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Bakelite Polish

Started by NYFED, July 10, 2009, 03:15:42 PM

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I've been having great luck lately with using Semichrome to polish bakelite handsets, particularly G1s.

I'll have to post some photos, but I got a nice shine out of one that I thought was a lost cause.

Stephen Furley

A couple of days ago I ordered a tube of Paste Polishing No. 5.  It's supposed to be very good, and is what the G.P.O. used on their Bakelite 'phones.  I'll report back when I've had a chance to use it.


GLAYZIT is specifically formulated for the cleaning/polishing of bakelite phone sets.  It works well if applied correctly.  I sell it, if anyone is interested.  Contact me directly @ if interested.

Stephen Furley

The Greygate polishes have arrived.  I ordered a 'kit' consisting a 60g tube of Paste Polishing No.5, a 100ml bottle of Plastic Polish and a microfibre cloth.

The paste is rather like toothpaste which has been stained the colour of English mustard, and given a slightly odd smell.  The smell reminds me of something, but I can't think what.  The plastic Polish seems to be a solution of waxes in some sort of solvent; it has quite a strong smell, and carries a flammable warning.  There's also a warning against using it on Cellulose Acetate.  It says that there's a special version available for use on this material, but I don't have any.  I've tested the polishes on my recently-acquired 232.  The handset cradle, plunger top, drawer front and knob are acetate on this 'phone, but since it's dismantled at the moment this isn't a problem.

I started with the Earpiece cap.  The paste worked well, but dries quite quickly, I think it is best to work on just a small area at a time;  if it dries out on the surface it seems to leave a residue which takes a fair amount of work to remove.  Only a small amount of paste is required; I would say about 15-20 'phones could be done with one tube.  The paste easily removed the many small splashes of paint, and the dull surface dirt. and left the Bakelite looking almost like new.  It does take time to remove all traces of the paste, I probably spent about 30 minutes working on the earpiece cap, but it was in rather poor condition.  I've since also done the spit-cup mouthpiece, which was somewhat quicker.  I'm going to leave the rest of the handset until tomorrow.

Once all traces of the paste have been removed the surface looks pretty good, but using the Plastic Polish does improve the gloss.  The polish doesn't seem to go as far as the paste; I would estimate about 5-10 'phones per bottle.

The process really needs more than one cloth; I'd say three, one to apply the paste and do most of the work, a second to remove the residue and a third for the polish.

Kenny C

can you get brasso at wal-mart????
In memory of
  Marie B.


Walmart, grocery stores, hardware stores... just about everywhere.  Be careful not to get it on any painted markings, as Brasso in the plastic bottle will ruin paint. 

Greg G.

Brasso is also a bit "fumey", use in well ventilated area.
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
- Mike Row


Brasso is made with ammonia.


This polisher looks huge! So is everyone using something like this?


The pad is about six inches in diameter. It is designed to be a hand held unit.


I know but the phone is 6 inches wide, and there are so many nooks and crannies...

Dennis Markham

You won't get into the nooks and crannys with the buffer.  But you will soon learn that it is your friend.  It isn't not as large as it appears.  I don't hold it by the knob at the top.  I put my hand around the housing, below the knob.  I've about worn out my second one and gone through lots of terry cloth covers.  The foam rubber part is what wears away.  They were $19.99 for a long time but I think they're up to $25 now.


Yep $25 at Home Depot. Does hand polishing work? Is it worth trying?

What types of stores sell Novus 2?

Dennis Markham

Hand polishing is good.  Some only do hand polishing.  I used to do only hand polishing and still do, but when I'm finished hand polishing I always give it the once-over with the Ryobi.

I have never seen Novus products in a retail outlet.  I have heard that some Harley Davidson shops sell it for polishing plastic.  You might also check local plastic manufacturers.  I did find one here in my area that will sell Novus in quantity.  I have always purchased mine off eBay.  I buy Novus2 in the half gallon bottles.  I avoid the 3 bottle packages because I don't use #3 or rarely #1.


Cha-ching, found it at the Container Store, assuming they stock it in store... it says backordered on the website:

Also, Needledoctor has it, which is a little more out of the way, but they have a retail store near the U of MN campus:

And, has it and he is local. I just remembered that:

HA! THEY ARE BASED HERE!!! I'm such an idiot...