Author Topic: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of  (Read 3830 times)

richard

  • Rich
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4458
  • Bond ,Gordon,Bruetsch
Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« on: June 09, 2015, 06:18:13 PM »
Hi . Simple question , old reflectors a bit spotty , mildew like , what could I use to attempt a quick clean rather than put up as is or resilver ? Meths, alcohol ? Thanks
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977

Chris Thomas

  • Administrator
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1261
  • old Banana
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2015, 10:36:29 PM »
Take aluminium foil, scrunch into a wad or loose ball.
Take the ball of foil and use it like a souring pad over the reflector surface.

Being soft it will not harm the metal reflector surface.

Chris Thomas

richard

  • Rich
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4458
  • Bond ,Gordon,Bruetsch
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2015, 10:22:20 AM »
REALLY ! ?  i wouldnt think scrunched up foil would be classed as soft .The one on the left is well beyond anything other than resilvering  , the one on the right saveable I think but i was thinking of a solvent , but which one ,and a soft cloth
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977

Bob Purton

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5041
    • Inter microcar
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2015, 11:25:33 AM »
One remedy is soak over night in 4 parts water one part vinegar. Some have had good results with oven cleaner. Remember , its NOT chrome plating so is easily mullered. The aluminium foil trick works well on corroded chrome plating but I personally wouldnt go anywhere near a reflector with a ball of foil.

Grommet

  • Chatty
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2015, 05:42:09 PM »
I have found a bit of spittle on a cotton bud used very carefully to be ok..Vinegar will kill it instantly.

Ashford chroming can resilver it (they use real silver) for a modest sum, its even easier if its a brass shell as less likely to have corrosion lurking under the silvering. The silvering was actually originally vapour deposited aluminium done in a vacuum chamber.

Never touch the reflector with your fingers...but you know that already.

Grommet

Barry

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1207
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2015, 05:59:07 PM »
I used to deal with a company in Sandwich Kent for vacuum metalising.  Invicta.
I was dealing in high volume components.

http://www.invictavac.com/metallising/index.html

It may be worth a call if they are still going as one-offs (2) may be accommodated.


richard

  • Rich
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 4458
  • Bond ,Gordon,Bruetsch
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2015, 07:20:43 PM »
thanks all I know not to handle - but the ones I have have probably been handled dozens of times by others  :) silvering seems available at about £5 - £6 an inch across the reflector i.e. 6" reflector £30 -£36 each
outside of a dog a book is mans best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read .Groucho Marx 1895-1977

AndrewG

  • Quite Chatty
  • ****
  • Posts: 288
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2015, 07:29:17 PM »
Hasn't that motorcycle restoration guy with the hand-drill-with-abrasive-plastic-spoons honing tool not got some superb method for reviving reflectors?

Bob Purton

  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 5041
    • Inter microcar
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2015, 11:42:49 PM »
It depends what the plating is I guess. Silver, aluminium, silicon monoxide, nickel. The diluted vinegar method is for nickel I think. Lemon juice cleans silver without removing any of its surface.
I have worked on reflecting telescopes over the years, the early Gregorian ones have speculum mirrors, soapy water only on those.

Grommet

  • Chatty
  • ***
  • Posts: 50
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2015, 11:53:56 PM »
I have used this stuff in the past for old brass reflectors with very good results..you need to polish the brass to a mirror finish first.

http://www.kernowcraft.com/products/silversmithing-and-tools/sundries/item/silver-solution-c125

There are some other cheaper versions out there of the same stuff

Try it on your poor one first!

Grommet
« Last Edit: June 11, 2015, 12:04:31 AM by Grommet »

Rusty Chrome (Malcolm Parker)

  • Global Moderator
  • Prolific Poster
  • *****
  • Posts: 1221
Re: Headlamp reflectors - cleaning of
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2015, 11:54:30 PM »
Hasn't that motorcycle restoration guy with the hand-drill-with-abrasive-plastic-spoons honing tool not got some superb method for reviving reflectors?

He's got this bad ass way of doing DIY Electrolysis. Sporks and voltage grade assembly tape should be available from any reputable wholesale retailer.
Malcolm
Bond Mk D - "The Bond Minicar solves your problem"
Nobel 200 - "Almost as cheap as breathing!"