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Cleaning nicotine off New Snes kiosk


koko
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Recently picked up my grail, a Snes kiosk. It had some what appears to be nicotine staining on it. I’ve replace one of the golden controllers and you can see the difference.

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I took the top sign off to clean inside, you could see some swirls when it was on. Took out the clear part that sits behind the red. Started to try and clean it and it started to smear everywhere. I’m looking for advice on how to clean what appears to be a film of nicotine without taking off the black part of the sign from the transparency. I don’t want to permanently wreck the sign trying to clean it. Any help or thoughts would be appreciated. 
 

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I don't know how it would affect the stencil on the sign, but know from past experience (cleaning the walls in my parents' house after their passing) that you really need to use ammonia if you want the nicotine to actually go into solution and be totally removed.  You also always want to use gloves when doing that type of thing, as depending on the amount that's there (and you really have no way to tell), it's very easy to get nicotine poisoning by absorbing it through your skin after dissolving it with the ammonia.  A friend who was a 3-pack a day smoker ended up in the hospital after figuring that he didn't need to wear gloves during the second pass of wiping down the wall in the living room to further clean and de-yellow it before primer, so it can be some serious stuff.

Did/does it actually smell of ashes/smoke?  If not, it's possible that it's something else that's caused the yellowing, such as a kerosene heater being run (something else that contributed to my parents' discolored walls early on) or even exposure to sunlight/UV.

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I tried using windex and that did help to a degree but I was nervous using it near the sign part. Never thought of the gloves, I did feel a bit gross after but just thought it was either the windex or the iso alchohol. Doesnt really smell like smoke, I just assumed it was in someones garage at some point and they smoked in there. The controllers also match smoke stain, they are stained on the back so its not UV. I had no idea that a kerosene heater could yellow something. Going to try dishsoap tonight, otherwise I might just have to painfully take like 10 hours with qtips cleaning it off with windex.

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4 hours ago, koko said:

I tried using windex and that did help to a degree but I was nervous using it near the sign part. Never thought of the gloves, I did feel a bit gross after but just thought it was either the windex or the iso alchohol. Doesnt really smell like smoke, I just assumed it was in someones garage at some point and they smoked in there. The controllers also match smoke stain, they are stained on the back so its not UV. I had no idea that a kerosene heater could yellow something. Going to try dishsoap tonight, otherwise I might just have to painfully take like 10 hours with qtips cleaning it off with windex.

Unless it smells like smoke I doubt any of this is from smoking.  UV light is not required to make controllers yellow like that.  I had a kiosk like this where the bottom part of the SNES itself was yellowed, but not the top. The plastic just yellows over time. 

Just leave well enough alone.

 

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Yea too late, I had already tried to clean it causing the smear, initially I thought the swirls were mold. It's definitely something on the plastic, it's just an overhead with the logo printed on then slid behind red glass. I've managed to get it decently clear with just iso alchohol, elbow grease and boatload of special flat qtips. The kerosene heater sounds like its a definite possibility after doing more reading. The inside of the controllers also had some kind of film on them. Going to finish up tomorrow and swap out the other controller. Just need to figure out how to get composite video from the DB9 cord and I'm good to go. Even got the reset working on the original system.

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22 hours ago, LaC said:

Unless it smells like smoke I doubt any of this is from smoking.  UV light is not required to make controllers yellow like that.  I had a kiosk like this where the bottom part of the SNES itself was yellowed, but not the top. The plastic just yellows over time. 

Just leave well enough alone.

 

I was thinking the same - that isn't from smoking. I don't think a controller left in a cigar shop would change colors that much and you don't see much of this with NES controllers. SNES systems and controllers, it's really common. Too common to be from massive exposure to cigarette smoke. 

I'm not a kiosk guy, so I have no idea if replacing the controllers would cause people to say its not authentic. I'd replace them. But, yeah I agree with the sentiment to leave it. I don't think any cleaning procedure would get them back to looking new.

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I swapped out the shells from the controller arms as they just looked gross. I couldn’t keep them on it, although I did keep them in a box. I don’t plan on ever selling this but if it ever comes to that at least the next person has the option to put them back on if it really matters to them. One of the top buttons was broken anyways. Got the reset, speakers and sign all in working order. It took me about 4 hours to clean off the brown goo from the inside of the sign. I used isopropyl alchohol to break up the goo, soap and water to gently wash it off then windex to get rid of the streaks. All done with qtips and holding my breath that I didn’t scratch off the black powder. It turned out well and is now clean for another 30 years. I just need to figure out how to convert the DB9 video cord to RCA to use the internal speakers with the external tv. I still have the original tv but it’s broken beyond repair, I might keep the shell though for another project. 
 

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