Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cleaning plastic Machines

This post isn’t about a vintage sewing machine, but rather about a technique I discovered that can be used on vintage sewing machines.  I picked up a New Home NH 609 this week.  As far as I can tell, it’s the New Home version of the Janome Jem.  It looked like it had been transported in a truck full of old tires because it had black marks all over it. 



I tried vinyl and rubber cleaner to remove the marks but that had little or no effect.  I remembered the graphing calculator I got at a thrift shop that the extremely intelligent manager had written the price in permanent marker on the display lens.  I tried baby oil, kerosene, and several other non-abrasive methods to remove that marker but nothing worked.  Last resort was some Headlight Lens Restorer I had used on our old Dodge Intrepid headlights.



 I figured if it could clean up plastic headlight lenses, it might also clean up a calculator lens.  Sure enough, that mark disappeared like something David Copperfield would have envied. Out to the garage to get the Headlight Lens Restorer to try on the black marks on this plastic sewing machine.  



Shazam! Those black marks just melted away and the Headlight Lens Restorer polished the plastic so it looks like new.  



All I need now is a spool pin and maybe my wife will get off my back about my selling her Featherweight while she was out shopping.

12 comments:

Remembrances said...

Good tip - but it most likely will NOT get you out of the doghouse for selling a FW and replacing it with a plastic machine!

Tammy said...

You really make me laugh Ed. I doubt very much a clean plastic machine will console your wife after you sold off her featherlight. Nonetheless that is great tip for cleaning grunge off plastic surfaces. I have had great success removing permanent marker with hairspray.

Michelle said...

Wow! It looks fantastic! Thanks for the tip. It looks like a brand new machine. I think I need to get me some of that stuff....and shame on you for selling your wife's Featherweight! Oh, bad, bad boy!

Charly said...

That's a great tip, I'll have to try that one my Pfaff. I got it from my mother in law who smokes and the plastic panels are still badly stained after scrubbing it with toothpaste (and grumbling about plastic machines the whole time;).

I've found that makeup remover works really well on metal machines, dirt wipes right off and leaves it all nice and polished looking. My little green Elna Supermatic looked amazing after going over it with makeup remover.

sewpoodle said...

Ed, sure enjoy your postings. have u seen that recipe for making yellow plastic white again? google last 5 words and there you are. i did it on a bernina motor cover and it worked. a mix of hydrogen peroxide, cornstarch and oxyclean, leave in sun or under sunlamp. developed by old nintendo gamers to clean their vintage consoles. i only used 3% peroxide so it took awhile, but didn't damage anything and made it white again.

Solange said...

Fabulous! Thank you so much for this tip. My husband is going out to get this at once.

Andrea Cornell said...

Great tip! Do you think this product can also remove that commom yellowish color that appear on old plastic machine bodies?

Thanks

Andrea

florine foulon said...

That's very helpful, thanks!

Anonymous said...

My late Grandma left me her New Home model NH609. I don't know anything about this model, but would like to. Should I keep it, is it reliable, should I sell/trade it for an upgrade, is it valuable? I am learning to sew again (haven't since I was a child) and would like to have a reliable machine that offers options. Any advice?

artfulthoughts said...

Hmmmm....well as long as you got a replacement price, perhaps she will soon get a new featherweight, perhaps a 222 to make up for everything? Thanks for the tip about the cleaner. That's great!

Plastic Machine China said...

Great tips. It's really very helpful. Thank you for sharing

Anonymous said...

After reading your thread I tried this technique on my Singer sewing machine which was yellowed from time and whatever else! It worked like a charm, I am thrilled with how it looks brand new!! Thank you so much for discovering and sharing this!!!