardless of how hard you scrubbed on any machine. So, I'm going to assume they meant playfields that have already been gone through previously by a collector within the last year and just need routine dust/very light dirt cleaning and not actual cleaning. It does nothing for ground in dirt in my experience. If I had a playfield caked with dirt I might use it to get the surface dirt off before using Novus 2 but that's about it.

#47 4 years ago
Quoted from Otaku:

Still baffled people are still advising Naphtha, but to each their own. I nearly had 0 results with it regardless of how hard you scrubbed on any machine. So, I'm going to assume they meant playfields that have already been gone through previously by a collector within the last year and just need routine dust/very light dirt cleaning and not actual cleaning. It does nothing for ground in dirt in my experience. If I had a playfield caked with dirt I might use it to get the surface dirt off before using Novus 2 but that's about it.

Absolutely agree. I have a can of naphtha that I will probably never open again. It is a pathetic cleaner, and generates highly combustible fumes that can actually travel to another room and ignite there. It is dangerous. Anytime someone suggests that stuff it should come with the disclaimer that methlab-type explosions could occur.

I like Novus OK on newer fields, but say '91 or so back I do not like the wipe artifacts it leaves behind but have had great results following up novus with Mother's Mag polish (but I usually don't use novus at all on older fields at all)

#48 4 years ago
Quoted from cody_chunn:

Absolutely agree. I have a can of naphtha that I will probably never open again. It is a pathetic cleaner, and generates highly combustible fumes that can actually travel to another room and ignite there. It is dangerous. Anytime someone suggests that stuff it should come with the disclaimer that methlab-type explosions could occur.
I like Novus OK on newer fields, but say '91 or so back I do not like the wipe artifacts it leaves behind but have had great results following up novus with Mother's Mag polish (but I usually don't use novus at all on older fields at all)

Agreed. Can give me an AWFUL headache even with a window or two open. A few times I got a little on my hands and heavily tasted it for the rest of the day. Weird stuff.

#49 4 years ago

So, as someone pointed out earlier, there is no consensus.

My procedure is to clean with novus, then follow up with ME and naptha usually. The naptha isn't a cleaner, but it lubricates the ME.

Anyway, I'll be trying the mothers mag and Gel Gloss. I have some Mothers on hand for metal and ordered some Gel Gloss of Amazon last night.

As long as these threads don't degenerate into "you're a moron, you don't do it my way", I find them interesting and informative.

#50 4 years ago
Quoted from Otaku:

Update, I just used Novus 2 on my Sky Jump restoration and couldn't be happier. As for abrasiveness, went over it several times sometimes even pushing quite hard with no lifting paint whatsoever. Only a little ground-in dirt left that went away with some hard-pushing spot cleaning with Novus 2. Looks brand new. Seriously.
Also gave Mothers' Pure Carnauba Wax (solid not liquid, also DO NOT USE THEIR "CLEANER" WAX!!! Only pure!) a try after the Novus 2 I absolutely could not be happier! I had a bad experience with Johnson's Paste Wax and I switched and WOW, I sure am glad I did. Even the cloth I was using to apply the wax starting sliding around because it was so slippy. Running my finger over the playfield after a coat of it was like feeling glass, I'm serious! I can't wait to see how great the ball reacts on it. It looked kind of dull when put on but after giving it adequate time to dry and then wipe off, it shines nearly like clear-coat. I was stunned. Still looks great days later, too. Couldn't be happier with this mix. This is my new go-to. I sound like a paid spokesperson but I am just really happy I figured out this mix.
Still baffled people are still advising Naphtha, but to each their own. I nearly had 0 results with it regardless of how hard you scrubbed on any machine. So, I'm going to assume they meant playfields that have already been gone through previously by a collector within the last year and just need routine dust/very light dirt cleaning and not actual cleaning. It does nothing for ground in dirt in my experience. If I had a playfield caked with dirt I might use it to get the surface dirt off before using Novus 2 but that's about it.

Naptha removes wax better than anything else.In order to get a clean,dry surface for possible touch-up painting use naptha,I prefer Coleman Fuel which is basically the same substance.

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