(Topic ID: 137689)

Cleaning and Waxing Pinball Machines - Vid's Guide

By vid1900

6 years ago


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    There are 1,971 posts in this topic. You are on page 24 of 40.
    #1151 4 years ago
    Quoted from Wiggy:

    Newbie question. Why is Naphtha a better choice than isopropyl alcohol?

    Alcohol can react with some coatings.

    #1152 4 years ago
    Quoted from Wiggy:

    Newbie question. Why is Naphtha a better choice than isopropyl alcohol?

    Alcohol dissolves many playfield topcoats.

    On playfields with tiny cracks, the alcohol expands the wood fibers, cracking the paint

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/cleaning-and-waxing-pinball-machines-vids-guide#post-2656050

    #1153 4 years ago

    The machine I'm shopping out had some broken plastics "repaired" with soft metal strips, and as a result there are metal flakes stuck to the surface where they accumulated.

    Is there a trick to removing them?

    #1154 4 years ago
    Quoted from RatShack:

    The machine I'm shopping out had some broken plastics "repaired" with soft metal strips, and as a result there are metal flakes stuck to the surface where they accumulated.
    Is there a trick to removing them?

    pics required

    #1155 4 years ago
    Quoted from RatShack:

    The machine I'm shopping out had some broken plastics "repaired" with soft metal strips, and as a result there are metal flakes stuck to the surface where they accumulated.
    Is there a trick to removing them?

    I am referring to the big flakes in the red area and around the scoop hole, and to a lesser extend around the perimeter of the soccer ball area. The grime in the ball lane is mostly old rubber and pulverized metal.

    20171015_224514 (resized).jpg

    #1156 4 years ago

    Edit. Sorry mine was just worn in rubber and other stock items in that area. Novus 3 may still work.

    #1157 4 years ago
    Quoted from RatShack:

    I am referring to the big flakes in the red area and around the scoop hole, and to a lesser extend around the perimeter of the soccer ball area. The grime in the ball lane is mostly old rubber and pulverized metal.

    In the LEAST conspicuous spot, find what solvent will unglue all that metal from the playfield.

    Vac up all the loose material, and then try Naphtha or 95% alcohol.

    Don't worry about "deep cleaning" until all the metal flakes are gone.

    #1158 4 years ago

    I have literally read this entire thread over the past couple of days, and I find it embarrassing that I have a question after all the great information. That being said ...

    I have two machines with Mylar over the bulk of the playfield a STTNG and my father’s Space Shuttle. Does the usual rundown apply to cleaning machines with Mylar? Do you have any advice specific to cleaning Mylar?

    I really hope this wasn’t already covered, I swear I looked.

    #1159 4 years ago

    Vac, then wipe the Mylar with a damp cloth.

    Wipe wood surfaces with Naphtha.

    Then wax.

    2 weeks later
    #1160 4 years ago

    Very cool thread

    Looking to get into a couple mid-late 80's SS machines, which from my understanding would mean lacquer-type topcoat. When the time comes, I'd like to have all of my supplies ready to shop them.

    Would not be planning to clear coat, so I would plan to avoid alcohol which I've read would dissolve the topcoat. Instead, I plan to use Naphtha, if needed. Then finally of course, wax!

    Was wondering:

    1. Is it okay to use Novus 2 on this type of playfield in case of any scratches needing polishing or is it too abrasive?

    2. Between waxes, would it be okay to use Novus 1 for wipedowns on this type of playfield?

    3. Lastly, I've seen some folks recommend Collinite PreWax #840 for cleaning these older play fields since it's non-abrasive, has anyone used this on an older playfield?

    Thanks!

    #1161 4 years ago
    Quoted from pincity:

    1. Is it okay to use Novus 2 on this type of playfield in case of any scratches needing polishing or is it too abrasive?

    It will work, but only use it on 100% sound paint.

    Older 80 s games are not known for high gloss finishes.

    Quoted from pincity:

    2. Between waxes, would it be okay to use Novus 1 for wipedowns on this type of playfield?

    Yes.

    Just barely damp on a rag. Do NOT get the playfield wet.

    #1162 4 years ago

    Vid, other than vacuuming/waxing, no further care needed on a newly 2PACed playfield?

    #1163 4 years ago
    Quoted from La_Porta:

    Vid, other than vacuuming/waxing, no further care needed on a newly 2PACed playfield?

    Nope, it should be trouble free for the next few decades.

    #1164 4 years ago
    Quoted from pincity:

    3. Lastly, I've seen some folks recommend Collinite PreWax #840 for cleaning these older play fields since it's non-abrasive, has anyone used this on an older playfield?
    Thanks!

    I ordered some Collinite a year ago after reading some recommendations. Was hoping it would work better than either alcohol or naphtha for playfield deep-cleaning. I can tell you, and this is only my own experience of course, that a) it did nothing as far as cleaning dirt out of ball swirls, and b) when I tried it on a dirty area of the cabinet, it actually started taking paint off.

    #1165 4 years ago
    Quoted from jibmums:

    I ordered some Collinite a year ago after reading some recommendations. Was hoping it would work better than either alcohol or naphtha for playfield deep-cleaning. I can tell you, and this is only my own experience of course, that a) it did nothing as far as cleaning dirt out of ball swirls, and b) when I tried it on a dirty area of the cabinet, it actually started taking paint off.

    I thought Collinite is a wax used on marine parts.
    Its very good as a wax, but it wont clean anything at all.

    Putting wax over dirt wont hurt anything but it wont help either.

    #1166 4 years ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    Collinite is a wax used on marine parts.
    Its very good as a wax, but it wont clean anything at all.
    Putting wax over dirt wont hurt anything but it wont help either.

    Per Collinite's website, and the very specific name of the product, Collinite #840 is a pre-wax cleaner, not a wax:

    "Mild-cut pre-wax cleaner safely removes brake dust, film, light oxidation, oil, bird droppings, water spots, and tough stains from exterior automotive finishes. Restores original color and gloss and facilitates the easy application of Collinite’s last step waxes (845, 476, 915); improving wax bond, spread coverage and durability."

    Whatever the case, it didn't work well as a cleaner anyway.

    #1167 4 years ago
    Quoted from jibmums:

    Collinite #840 is a pre-wax cleane

    I see, and that makes more sense.
    I never looked for the pre-wax cleaner!
    I only looked at the wax.

    #1168 4 years ago
    Quoted from jrobinso99:

    I agree, all playfields will be better protected if waxed. Although, I've got a slightly different way of thinking about the way wax protects a playfield than most others have described it.
    I think we all agree that a pinball with fine scratches all over it is the equivalent of a fine sandpaper covered ball. The "protection" provided by the wax isn't that it is harder or more durable that a clear coat though. It's that the wax provides a layer of lubrication.
    A dry piece of sandpaper sliding across a clearcoated playfield is going to continually remove finish over time. The rate of removal will depend on how coarse the sandpaper is (in this case, how scratched the balls are). If we apply some wax to our playfield our fine sandpaper then slides smoothly across it, reducing the scratching. Part of the protection also comes from the fact that the sandpaper is picking up the wax, filling in its abrasive surface, and itself becoming lubricated. When the sandpaper is covered with enough wax it won't scratch anything. Over time the wax will eventually wear off and the abrasiveness returns (time to rewax)
    The distinction is important because, in my view, it doesn't matter if you get wax on to every part of your playfield you want to protect. You just need to get enough wax down to continually keep the surface of the balls lubricated. It also makes the case for periodic waxing of the balls themselves. By this logic, Pledge does provide protection, it just doesn't last. If you want to Pledge every few days your pins will be protected (and play like lightning). The reason carnauba is nice for pinball is because it is convenient and stays in place as a lubricant much longer.
    The other part of the playfield wear equation is minimizing the amount of scratches on the balls. Change them often and keep your playfield waxed and your playfield is going to last.
    -Jay

    Yes, agree - good point

    1 week later
    #1169 4 years ago

    Does anyone know if Alcohol dissolves the Clear Coat in a Gottlieb like Raven, Genesis, Hollywood Heat, Spring Break? I need to remove Mylar Glue and trying to decide between GooGone, Alcohol, Naphtha, etc

    Edit:
    I left the GooGone on the PF overnight under Plastic Wrap and then used flour and a plastic razor along with my fingers.
    Pretty easy.

    #1170 4 years ago

    Im still using wildcat RC-88 to clean all my rubber that seems to collect a tone of black dust.
    Has there been any improvements to using this?

    It sure works great to clean off a black finger print on white rubber.

    #1171 4 years ago

    I picked up a couple EMs that have been touched up with a paint unknown and probably a Sharpie treatment around the inserts. What do you do when you do not know the status of the questionable touchup "stuff" on your playfield and you want to prep it for restore and clearcoat?

    1 week later
    #1172 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aladdin:

    Does anyone know if Alcohol dissolves the Clear Coat in a Gottlieb like Raven, Genesis, Hollywood Heat, Spring Break? I need to remove Mylar Glue and trying to decide between GooGone, Alcohol, Naphtha, etc
    Edit:
    I left the GooGone on the PF overnight under Plastic Wrap and then used flour and a plastic razor along with my fingers.
    Pretty easy.

    Huh, good to know.
    Thanks!

    #1173 4 years ago

    Is it ok to use simple green to clean rubbers or will it deteriorate the rubbers. It seems to work well and readily available, but I just had some rubbers fail early.

    #1174 4 years ago
    Quoted from trk12fire:

    Is it ok to use simple green to clean rubbers or will it deteriorate the rubbers. It seems to work well and readily available, but I just had some rubbers fail early.

    Im using RC-88. It does a great job on rubber.

    http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=2470

    #1175 4 years ago

    I figured there was something better, but I was hoping I could use something that I already have around.

    #1176 4 years ago
    Quoted from trk12fire:

    I figured there was something better, but I was hoping I could use something that I already have around.

    Simple green doesnt remove the black dust well.
    Bleach-White works ok if you soak the rubber.
    RC-88 works immediately and kills black dust on contact. This is especially good on games with white rubber.

    #1177 4 years ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    Simple green doesnt remove the black dust well.
    Bleach-White works ok if you soak the rubber.
    RC-88 works immediately and kills black dust on contact. This is especially good on games with white rubber.

    Thank you

    #1178 4 years ago

    What about lighter fluid?

    #1179 4 years ago
    Quoted from PittPin:

    I picked up a couple EMs that have been touched up with a paint unknown and probably a Sharpie treatment around the inserts. What do you do when you do not know the status of the questionable touchup "stuff" on your playfield and you want to prep it for restore and clearcoat?

    Take a quick swipe with mineral spirits and see if it comes off on a rag.

    #1180 4 years ago
    Quoted from trk12fire:

    Is it ok to use simple green to clean rubbers or will it deteriorate the rubbers. It seems to work well and readily available, but I just had some rubbers fail early.

    Just use plain 'ol Naphtha to clean your rubbers. @ $14 a gallon, nothing works better or is cheaper.

    Remember to rotate you rings so they wear in a new spot.

    If in doubt, throw them out.

    #1181 4 years ago

    Copy, thank you. Is VM&P Naphtha the same as Naphtha? I live in CA and it's a little harder to get here.

    #1182 4 years ago
    Quoted from trk12fire:

    Copy, thank you. Is VM&P Naphtha the same as Naphtha? I live in CA and it's a little harder to get here.

    Yes.

    #1183 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    If the dirt might just vacuum up or wipe away with a rag
    If not and the clearcoat is completely intact (no visible paint wear), then you could dampen a soft rag with Novus#1 or Simple Green and wipe up all the crud.

    This (above) was vid's in response to a question about how to clean a 2001 Stern without wanting to use Naptha due to poor ventilation.

    My questions (assuming no Naptha):

    Q1: For mid-70's Gottliebs, would you also recommend Novus 1 or Simple Green for cleaning? No alchohol right?

    Q2: If ok, is it best to use diluted Simple Green (1/10 say) or just as is? Dilution adds water which is bad for wood but has less harsh detergent so not sure what is best (Simple Green is probably already mostly water).

    Thanks

    #1184 4 years ago

    BEST PRACTICE: Never use any water based product on a pinball playfield.

    A brand new Stern playfield surface is probably 98% sealed, a 70s playfield is probably 70% sealed.

    Every bit of water absorbed through tiny perforations in the clear is shortening the life of the playfield.

    I will say again for the 10000th time - there is nothing stuck to your playfield that requires an industrial cleaner like Simple Green to remove.

    Simple Green is not even the same good formula it was in years past, it got reformulated a few years ago because it was toxic, despite what the label said.

    #1185 4 years ago

    Thanks vid - got it: no simple green or any other water-based products for 70s playfields.

    So for 70s playfields, excluding your #1 choice of naptha, after one has vacuumed and dry-wiped off dirt as you recommend, is Novus 1 & then perhaps a careful bit of Novus 2 what you recommend? (100% alchohol is out right?) And I'm assuming Novus is not water-based right? (Thanks)

    #1187 4 years ago

    Novus1 is water based.

    For 70s playfields, you need to use the same thing they clean Stradivarius violins with, Naphtha.

    -

    -

    Think about what you are trying to do do that 70s playfield with your "cleaning".

    There is no food stuck to it, no lipstick, no dried Coca-cola, no infectious germs we need to kill.

    The only thing we want to do is remove 50 years of old wax, then protect it with a new layer of clean wax.

    That's it!

    -

    There are lots of other de-waxers you could use ( like Acetone or Mineral Spirits), but none as finish-friendly or safe as Naphtha.

    If you have a 1930-1990 game and you don't have any Naphtha to **clean** it with, just vacuum and wax it.

    That's all it needs.

    #1188 4 years ago

    There was a guy trying to sell that ceramic stuff at the Mustang swap meet.

    All the car detailing guys were slicing and dicing all his crazy claims, and each response became more and more feeble.

    I think the salesman was more used to selling to the State Fair crowd, rather than guys who do auto detailing for a living.

    #1189 4 years ago

    For cleaning underside of inserts on 70s EMs (possibly with burn from bulbs), I've read pinsiders recommend pretty much every liquid possible. Most common is Novus 1, others use alchohol. Many recommend against Windex since ammonia can make plastics brittle they say. But Windex with vinegar OK they say. Some say Novus 2.

    What do you recommend vid? Is Simple Green OK for underside of inserts?

    #1190 4 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    There was a guy trying to sell that ceramic stuff at the Mustang swap meet.
    All the car detailing guys were slicing and dicing all his crazy claims, and each response became more and more feeble.
    I think the salesman was more used to selling to the State Fair crowd, rather than guys who do auto detailing for a living.

    Doesn't answer my question.

    #1191 4 years ago
    Quoted from spinal:

    For cleaning underside of inserts on 70s EMs (possibly with burn from bulbs), I've read pinsiders recommend pretty much every liquid possible. Most common is Novus 1, others use alchohol. Many recommend against Windex since ammonia can make plastics brittle they say. But Windex with vinegar OK they say. Some say Novus 2.

    What do you recommend vid? Is Simple Green OK for underside of inserts?

    You have 2 different "dirty" inserts commonly seen.

    Those that just have black coil dust under them, and those that are burned from stuck-on bulbs.

    If the tip of your finger wipes away the coil dust, then just vacuum up the dust and use a Kleenex dampened with a drop of water if your vac is not strong enough to get it all. That's it. No chemicals needed.

    If the plastic is burnt, then put some Novus2 on a Dremel polishing tip, and see if you can polish off the burnt plastic layer. If it does not clean off in a few seconds, then the burn is too deep and you won't be able to bring it back (without making the insert too thin). Use your thumb on the face of the insert to make sure you don't crack it from the polishing pressure.

    #1192 4 years ago

    vid1900 Just a few questions on cleaning a TAF
    1. A few months ago I wiped down the game with a light spray of novus 1 on a microfiber cloth, and waxed with mothers wax. I noticed that the wax application pad still had some dirt on it after waxing. Is this normal or should I have wiped down the game longer with novus 1, and could this cause scratching?

    2. Read through some of this guide and noticed you recommended napatha as the best all purpose cleaner after a vacuum. I bought the machine with some planking on it, so is naphtha or novus 1 better for a routine cleaning (some pictures of the playfield are included below)
    Thanks!

    image (resized).jpg
    image (resized).jpg

    #1193 4 years ago
    Quoted from lordofthearcade:

    1. A few months ago I wiped down the game with a light spray of novus 1 on a microfiber cloth, and waxed with mothers wax. I noticed that the wax application pad still had some dirt on it after waxing. Is this normal or should I have wiped down the game longer with novus 1, and could this cause scratching?

    That's normal.

    Often the wax pulls dirt out of the cracks if the vac missed it.

    Quoted from lordofthearcade:

    2. Read through some of this guide and noticed you recommended napatha as the best all purpose cleaner after a vacuum. I bought the machine with some planking on it, so is naphtha or novus 1 better for a routine cleaning (some pictures of the playfield are included below)

    You do indeed have lots of Planking.

    So absolutely do not use any Novus#1, Ammonia, SimpleGreen, or anything else water/alcohol based - or the planking will get much worse.

    You have the perfect example of a "Naphtha only" playfield.

    (don't feel bad, TAF playfields were terribly made. The paint was wearing off the mansion before the game was even a year old on many of them)

    1 week later
    #1194 4 years ago

    Great thread, but slightly overwhelming! Hoping I can get some help here, as my searches and reading, have left me dizzy.
    I have a beautiful HUO Indy 500 I just bought. The problem, is I am playing the shit out of it and have yet to clean or wax it! I am getting dark lines down the right hand lane that gets the ball on every opening shot and some other wear areas.
    My questions.
    Basic cleaning. How often and with what? Just a micro fiber?
    Waxing. How often and with what? My time is limited, what is the easiest but most effective waxing?

    Thanks to all in advance!

    20171215_204353[1] (resized).jpg

    20171215_204335[1] (resized).jpg

    20171215_204341[1] (resized).jpg

    #1195 4 years ago

    get the novus 2 out for that

    #1196 4 years ago
    Quoted from zgusto:

    dark lines down the right hand lane that gets the ball on every opening shot and some other wear areas.

    Is that a sign of dirty, pitted balls?

    #1197 4 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    get the novus 2 out for that

    Or try rubbing with your finger first. That often works for me just to get the dark lane lines out.

    #1198 4 years ago
    Quoted from Atari_Daze:

    Is that a sign of dirty, pitted balls?

    Just dirt in general - this is what happens when games get played

    Clean and inspect balls if they haven't been... but even clean balls will do this over time.

    #1199 4 years ago

    What is good gentle cleaner, for my era of playfield? same with wax, or do I get the novus 2 and where? amazon?
    What about detail spray I use on the cars in my collection? I love that stuff, wipe on and wipe off. That may be a good cleaner with a micro fiber... I use the Adams product.
    thanks for the help already!!
    I really love this game!! Grew up and still own my family Gotlieb Top Score, so as a guy who has played some games, I think the speed, sounds and the necessary precision of INDY make it a really great game!

    #1200 4 years ago
    Quoted from zgusto:

    The problem, is I am playing the shit out of it and have yet to clean or wax it! I am getting dark lines down the right hand lane that gets the ball on every opening shot and some other wear areas.

    Check out the drain subways and ball trough and give them a quick cleaning. My first machine did the same thing.

    There are 1,971 posts in this topic. You are on page 24 of 40.

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