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Cleaning My Demonstrator With Alcohol Has The Barrel Turned Cloudy



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I am very new here.

 

Recently, I tried cleaning the inside wall of the barrel (only on the top part) of my Sailor 1911 demonstrator with a cotton bud dipped in ethyl alcohol 70% to remove some waterproof black ink stain. At first, the stain was removed quite easily. But as I left the barrel to dry, I noticed that the once clear barrel turned cloudy on the area that was affected by the alcohol solution. I have tried washing away the layer of cloudiness with water a few times, but it did not work.

 

I have not idea what exactly is the material of the barrel, could it be plastic or acrylic, that reacts to alcohol solution this way? So, is there anything I could do to restore the barrel to its original transparency again? Please advise, anyone?

Cloudy barrel lowres.jpg

"A true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." - Albert Einstein

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The alcohol has oxidized the surface of the plastic. There is no way to reverse this.

Oxidation is not the process causing the haze.

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Oxidation is not the process causing the haze.

I thought it was called oxidation. Several years ago, I used denatured alcohol to wipe down my dashboard. The result was a permanent haze. If that's not called some form of oxidation then please, tell me what it's called. My intent isn't to be hostile. I really would like to know.

 

Some rEgards

Allan

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Chemically, oxidation is when an O atom is linked to another atom, like in rust, or combustion.

 

I don't know exactly what the precise chemical process here is, but I found the term oxidation explain the thought behind it well enough in this case.

 

So, Todd, please enlighten us to the correct process?

 

 

D.ick

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Sorry to hear of your misfortune.

 

I think the alcohol simply exerted a solvent effect here. The surface was melted chemically, and left dissolved residue which was cloudy. Any number of solvents would do the same. Nothing fancy in the chemistry. Oxidation -I doubt if any occurred. Oxidation involves the loss of electrons, and it wasn't that complicated. Doesn't matter, as the result -and not the process- is what hurts.

 

Reminds me of once trying to clean plexiglass with a cleaner that had some acetone in it. Ouch! I learned to read the label after that!

 

Try polishing the surface. You might start out with a very fine wet/dry paper, and move on progressively to finer polishes. I just used toothpaste on the plexiglass mentioned above, which worked, but took a l-o-n-g time.

Brian

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Chemically, oxidation is when an O atom is linked to another atom, like in rust, or combustion.

 

I don't know exactly what the precise chemical process here is, but I found the term oxidation explain the thought behind it well enough in this case.

 

So, Todd, please enlighten us to the correct process?

 

 

D.ick

Thank you Dick. Sorry, but farmboy isn't going to be able to enlighten us as to the correct process; that's because your explanation was perfect. Calling it "OXIDATION" is a blanket term. Maybe Brianm's shot in the dark is what happened. Maybe the plastic chemically melted. That sounds very plausible to me.

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Farmboy is going to stick with you didn't oxidize anything by rubbing it with propanol. Oxidation is not a blanket term, it is rather specific. To oxidize something you need an oxidant. In an alcohol the oxygen is in a reduced state and therefore not really able to oxidize anything. A good oxidant would be the corresponding peroxide.

 

Enough chemistry.

 

I don't know what polymer your pen is made from. I could go with the solvent marred the surface as suggested but that generally leaves a rippled effect on the surface, not a haze. I'm more inclined to think that the solvent leached out some soluble component in the polymer such as a plasticizer.

I would guess your pen is some form of PMMA (acrylic) or a polycarbonate resin. Both will haze when exposed to certain solvents; use different solvents and you can weld two parts together.

San Francisco International Pen Show - They have dates! August 23-24-25, 2019 AND August 28-29-30, 2020. Book your travel and tables now! My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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FWIW.....automotive shops sell a headlamp cleaner that (supposedly......) restores plastic (?) lenses to their original luster ....

You might try this....have only seen ads for it on TV.....can't remember the name of the product, either....!! :huh:

Google "headlamp lens cleaner".....Good Luck!

 

Always try to get the dibs....on fountain pens with EF nibs!!

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I am very new here.

 

Recently, I tried cleaning the inside wall of the barrel (only on the top part) of my Sailor 1911 demonstrator with a cotton bud dipped in ethyl alcohol 70% to remove some waterproof black ink stain. At first, the stain was removed quite easily. But as I left the barrel to dry, I noticed that the once clear barrel turned cloudy on the area that was affected by the alcohol solution. I have tried washing away the layer of cloudiness with water a few times, but it did not work.

 

I have not idea what exactly is the material of the barrel, could it be plastic or acrylic, that reacts to alcohol solution this way? So, is there anything I could do to restore the barrel to its original transparency again? Please advise, anyone?

 

 

Welcome Aboard....enjoy your time here....Sorry about the Sailor....

With all the excellent advice given..when you come back please

let us know what you did or didn't do....

Take care and safe journey....

 

Fred

Did you ever get the feeling that the world is a tuxedo

and you're a pair of brown shoes....

~ George Gobel

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Hi everyone,



Thank you so much for all your input, suggestions and chemistry lesson. Pardon me for my lack of interaction since my first posting. I was a bit confused by the chemistry terms. Anyway, I have been gathering information from all of your response, googling up your suggested solutions and contacting Sailor Pen company, both Europe and Japan offices. Sailor Pen suggested that I send my pen to the retailer to get a replacement from their Japan office, which I think it might not worth the time and money.



Since some of you suggested polishing it, with micro-mesh, which I was considering to order online from overseas because it's not something I could easily find locally. So, I decided to do a little experiment to find out if the cloudy layer was a residue that could be removed by scrapping it off with a knife blade, and yes it did. And I thought it would be impossible to carry out the process any further as it would leave scratches on the barrel.



Then I made a new discovery. I found a bottle of WD-40 liquid spray at home and decided to give a shot. With a little bit of the liquid on a cotton bud I rubbed it on resin barrel and the demonstrator turned all clear again! I do not know what happened chemically but it worked, effortless! :)



P/S: I have some photos to show what I did to the pen but I could not figure out how to attach them along with this post. Can somebody guide me through please?


"A true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." - Albert Einstein

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I have a demonstrator that lost it's clear transparency after some use - it is an eyedropper-filled pen and after having used it with ink in the barrel, scratches from machining it - on the inside - showed up. I tried polishing it with wet very fine sandpaper, this worked slightly but took enormous effort and I could not reach everywhere. I also tried the headlamp polishing liquid from the automotive industry. That did not work. (It also did not work on my headlamps - I probably have to polish the INSIDE of those, which I as simply the driver cannot reach). Someone on here told me to use silicone grease, which I already use to get a good seal between the barrel and section - and this works, sort of, although I find I have to periodically repeat the treatment. I used a Q-tip to rub on a very small amount and completely work it in so it won't mix with what goes inside the barrel.

I'm happy you found WD40 will do the trick but I would not trust that on my pen too often... better to stick to the silicone grease which is recommended for use on the pen material by pen makers.

a fountain pen is physics in action... Proud member of the SuperPinks

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WD-40 is almost as bad a choice as the alcohol. WD-40 contains distilled petroleum products that may also harm the plastic of the barrel. It is only hiding the surface damage caused by the alcohol, but could in the long run cause more and deeper damage to the plastic if left in place. I would recommend washing the barrel out with a little dish detergent and water. Then go to to an auto store that sells headlight polishing kits. The final abrasive is a very fine product that is safe to use on plastics, and will polish the inside of the barrel. You can use a bit a fine cloth on a chop stick, or cotton swabs - the ones with long wood stems work best.

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I have had variations of this happen to me. Putting oil/grease on the surface temporarily restores it but it must be repeated from time to time. I really would not rely on an abrasive to repolish it....that would be difficult and time consuming to do it on the inside of a pen barrel.* Abrasive paste might be a good choice but you might have to redo it, too. If it were me, I think I would start asking a good pen company if they could furnish me with a replacement and then not do it again. Le$$on learned.

 

* Using anything like a solvent or lubricant is risky, as the person said above about WD 40. And, yes, I have orchestrated my own disasters with pens. Once I put a scenting ingredient in a TWSBI mini and melted it...all that was salvagable was the nib. Collapsed into a mass of goo. And it was a natural ingredient. With plastic, you never know what is going to react.

Edited by Fabienne


 It's for Yew!bastardchildlil.jpg

 

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Hi everyone,

 

Thank you so much for all your input, suggestions and chemistry lesson. Pardon me for my lack of interaction since my first posting. I was a bit confused by the chemistry terms. Anyway, I have been gathering information from all of your response, googling up your suggested solutions and contacting Sailor Pen company, both Europe and Japan offices. Sailor Pen suggested that I send my pen to the retailer to get a replacement from their Japan office, which I think it might not worth the time and money.

 

Since some of you suggested polishing it, with micro-mesh, which I was considering to order online from overseas because it's not something I could easily find locally. So, I decided to do a little experiment to find out if the cloudy layer was a residue that could be removed by scrapping it off with a knife blade, and yes it did. And I thought it would be impossible to carry out the process any further as it would leave scratches on the barrel.

 

Then I made a new discovery. I found a bottle of WD-40 liquid spray at home and decided to give a shot. With a little bit of the liquid on a cotton bud I rubbed it on resin barrel and the demonstrator turned all clear again! I do not know what happened chemically but it worked, effortless! :)

 

P/S: I have some photos to show what I did to the pen but I could not figure out how to attach them along with this post. Can somebody guide me through please?

This is too cool that you were able to polish the haze out of your barrel. I hope my telling you that it couldn't be reversed, motivated you to prove me wrong. That wasn't my intent. I honestly believed you were SOL.
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Sailor Pen suggested that I send my pen to the retailer to get a replacement from their Japan office, which I think it might not worth the time and money.

Indeed. They also want you to send the entire thing in, even if you just need an interchangeable part like the barrel. One stone you might not want to leave unturned is http://www.engeika.com/ . I don't see any demonstrator parts listed at present, but you might want to contact them and see if they can get it. You're probably talking under $50 with shipping if they can. Good luck.

 

I do think the barrel can be repolished as well...if you're up to that sort of thing.

I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.

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