Cleaning Yellowed Knobs, Buttons, & Controls for Roland VS-890 VS-880
August 29, 2021
This procedure will also work for yellowed MC-303, MC-307, Etc.
First off I have to give credit to 8-Bit Guy for this mod. 8-Bit Guy mainly focuses on old computers but is a huge keyboard fan and his vids are worth checking out. Needless to say I watched him de-yellow computer keyboard keys with numerous experiments. So for the same desire to remove the yellow from keys, knobs etc. this is my application.
You will need some SalonCare 40 Volume Creme. It can be picked up at a “Beauty” supply store for cheap. I bought a couple large bottles from Sally Beauty for about $12. One bottle is good for 5 or 6 different projects. Besides for that you will need a ziplock bag.
This post is based on the VS-890’s that I am refurbishing, but will apply to MC 303, 307, 505 keys. I have also tried it on silicone drum pads (think sp-404 Style pads) and it worked so/so. So/so is better than yellow!
Now these knobs are from my VS-890 refresh. I have never seen nor touched a nastier machine. Granted I repeatedly soaked and rinsed these knobs (even in half white vinegar), you can see on the left, the water they soak in is still nasty.
Rub and Scrub that Knob Girl!!
Whatever you are trying to whiten, scrub them good with a toothbrush and standard dish soap. I ended up doing a scrub, soak, scrub, 50/50 vinegar soak. These bad boys were f*cking nasty and stank. Once cleaned off to your liking and shaken dry, go ahead and throw them in a standard ziplock bag. Pour in crème to fill up about a fourth of the bag so you can cover all of the knobs/keys. **Before some dumbass comments about how this f**ked up their black or red knob. DO NOT PUT COLORED KNOBS/KEYS in the solution. This is for “whitening” dumbass, and in full disclosure. I stupidly put red and black knobs (very hard to get knobs) in a previous mix and jacked them up. Don’t do it.
Take your bag and place it out in the sun. I like to put the bag on something black so it soaks up the heat. After a couple hours the bag will expand with gas. I am no Chemist, Scientist? According to 8-Bit Guys experiments, the heat and gas whiten as opposed to soaking in the peroxide. Either way, make sure it is a hot sunny day. As your zone is different than mine I can’t give a time frame for letting the bag sit. Once it gasses up after a couple hours I flip it over, and again a few hours later.
I think it is an art like burning a screenprint in the sun. You need to feel it out. As I have had some keys that have taken a few days to whiten, where as these hoes look good in a day. Two days? Probably better. I have noticed putting the bag on a piece of black metal helps greatly.
After a few scary episodes, I’ve realized that the knobs are to big to go down the drain, so it works great as a strainer. The Salon Creme leaves a slimy substance on the buttons knobs and in the grooves. So yes, they need to be scrubbed down with a toothbrush and dish soap again.
Scrub, Soak, Rinse, & repeat.
This was a quick DIY on whitening. As for my final refurbish of the VS-890 will they be used? Probably not. So why did I do all of this? For the money b*tch.