(Topic ID: 137689)

Cleaning and Waxing Pinball Machines - Vid's Guide

By vid1900

7 years ago


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    There are 2,048 posts in this topic. You are on page 40 of 41.
    #1951 1 year ago

    So I played R&M this weekend on a pin I don't normally play and was scoring in the millions, whereas normally I'm not even close. I could see the ball wasn't sliding or moving normally. Later I saw them cleaning the playfield and asked what they were using. She said Naptha to clean lol. I said that's not a good idea, but she wasn't having it. Moral of story? Strip all wax off and get new high scores!

    #1952 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bamaro:

    Not to get too technical and at the risk of restating points made earlier, 100% carnauba is very hard and could never be applied to a pinball machine. Commercial products are softened by the addition of solvents, petroleum distillates and oils.

    Yet when the solvent evaporates if its 100% carnauba it will be rock hard.

    The key is 100% carnauba.

    3 months later
    #1953 1 year ago

    In regards to the Blitz wax being hard to remove the lid after it has been opened, how about cutting a small square of saran wrap and put over the top of the container before screwing on the lid ? Wouldn't that keep the wax from getting hard under the lid and keep it from being hard to open ? Just a thought .

    #1954 1 year ago
    Quoted from bjab:

    In regards to the Blitz wax being hard to remove the lid after it has been opened, how about cutting a small square of saran wrap and put over the top of the container before screwing on the lid ? Wouldn't that keep the wax from getting hard under the lid and keep it from being hard to open ? Just a thought .

    It's not actually hard to open.

    You press the lid down, as you turn it CCW and it easily unscrews.

    Let all your friends try to open it ( "hey, you're a strong guy, open this for me..."), then when they can't, put your left hand on the bottom, your right hand on the top, push together and unscrew. Fun laughs for all involved.

    #1955 1 year ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    It's not actually hard to open.
    You press the lid down, as you turn it CCW and it easily unscrews.
    Let all your friends try to open it ( "hey, you're a strong guy, open this for me..."), then when they can't, put your left hand on the bottom, your right hand on the top, push together and unscrew. Fun laughs for all involved.

    Since you are around and giving excellent advice. Does Blitz go bad if the lid is secure. A couple of years? I ask because I did probably the most thorough cleaning if my Met to date. Blitz was somewhat shrunk, but once It warmed up a bit, it seemed ok to use. Don't want to make the same mistake 2x. Is it just better to replace every couple of years. One pin, soon to be two. Thanks for all the advice!

    #1956 1 year ago
    Quoted from Roostking:

    Since you are around and giving excellent advice. Does Blitz go bad if the lid is secure. A couple of years? I ask because I did probably the most thorough cleaning if my Met to date. Blitz was somewhat shrunk, but once It warmed up a butt seemed ok to use. Don't want to make the same mistake 2x. Is it just better to replace every couple of years. One pin, soon to be two. Thanks for all the advice!

    Actually, while your here. Any new products too check out since you started this thread?

    #1957 1 year ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    It's not actually hard to open.
    You press the lid down, as you turn it CCW and it easily unscrews.
    Let all your friends try to open it ( "hey, you're a strong guy, open this for me..."), then when they can't, put your left hand on the bottom, your right hand on the top, push together and unscrew. Fun laughs for all involved.

    While you are here, any new products to check out?

    #1958 1 year ago
    Quoted from Roostking:

    Does Blitz go bad if the lid is secure. A couple of years? I ask because I did probably the most thorough cleaning if my Met to date. Blitz was somewhat shrunk, but once It warmed up a bit, it seemed ok to use. Don't want to make the same mistake 2x. Is it just better to replace every couple of years. One pin, soon to be two. Thanks for all the advice!

    I found a decade old jar that I must have been using on my motorcars, inside a stack of buckets. The wax shrank a little, but it still was fine.

    I've tried a few new products that companies have sent me, but Blitz still lasts the longest.

    #1959 1 year ago

    I bought one jar in 2015. I think it was the last one after they had a fire that destroyed some inventory. I don't know, but it taught me to be more efficient with it, which is probably good for my playfields anyway.

    I will admit though opening the jar has been a struggle. Now I will hold my head down in shame after learning the trick.

    #1960 1 year ago

    Awesome topic, so glad to find such a deep discussion here as a newbie to pinball.

    Random question after reading this as someone who has detailed cars a bit. Does anyone ever use a clay bar on a playfield? I am always amazed at what a clay bar picks up from a seemingly clean car.

    Also, I tend to get a lot of white haze and clumps of wax after a few games using Blitz wax. Does that mean I'm probably using too much?

    P.s- glad I'm not the only one struggling with the damn Blitz wax container lid! I make sure to spin it counter clockwise so the threads line up perfectly before tightening. If you cross thread it good luck.

    #1961 1 year ago
    Quoted from Anony:

    Awesome topic, so glad to find such a deep discussion here as a newbie to pinball.
    Random question after reading this as someone who has detailed cars a bit. Does anyone ever use a clay bar on a playfield? I am always amazed at what a clay bar picks up from a seemingly clean car.
    Also, I tend to get a lot of white haze and clumps of wax after a few games using Blitz wax. Does that mean I'm probably using too much?
    P.s- glad I'm not the only one struggling with the damn Blitz wax container lid! I make sure to spin it counter clockwise so the threads line up perfectly before tightening. If you cross thread it good luck.

    You are using WAY too much wax. Think about what a fingerprint on glass looks like, no more.

    Thats the correct amount.

    Press down on the lid of the container to release the lid.

    Vacuum out the game and playfield to remove all the white dust.

    3 weeks later
    #1962 1 year ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    SAFE CLEANER FOR ANY GAME, AND ESPECIALLY OLDER GAMES
    =======================================================
    So we now know what cleaners to avoid for older games, so what's a good cleaner we can use?
    Our old friend Naphtha.
    It's cheap ($14 a gallon), it removes old wax, it won't swell wood, and it won't remove solid paint or topcoat.
    Naphtha is flammable (it's the stuff you use to refill a cigarette lighter), so don't throw dirty rags on the floor next to the hot water heater. Spread the rags out flat and let the Naphtha evaporate until dry.
    [quoted image]
    Again, don't "clean" just to have something to do, but wait until you see how black the rag comes back after wiping an old, porous playfield down with Naphtha.

    vid1900 someone today challenged me on suggesting naphtha for regular pinball playfield cleaning vs Novus 1&2. The attached image is their claims.

    I’ve only been maintaining pinball machines for about four years. But I use your advice and guides as gospel.

    I just want to double check that I didn’t misunderstand you.

    In your (or anyone else’s) experience, is this person correct that it will quickly thin and ruin the playfield clear if used regularly? (A couple times a year).

    6AC73D1D-B203-4496-8244-A6E6DE44E5D1 (resized).jpeg

    #1963 1 year ago

    "Quickly strip a PF Clear"...um no; another internet freak out.
    And if we're talking aboot modern games you own, you couldn't take that clear off if you dipped
    It in naphtha and lit it on fire.

    #1964 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    "Quickly strip a PF Clear"...um no; another internet freak out.
    And if we're talking aboot modern games you own, you couldn't take that clear off if you dipped
    It in naphtha and lit it on fire.

    Those comments about not using Naphtha probably came from a person who is happily using Magic Eraser and alcohol to ruin their playfields. Ouch, and I know there are a lot of fans here of ME. Quietly waiting for the down votes

    12
    #1965 1 year ago
    Quoted from dashv:

    I’ve only been maintaining pinball machines for about four years. But I use your advice and guides as gospel.

    I just want to double check that I didn’t misunderstand you.

    In your (or anyone else’s) experience, is this person correct that it will quickly thin and ruin the playfield clear if used regularly? (A couple times a year).

    Tell the idiot that luthiers use Naphtha to clean centuries old musical instruments all the time.

    The reason that they use it is that it DOES NOT remove the old finish.

    I've had this 1959 Gibson for 40+ years, does it look like Naphtha has 'stripped the finish' in any way?
    IMG_20211218_230144 (resized).jpg

    #1966 1 year ago
    Quoted from dashv:

    vid1900 someone today challenged me on suggesting naphtha for regular pinball playfield cleaning vs Novus 1&2. The attached image is their claims.
    I’ve only been maintaining pinball machines for about four years. But I use your advice and guides as gospel.
    I just want to double check that I didn’t misunderstand you.
    In your (or anyone else’s) experience, is this person correct that it will quickly thin and ruin the playfield clear if used regularly? (A couple times a year).
    [quoted image]

    This is what I would call, HOGWASH...

    #1967 1 year ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    I've had this 1959 Gibson for 40+ years, does it look like Naphtha has 'stripped the finish' in any way?
    [quoted image]

    And, there’s no dimpling on that old Gibson which just PROVES that playfields today are made from softer wood and thinner clear.

    #1968 1 year ago

    Just started to read this! Great info so far!

    #1969 1 year ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    And, there’s no dimpling on that old Gibson which just PROVES that playfields today are made from softer wood and thinner clear.

    Yeah, it's said that the Maple tops on those 50s Gibsons were Old Growth Maple, over 200,000 years old.

    The sap from them is so hard that when you tap them, pellets of sap fall into the bucket like a slot machine jackpot.....

    2 weeks later
    #1970 1 year ago

    vid1900 I hope you don't mind me dropping a link here. I made a video demonstrating Novus 3,2,1 and Naphtha on an old plastic cassette case I was cleaning up. It's very similar materials to pinball ramp plastics. I talk about Novus 2 and 3 being abrasive and demonstrate it on the plastic.

    I though it would be relevant to share here because I learned about Novus and how to appropriately use it from this thread. So I made this video to illustrate what you describe in action.

    #1971 1 year ago

    Picked up this pin in 2013. It's the original playfield and believe it or not with just three coats of wax on it. Will have to try the Blitz wax now that I found this thread.

    Drops (resized).jpgPops (resized).jpg
    2 weeks later
    #1972 1 year ago

    So, if just cleaning, vacuum and clean cloths but if it is time to wax use naphtha to clean the old wax off first?

    #1973 1 year ago

    Don't use naphtha unless you want to strip all the old wax

    Normally, you leave the last wax, and just freshen with a new coat

    #1974 1 year ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Don't use naphtha unless you want to strip all the old wax
    Normally, you leave the last wax, and just freshen with a new coat

    Thank you!

    #1975 1 year ago

    I have a brand new machine with about 600 games on it also my first machine. Should I use naphtha to get the light marks from the balls out of the playfield before waxing it ?

    PXL_20220202_143930542 (resized).jpg
    #1976 1 year ago

    No. Please read the posts directly above yours.

    #1977 1 year ago
    Quoted from Black_Knight:

    No. Please read the posts directly above yours.

    Don't know how I didn't see that. So what should I use?

    #1978 1 year ago

    First, take the time to read this thread.
    Second, do what it says.

    #1979 1 year ago
    Quoted from McIntyre905:

    Don't know how I didn't see that. So what should I use?

    Are those scratches in the clear? If so, replace your balls. They may be pitted or chipped.

    Some amount of clear coat scratching happens over time which is why it is important to wax regularly to make that sacrificial layer.

    If not scratches, does it wipe up with your finger? Does it seem oily? You could try naphtha to see if it goes away. Perhaps you didn’t clean your balls of the oil before you put them in the game?

    #1980 1 year ago

    You don't need naptha according to this thread. Novus 1 and real carnauba wax.

    #1981 1 year ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    Are those scratches in the clear? If so, replace your balls. They may be pitted or chipped.
    Some amount of clear coat scratching happens over time which is why it is important to wax regularly to make that sacrificial layer.
    If not scratches, does it wipe up with your finger? Does it seem oily? You could try naphtha to see if it goes away. Perhaps you didn’t clean your balls of the oil before you put them in the game?

    I'll take a better look at it when I can tomorrow. Unfortunately this is my first machine and I had someone who apparently knew how to install machines but I know I didn't see him check the balls before putting them in (and I didn't know you are supposed to) so I'm really hoping I can get this out. Its brand new only like 500 plays

    #1982 1 year ago
    Quoted from McIntyre905:

    I'll take a better look at it when I can tomorrow. Unfortunately this is my first machine and I had someone who apparently knew how to install machines but I know I didn't see him check the balls before putting them in (and I didn't know you are supposed to) so I'm really hoping I can get this out. Its brand new only like 500 plays

    Novus 2 will smooth out the scratches,

    Blitz 1000 or P21S (silver can) will protect the finish.

    When applying wax, less is more. Its not Spackle...

    A proper coat should look like fingerprints on glass.
    Let it dry thoroughly, then wipe off , then buff with a flannel (yellow) rag.

    Vacuum out the cab and any remnants when your done.

    Let it dry a bit, you should be good.

    You cant build wax coats, its impossible, one is enough.

    A lot of people skip the vacuuming.

    Get a small shop-vac (1.5 or 2 gal) They are really handy.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hyper-Tough-1-5-Gallon-2-0-Peak-HP-Utility-Wet-Dry-Vacuum/255414349?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=5864&adid=22222222277255414349_117755028669_12420145346&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=501107745824&wl4=pla-293946777986&wl5=9030872&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=255414349&wl13=5864&veh=sem_LIA&gclid=Cj0KCQiA9OiPBhCOARIsAI0y71C_lgsgBqmCHZg0m7osXI_77HQH_OabTmhj8j8HD_GNnpfw3nuZhLwaAuGHEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

    Store it under your game.

    #1983 12 months ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    Novus 2 will smooth out the scratches,
    Blitz 1000 or P21S (silver can) will protect the finish.
    When applying wax, less is more. Its not Spackle...
    A proper coat should look like fingerprints on glass.
    Let it dry thoroughly, then wipe off , then buff with a flannel (yellow) rag.
    Vacuum out the cab and any remnants when your done.
    Let it dry a bit, you should be good.
    You cant build wax coats, its impossible, one is enough.
    A lot of people skip the vacuuming.
    Get a small shop-vac (1.5 or 2 gal) They are really handy.
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Hyper-Tough-1-5-Gallon-2-0-Peak-HP-Utility-Wet-Dry-Vacuum/255414349?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=0&wl13=5864&adid=22222222277255414349_117755028669_12420145346&wmlspartner=wmtlabs&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=501107745824&wl4=pla-293946777986&wl5=9030872&wl6=&wl7=&wl8=&wl9=pla&wl10=8175035&wl11=local&wl12=255414349&wl13=5864&veh=sem_LIA&gclid=Cj0KCQiA9OiPBhCOARIsAI0y71C_lgsgBqmCHZg0m7osXI_77HQH_OabTmhj8j8HD_GNnpfw3nuZhLwaAuGHEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds
    Store it under your game.

    Thank you I appreciate it. I did try a do a bit of cleaning but was still waiting for my Novus so I did apply a bit of wax. Should I use Novus 1 first and see if I can get them up before going to 2? Should I try and remove the light wax I did ?

    #1984 12 months ago
    Quoted from McIntyre905:

    Thank you I appreciate it. I did try a do a bit of cleaning but was still waiting for my Novus so I did apply a bit of wax. Should I use Novus 1 first and see if I can get them up before going to 2? Should I try and remove the light wax I did ?

    Novus 1 is basically worthless.

    Its windex with a very tiny bit of wax in it. It wont do anything at all.

    If your talking about clearcoat wear, Novus 2 to buff off scratches, clean all of the novus off with a little naptha or sparkle on a rag., then wax.

    I use mist n shine for cleaning between wax jobs:

    amazon.com link »

    I use naptha on a q-tip to clean post rubber sleeves, rubber rings and targets.

    #1985 12 months ago

    What's the difference between P21S and S100? From what I can tell, the S100 is half the price. And is there a difference between the P21S with the blue cap versus the silver cap?

    #1986 12 months ago

    Anyone using Pinheadz black ops? I have been using it for awhile now and have good results with it.

    20220207_073414 (resized).jpg
    #1987 12 months ago
    Quoted from unclerudy:

    What's the difference between P21S and S100? From what I can tell, the S100 is half the price. And is there a difference between the P21S with the blue cap versus the silver cap?

    P21S silver is pure carnauba whereas the blue cap id diluted with beeswax like so many others.

    #1988 11 months ago

    Any Canadians know where to get Naphtha

    #1989 11 months ago
    Quoted from McIntyre905:

    Any Canadians know where to get Naphtha

    Ronsonol Branded lighter fluid at a local store? Its perfect.

    This is the also the real thing:
    "Recochem" Camp Fuel sold at Rona. The SDS for it says 100% Naphtha

    Coleman fuel is pretty clean and works good in a pinch:

    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/coleman-fuel-naphtha-0760044p.html

    #1990 11 months ago

    Vid, do you recommend waxing new or used balls when doing periodic cleaning?

    #1991 11 months ago
    Quoted from Gotman:

    Vid, do you recommend waxing new or used balls when doing periodic cleaning?

    I de-oil new balls with Brake Kleen (or whatever $2 brake pad cleaner I have around), then if you want to wax them, you can just use the dirty wax rag you waxed the playfield with

    Even if you don't wax them, they don't seem to rust any faster than waxed

    Used balls obviously don't need to have oil removed, just wipe them off and make sure they don't leave a brown rusty residue on the rag. If they are no longer mirror finish, replace

    #1992 11 months ago
    Quoted from pinballinreno:

    Ronsonol Branded lighter fluid at a local store? Its perfect.
    This is the also the real thing:
    "Recochem" Camp Fuel sold at Rona. The SDS for it says 100% Naphtha
    Coleman fuel is pretty clean and works good in a pinch:
    https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/coleman-fuel-naphtha-0760044p.html

    Is this safe to use on machines? Sherman Williams sells the VM+P Naptha but I need a contracter license to buy it

    #1993 11 months ago
    Quoted from McIntyre905:

    Is this safe to use on machines? Sherman Williams sells the VM+P Naptha but I need a contracter license to buy it

    yes

    #1994 11 months ago

    Great info everyone

    #1995 11 months ago
    Quoted from smoothbore19:

    Anyone using Pinheadz black ops? I have been using it for awhile now and have good results with it.
    [quoted image]

    IMO, cleaning and protection are two different things. Cleaning removes dirt and wax, protection is putting on a solid coat of wax, so how can one product do both well? I'm also dubious of the percentage of carnauba or the solvent amounts in the product if it's a liquid or cream. Can't seem to find an SDS for it.

    I'll stick to Wizard Mist & Shine/Naptha for cleaning, and a straight can of carnauba wax paste for protection.

    #1996 11 months ago

    Kind of like how there is a difference between cleaning and sanitizing.

    1 week later
    #1997 11 months ago

    Sorry if I'm repeating a question, I haven't read all 2000 posts.
    I just tried to order the Blitz wax and online they said it's been discontinued. Substitution?

    #1998 11 months ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Tell the idiot that luthiers use Naphtha to clean centuries old musical instruments all the time.
    The reason that they use it is that it DOES NOT remove the old finish.
    I've had this 1959 Gibson for 40+ years, does it look like Naphtha has 'stripped the finish' in any way?
    [quoted image]

    So funny, the Russian bottle next to your guitar says "vodka"

    #1999 11 months ago
    Quoted from Skybug:

    Sorry if I'm repeating a question, I haven't read all 2000 posts.
    I just tried to order the Blitz wax and online they said it's been discontinued. Substitution?

    Pinball life carries it

    https://www.pinballlife.com/search.html?Search=Blitz

    #2000 11 months ago
    Quoted from Skybug:

    So funny, the Russian bottle next to your guitar says "vodka"

    Yikes

    I'll have to make sure they all say горілка from now on!

    There are 2,048 posts in this topic. You are on page 40 of 41.

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