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Peroxide Treatment Detailed Instructions

Started by Dan, June 07, 2009, 05:46:08 PM

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As per Dan/Panther's request, I am going to provide a DETAILED step by step procedure for the "bleaching " hydrogen peroxide process. It has worked so far for me with a soft plastic tenite white phone and  hard plastic white, aqua, and pink phones.
I will do this for a Ivory 1956 soft plastic handset voice cap and leave the earpiece alone . If it works well, I will do the entire phone. I know this works on the others.


1. Sodium Carbonate
The cheapest form of this is not the "oxy" detergents at the stores, but rather
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda. Krogers, 3lb 7 oz box-around $4

2. Hydrogen Peroxide 40% -called Salon Care 40 volume clear developer (40% peroxide) This can be diluted down to 20% or whatever you want by simply adding water.Buy @
Sallys Beauty supply house- I quart  $5.00(get the clear liquid NOT the cream)

3. The hard one -Arrow Root Starch/Flour . Very expensive. 20 oz bag (smallest I could find--$7 at a local natural food store. I bet corn starch @ the Kroger for .99 cents may work, but I followed the formula precisely.


The procedure

I started with the 20% formula (1/3 cup 40% peroxide, 1/3 cup water).
Mix the 20% solution  with two  tablespoons  of arrowroot(or cornstarch) in microwave  for 15 secs. Make sure  you are stirring every 15 secs. After about 45 secs total, it will get very thick, like shaving gel consistancy.This is the thickness you want.

Gel all mixed up -applesauce thickness


Add heaping 1/2 teaspoon  Arm and hammer "oxy"to the hot H2O2 gel and it will froth and bubble up nicely. Apply with a toothbrush or a small paint brush

Here's the caps. The earpiece is flipped to show the true ivory color, the mouthpiece will be peroxided. It is yellowed. Here's the frothy mix too after the soda washing soda is added:

light is an old 100 watt incandescant bulb under on old milwaukee beer light

  peroxide added to cap

   cap under light

Wait SIX hours minimum -I do it overnight. If you sleep longer , no big deal.

Part Three ... to be continued

Tomorrow we will compare the cap to the pre-peroxided one

"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


Well , its been almost six hours for the cap. I washed it off in hot water, dried it with a paper towel. Great results!

Compare the mouthpiece to the underside of the earpiece-matches now!

Compare the mouthpiece to the otherside of the unwhitened (peroxided) ear piece--you can see the yellow difference.

Here is the phone. I will do the rest tomorrow and post pictures.

WE500 1956 Soft Plastic Yellowed Ivory prior to peroxide (bleaching)


"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright



Tonight I am going to mix up a batch and try it again, this time with the light, and I got some of the Arm and Hammer Super wash too.  Thanks for posting the detailed instructions.

-Bill G


You are so welcome. What color are you brightening? The results look better than the pics. Remember my white one?



I even whitened the cords on this one!
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


I am doing a white one, and also some odds and ends to see the results.  Complete white 500.  Light gray handset with caps, pink handset with caps, and turquoise caps only, and a tan faceplate from an ITT key set.

This time I have the 100 watt light.  I made up my batch, and used the blender after the microwave to get it really mixed up.  I am still using Xantham gum, and I think it is more potent than the arrow root.  Two heaping tablespoons made the thing kind of like tar, or flubber or something.  I could not spread it; it was so thick.  So I dumped that out and used two level teaspoons.  This time, after I added the Arm and Hammer, it came up a nice, pure white light fluffy gel, like you said.  It really looks like I remember my mom's merengue she made for lemon merengue pies.  The one thing that may not be right is that the blender seems to insert lots of air to make it white and fluffy.  I hope the light can get through.

It spreads very well, and so I have high hopes.  It went on at 9:30pm Pacific, so time will tell.  Since I am dealing with experimental stuff, I have the luxury of this being an experiment.

If all turns out well, I intend to bring a lot of reference material to the Seattle phone show for show and tell.

Stay tuned....

Oh, by the way, does the heat from the light dry it out to require re-coating? 

-Bill G


It will dry out and almost have a chrunchy consistancy. Think of mom's mac $ cheese -the part that is on the edge of the baking pan . You don't want it too thick, just thick enough to cover the phone with an even consistancy. Really the blender is not needed, I mixed it in with a spoon like Nestle's quik.

Don't worry about it drying out , the light /gel combo is the magic and that's all that is needed.
Also, the light can be three feet above the phone or six inches -the BRIGHTNESS is the key, not the heat.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


Here is what the process looks like right now.

-Bill G


Very informative gentlemen.

Thanks for posting.



Thanks for posting this. I know what I'll be doing this weekend. I have a white 500, and a light blue 554. 40% for white, 20% for handsets and colored plastics right? What % did you use for the cord?
"Ain't Worryin' 'Bout Nothin"


I used 20 for the cord because back then , that's the only concentration I knew they sold. Try 20 cause I knew it worked and I don't know what 40 would do on vinyl.
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


Hey Bill, are you using 20 on all or 40 on the white and 20 on the colours?
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


I am using 20 cut down to 15 on all items.

Still disappointed, I think the blender is out.  It makes it too foamy, so I think less of the product comes in contact with the plastic.  I have some 40 that I haven't used yet.

You asked another question in the other thread about checking the receiver with the ohm meter.  You need to unhook the receiver from the rest of the phone to measure the resistance.  More information to follow...

I am on my way out the door to work, and my mornings at work are always pretty crazy, so I will catch up later on and we can give each other further info on our respective projects.  What time zone are you in?  Pacific here.


-Bill G


Eastern. Look at my cap vs your gel. Yours it like whipped cream, while mine is like tapioca (I love food analogies). It needs to be a little wetter to cover evenly. I am doing my Ivory tonight and will post pics. Leave the blender out of the mix.later on
"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright


I have taken apart the phone for whitening. I take off the finger wheel and brass nut and spider washer, but leave the dial intact (I tape it off with masking tape) I don't want to screw up a good working dial. Put cardboard or something under the dial to level it (or take it off the phone--too much work for me ) . Take off the little  tray that  holds the plastic plungers in place. Invert the plungers in the holes, they will block any gel from getting in the hole opening (or tape off the opening). I tape around the dial plate to act as a gel  holder so it doesn't flow. Do the handset caps separately. I'm going to do the cord too on this one. I don't even take the cord out of the receiver (less work). Tape it off-much easier.

Mix the gel and apply it-quickly-you want it in place  ASAP it will continue to foam and bubble, as it does, it's harder to work with. This is why I use the tape, you can get it on fast and sloppy and not worry.

Off to bed. I will clean them up in the morning.(six hours or so later)

"Imagine how weird telephones would look if our ears weren't so close to our mouths." - Steven Wright



I have been pretty busy tonight with the Seattle show, so I don't think I am going to do any bleaching tonight, but I did stop at Sally's on the way home from work and bought some more H2O2.

What color is the one you are currently baking?  (you said you liked to talk in food analogies)  ;D

-Bill G