(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 28 of 40.
    #1351 3 years ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    Totally agree with you my man! No arguments there. Clean machines get played. But I think this conversation revolved around waxing for home use, which having done it in the past, I realized was unnecessary. If you're putting your machine up at TPF or Pintastic, hell yeah you should wax it - armor the crap out of it. But for home use, ESPECIALLY on machines with a nice thick clear coat, I found the ball speed makes it an overall negative. My TAF clearcoated with PPG is so friggin' fast w/o wax it would be nearly unplayable with a coat on. But you've mentioned scenarios where this makes sense - older games especially. No qualms there.

    That's the other problem I had with waxing. Wax with Blitz exactly as Vid has instructed. Run your finger. Smooth as butter. After 10-20 games the playfield feels like it did before you waxed. Your results may vary.

    My HUO WOZ has over 10000 games on it. This is at least 50,000 steel balls (more like 90,000) rolled and bounced around on the surface.

    You better believe I wax it!

    My games get played a lot, Im a player not a collector.

    But I see what you are getting at.

    If the games are getting no play then why bother waxing at all.
    I have seen HUO games come up for sale that only had 200 games on them after 6 years of ownership.
    I dont know if thats common or not, but the people I know that have pinball machines, do play them a lot.
    And games add up over time and maintenance is needed. So I recommend a schedule.

    If you are just a collector then
    keep then dusted off and just enjoy looking at them.

    Its all good.

    #1353 3 years ago
    Quoted from jsa:

    That's just it; They always feel waxed. I guess that means I'm not playing enough.

    I use the audits to see how many games are played and how many balls.

    I have a little notepad in each game to help me remember what parts I might need and what I did at each maintenance interval.
    I started doing this as my collection grew, I couldnt keep track of anything so now I just scribble a note to myself.

    I usually dont do everything in one day that needs to be done.
    I usually do coil sleeve cleaning while the wax is drying etc, but save big cleaning jobs for a time I can do a good job.

    #1354 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    If you are just a collector then
    keep then dusted off and just enjoy looking at them.

    Its all good.

    Wait....let's first address the main issue here....are you playing Woz on 5-ball?

    I'm a collector...but I play my games constantly....but I clean them constantly, and change the balls constantly. If you're not engaging in activity that will wear the clear coat any significant amount - i.e. allowing dirt to build and balls to scratch, I think you'll be OK w/o wax. But everyone is different. I got a Tesla Model 3 and I'm reading all this stuff about people wrapping their whole car with protective film. Seems a bit overkill. But kudos to them....and all the home playfield waxers.

    #1355 3 years ago
    Quoted from mrgregb123:

    are you playing Woz on 5-ball?

    3 balls narrow outlanes 20 sec ball save.
    Pinballgoddess has it set the way she likes it. Her average score is 2 to 4 million.
    She plays it 7 days a week, every night, along with other games to warm-up.

    My medieval madness had 1500 games on the first weekend I owned it. I waxed it 3 times that weekend alone to keep it playing fast and like new. It was brand new and we noticed it was slowing down, so I waxed it then and there.

    My ARMrLE had 500 games on it the first 2 days.
    It started playing slow so I tuned everything up, replaced the flipper coil sleeves and waxed it so it would play like new again.

    And so on....

    But really everyone is different, I agree.
    I just like my games to play as new as possible and put in a little effort to make that happen.

    #1356 3 years ago

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    #1357 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Naphtha will de-wax your playfield, so you probably don't want to use it all the time.
    What has gotten on your playfield that you might need Naphtha to remove?

    Most the time, you can just vac and re-wax.

    So let me make sure I have it right. Every couple of months, for my HUO games, it's advised to wipe down the pf with a micro fibre and do a little vacuuming?

    Would something like this be a good fit: amazon.com link »

    Then, if there are ball swirls, I can apply Novus 2 gently in a circular motion to remove them? After wiping that away, should I put something like Novus 1 on to clean anything I might have missed since it is abrasive? And then finish up by applying some wax?

    I'm still not certain when or why I would need to use Nahtha.

    Thanks again

    -1
    #1358 3 years ago
    Quoted from Damien:

    So let me make sure I have it right. Every couple of months, for my HUO games, it's advised to wipe down the pf with a micro fibre and do a little vacuuming?
    Would something like this be a good fit: amazon.com link »
    Then, if there are ball swirls, I can apply Novus 2 gently in a circular motion to remove them? After wiping that away, should I put something like Novus 1 on to clean anything I might have missed since it is abrasive? And then finish up by applying some wax?
    I'm still not certain when or why I would need to use Nahtha.
    Thanks again

    You on your new games don't really need to use naptha at all.

    It's only really used on heavily routed games that have years of Filth on them.

    Or a little bit in a neglected area that you would uncover when say you replace all the rubbers and do a full tear down.

    #1359 3 years ago

    Are you guys really getting your inlane ball trail lines out with a vacuum alone? At minimum I have to wipe with a dry cloth if not novus 2 even for light buildup.

    #1360 3 years ago

    Hi Vid, I replaced some drop targets on Quicksilver but I forgot to wax them. Now, after only 200-250 plays I've got some really dark ball trails on the targets.

    Before I do something stupid, what would be the best method of cleaning the drop target surfaces? Thanks!

    #1361 3 years ago
    Quoted from klr650:

    Hi Vid, I replaced some drop targets on Quicksilver but I forgot to wax them. Now, after only 200-250 plays I've got some really dark ball trails on the targets.
    Before I do something stupid, what would be the best method of cleaning the drop target surfaces? Thanks!

    You're picking up ball dust from some hidden Subway, ball trough or somewhere in it's getting rubbed into the plastic.

    I'm using RC 88 on a Q-tip for that stuff and it's working pretty good.

    #1362 3 years ago
    Quoted from jsa:

    I struggle with this a bit. I wax my playfields (with Blitz). Perhaps it's my eyesight, and perhaps it's because these are home use machines that I'll hit up every few months, but it's really hard for me to see what is waxed and what needs cleaning. I feel like it's all pretty clean save some rubber dust.
    What would be a simple test to determine there is enough wax on the surface, or if the wax should be replaced entirely?

    The drag test...

    Put your finger in a sandwich bag.. and drag your finger across the surface. Freshly waxed will be smooth, worn/dry will feel more rough.

    If you 'remove' or not is simply a matter if it's dirty/fouled. You don't need to strip the PF for regular upkeep. You do that when you need to change what you are doing or doing some refinishing.

    #1363 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    You on your new games don't really need to use naptha at all.
    It's only really used on heavily routed games that have years of Filth on them.
    Or a little bit in a neglected area that you would uncover when say you replace all the rubbers and do a full tear down.

    How about the other items from my post:

    Quoted from Damien:

    So let me make sure I have it right. Every couple of months, for my HUO games, it's advised to wipe down the pf with a micro fibre and do a little vacuuming?
    Would something like this be a good fit: amazon.com link »
    Then, if there are ball swirls, I can apply Novus 2 gently in a circular motion to remove them? After wiping that away, should I put something like Novus 1 on to clean anything I might have missed since it is abrasive? And then finish up by applying some wax?
    I'm still not certain when or why I would need to use Nahtha.
    Thanks again

    #1364 3 years ago

    It's pretty simple....

    You can get away with just vacuuming if you do it at the first sign of dust/dirt.

    If you waited too long and the dust is adhered to the playfield, you'll need naphta.

    If you waited even longer and the dust is dug into the clear coat, you'll need Novus 2.

    I don't believe Novus 1 serves any real purpose.

    #1365 3 years ago

    What vacuum attachment are you using for inlanes?

    #1366 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Quoted from PinballFever:
    I don't think this question was answered but is Naphtha the best solution for cleaning the outside cabinet walls or do you recommend something else?

    As always, you have to ask:

    "What are you cleaning from the outside of your cabinet?"

    I want to clean the normal dirt off and possibly polish the cabinet, legs and beehive shooter, would a wood polish work for this?

    The backbox top in the last photo is the part I was thinking about using naphtha to clean off the crud because of the exposed wood. (It was in a basement for many years)

    Bruce

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    #1367 3 years ago
    Quoted from Chalkey:

    What vacuum attachment are you using for inlanes?

    This was linked by vid1900 earlier: amazon.com link »

    #1368 3 years ago

    I remember when I tried ME and 91% alcohol on a JITB cabinet. The paint looked brighter and newer which I know was from taking off the top paint layer.

    Would ME and ISO work on this cabinet for the areas where bare wood isn't showing? Maybe ME and something non waterbased?

    #1369 3 years ago

    Oops, meant to bookmark not quote

    #1370 3 years ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    The drag test...
    Put your finger in a sandwich bag..

    What's the sandwich bag for?

    #1371 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinheadpierre:

    What's the sandwich bag for?

    In case you want to take a sandwich with you as a snack or for lunch.

    #1372 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    I want to clean the normal dirt off and possibly polish the cabinet, legs and beehive shooter, would a wood polish work for this?

    I would just vac it off and keep it out of the sun.

    For instance, if you put the beehive into an ultrasonic, it will look like an out of place replacement part.

    If you wipe that fragile paint, you might loose a bunch of it.

    Vacuum the lead paint dust off, and just enjoy a piece of history.

    #1373 3 years ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    anyone have any tips for cleaning orbits without taking ramps and such off? There doesn't seem to be too much discussion of that. What tools do you use?

    I use a slightly dampened, very well wrung out micro fiber cloth folded over so it just fits the ramp in question. I took a metal coat hanger and cut the long bottom off it where the shoulders of a coat would hang, rounded one end and put a 90 degree bend on the other and use it to push or pull the cloth along.It works great to get dust etc from areas that a vacuum will not get to.

    #1374 3 years ago

    Can I use this, can’t buy blitz anywhere. The plus part concerns me that there’s unwanted chemicals

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    #1375 3 years ago
    Quoted from mmr61184:

    Can I use this, can’t buy blitz anywhere. The plus part concerns me that there’s unwanted chemicals

    You don't want all that silicone.

    Get the good stuff on your next PL order:

    https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4292

    #1376 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    You don't want all that silicone.
    Get the good stuff on your next PL order:
    https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4292

    Ok looks like I am putting an order together

    #1377 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Quoted from PinballFever:
    I want to clean the normal dirt off and possibly polish the cabinet, legs and beehive shooter, would a wood polish work for this?

    I would just vac it off and keep it out of the sun.

    For instance, if you put the beehive into an ultrasonic, it will look like an out of place replacement part.

    If you wipe that fragile paint, you might loose a bunch of it.

    Vacuum the lead paint dust off, and just enjoy a piece of history.

    Ok I'll do that. Thanks.

    #1378 3 years ago

    Just make sure you store the wax in an airtight container or the wax will dry out. It is very dry where I live and the lid the Blitz comes with is very hard to get off after a few uses, so the container it comes in is not my favourite. I just store mine in a glass food container.

    #1379 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinheadpierre:

    What's the sandwich bag for?

    Your finger is rougher. Do it sometime... especially on a car finish. You’ll understand

    #1380 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    You don't want all that silicone.
    Get the good stuff on your next PL order:
    https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4292

    Crap, I've been using that stuff!

    What's the best way to remove ball trails and swirls?

    2 weeks later
    #1382 3 years ago

    Has anyone used Bar Keepers Friend for cleaning various parts while shopping out their game? Is it too harsh of a product, or is it ok to use? From what I can tell, it's basically an abrasive that will take a microscopic top layer off whatever you are using it on, so that's why I'd want to be cautions.

    I've used it on ball guides and other small metal pieces like that before, but figured I'd check before continuing to use it.

    #1383 3 years ago
    Quoted from Bugsy:

    Bar Keepers Friend

    I've used it on side rails, ball guides, flaps, lots of parts. Never noticed it removed anything I didn't want gone.
    Left chrome trim in evaporust too long once, it got dark stains, bar keeper friend took em all off. Another product may have taken them off too but the first thing I tried was bar keepers friend.
    Like all things, YRMV

    1 week later
    #1384 3 years ago

    Hi guys!
    I have a wh2o with some planking and raised inserts w minimal paint loss.
    My goal is to clean it up as best possible and put a playfield protector on it to prevent future wear and tear.

    My question is what is the best way to get this grime out of the planking cracks?
    I took one of the cracks and used novus 2 w a magic eraser... which helped a little but not enough.
    I do have some namptha i could try, but was curious on suggestions.
    Thx guys! U rock!

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    #1385 3 years ago

    So, I have an older Stern - Wild Fyre. I'm wondering if (after vacuuming and all) I should be using naphtha, Novus 2, or something else for light cleaning (some minor swirls, around holes, etc) before I wax with Mothers.

    I think I should use naphtha, but I may just be paranoid I'll screw up any coating using anything else.

    Also, anything special about cleaning the inside of a playfield insert ? Some of mine look a bit scorched by the light and wondering if I can clean them lightly as I replace bulbs.

    #1386 3 years ago
    Quoted from Necromancyr:

    Also, anything special about cleaning the inside of a playfield insert ? Some of mine look a bit scorched by the light and wondering if I can clean them lightly as I replace bulbs.

    Do you mean they are coated in coil dust? I had an oldish game, and I cleaned the underside of the playfield inserts with q-tips and rubbing alcohol. It worked well for me, but I’ll wait for Vid to chime in to see if that will work for everyone.

    #1387 3 years ago

    There are black circles that halo where the light bulbs are so it may be dust or a bit of scorching. Was thinking alcohol with qtips and then a light abrasive if that doesn't work (novus 2 or magic eraser).

    1 week later
    #1388 3 years ago

    Hey vid, do you know of a soft shop vac attachment brush that won’t scratch a playfield? I have a glass polish on my playfield and taking a nylon brush attachment that was linked earlier in the thread to it that felt soft to me ended up scratching the hell out of it and I just lightly brushed it.

    #1389 3 years ago
    Quoted from jboner1058:

    Hey vid, do you know of a soft shop vac attachment brush that won’t scratch a playfield? I have a glass polish on my playfield and taking a nylon brush attachment that was linked earlier in the thread to it that felt soft to me ended up scratching the hell out of it and I just lightly brushed it.

    Thanks for the tip, I think this mistake could easily be made. I would only use clean microfiber to be safe.

    #1390 3 years ago
    Quoted from jboner1058:

    Hey vid, do you know of a soft shop vac attachment brush that won’t scratch a playfield? I have a glass polish on my playfield and taking a nylon brush attachment that was linked earlier in the thread to it that felt soft to me ended up scratching the hell out of it and I just lightly brushed it.

    I use the one that came with the Craftsman Shopvac.

    No scratches.

    #1391 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I use the one that came with the Craftsman Shopvac.
    No scratches.

    I suppose you could punch holes in a microfiber cloth and then rubber-band it to the attachment.

    #1392 3 years ago

    the clear shouldnt be softer than a nylon brush.
    But wax could be.
    Is it just the wax thats getting roughed up?

    #1393 3 years ago

    Nope def in the clear. Had to buff it out

    #1394 3 years ago

    Random question - I went through and waxed my MMR and the thing became damned near unplayable because of all the crazy spin and tracks the balls were taking. My guess is this is just an issue with newer pins? They are designed to last longer and perhaps not need waxing as often, or not as much wax on the surface? The boards made of more durable materials?

    To contrast, I waxed the same way with a LoTR, and it played perfectly after a few run throughs.

    #1395 3 years ago

    Your LOTR probably has mucho microscopic playfield damage from years of use.

    If it has as nice of a clearcoat as your MMr then it would be crazy fast too.

    #1396 3 years ago
    Quoted from jboner1058:

    Nope def in the clear. Had to buff it out

    Interesting.
    Must be either very hard and Sharp nylon or softer clear coat.

    Does the ball easily wear tracks in it?

    #1397 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Your LOTR probably has mucho microscopic playfield damage from years of use.
    If it has as nice of a clearcoat as your MMr then it would be crazy fast too.

    The lotr does get crazy fast, but it doesn’t get as out of control. Hard to explain. The lotr board looks fine btw (I know, wouldn’t see microscopic). MMR just became completely unplayable. Maybe I used too much wax or didn’t properly wipe down the new balls.

    1 week later
    #1398 3 years ago

    Pieces of dried melted rubber on playfield. Best way to clean/remove them?

    I know pulling one of the pieces up will pull the paint up with it. Can I carefully crush them into powder then clean them off? Is there something that dissolves them without harming the paint?

    IMG_20180525_184154293 (resized).jpg

    #1399 3 years ago
    Quoted from PinballFever:

    Pieces of dried melted rubber on playfield. Best way to clean/remove them?
    I know pulling one of the pieces up will pull the paint up with it. Can I carefully crush them into powder then clean them off? Is there something that dissolves them without harming the paint?

    Naptha

    #1400 3 years ago

    I don't think Naptha dissolves the dried hardened melted rubber pieces. I did try it before posting here.

    There are 1,971 posts in this topic. You are on page 28 of 40.

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