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White Schwinn Bar Grip Cleaning

Old 12-13-20, 10:10 AM
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Chuck M 
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White Schwinn Bar Grip Cleaning

I'm cleaning up an old Schwinn from the 60s. The bar grips are white and discolored from what I think may be sun damage. If I recall the conversation, the gentleman that brought the bike to me cleaned them with toothpaste and hydrogen peroxide. I have tried rubbing alcohol and I'm considering soaking them in OxiClean. Other than the discoloration, they are in good shape and it would be desirable to save them even in this condition rather than replace them. The bike is pretty much a Chicago survivor from '67. I work for a PVC pipe manufacturer and we remove sunburn from white PVC pipe by wiping it down with MEK which I don't want to do.

My question is what have any of you used to successfully restore the white to old bar grips? Also, is the fact these say Schwinn Approved on them an indicator that these may be replacements or would original grips from that time also say Schwinn Approved?

Thanks

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Old 12-13-20, 10:27 AM
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I would try rubbing compound, I haven't used it on handles but I have used it on yellowed cable housing.
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Old 12-13-20, 03:35 PM
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I can't advise this, but I recently donned two pair of nitrile gloves and used Jet Spray Gumout on a small bit of cloth to restore some white Shimano aero lever hoods.

The hoods on this thrift-store-flip bike had turned crusty, sun-baked brown, so there was nothing to lose by trying this. The end result was practically flawless!

Working outside on a cold day greatly reduced the quantity of deadly toluene fumes that I was exposed to.
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Old 12-13-20, 06:16 PM
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Tossing around ideas in my head all afternoon and I think I'm going to try a dab of MEK on an inconspicuous spot tomorrow and see what happens.
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Old 12-13-20, 06:20 PM
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I would suggest trying something like Fantastic first and get more aggressive as needed.
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Old 12-14-20, 06:59 AM
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I wonder if Novus plastic polish would help? NOVUS
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Old 12-14-20, 07:01 AM
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Clorox sponge worked for me on bar tape left in place on the bar.
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Old 12-14-20, 03:06 PM
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I have used Spray Nine. It is a strong degreaser, i only leave it on bar tape for a few seconds and wipe off.
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Old 12-14-20, 04:45 PM
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If I remember correctly, and it has been a while since I cleaned them. I believe that I used Dawn dish detergent and a toothbrush with the bristles cut shorter.

Hydrogen peroxide is supposed to remove yellowing. I have seen the results and they are quite good however, I have not tried this myself. I work with a guy that restores older gaming consoles. The peroxide that you would get in a pharmacy is not strong enough, You need to get the stuff sold in Beauty Supply shops. I guess that make sense.

He says to brush it on or dip it into a tray with this solution in it and let it sit for ten minutes or more. The interesting thing is that he says it gets the bromides out. Bromides are put into game consoles to make them fire resistant. They cause the plastic to turn brown. That is not an issue with handgrips so, perhaps Hydrogen peroxide is not needed.

I check to see if I have white Schwinn handgrips. If they are bright white, hydrogen peroxide is not needed. Only a good cleaning with the detergent of you preference.
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Old 12-15-20, 05:57 AM
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The hydrogen peroxide I think is going to be something I'm going to explore. I tried MEK on a very small spot, and while it seemed to take it off, I chickened out due to it being so harsh. From what I've been reading, sunlight helps the hydrogen peroxide. I have plenty of time to carefully figure this out it seems because 26 x 1-3/8 tires are going to take some time to get.
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Old 12-15-20, 01:05 PM
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Magic Eraser or Scrubbing Bubbles
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Old 12-15-20, 02:08 PM
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My white Schwinn grips were not clean as I would have expected them. They were stored in my basement which has a tendency to turn plastic brown or tan.

Here is the before:


And here is after cleaning with Dawn dish detergent and a toothbrush followed by applying the hydrogen peroxide cream and letting it sit with the cream on it for 2 hours. I did not notice any change in color. It still looks tan or antique white to me.



All the Schwinn handgrips that are like this say "Schwinn Approved". I suppose that is because these were contract manufactured rather than made directly by Schwinn.

If someone finds a technique that whitens the handgrip without otherwise changing it, like making it hard, or soft or loosing the details, I'm interested in knowing.
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Old 12-15-20, 02:17 PM
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dddd hasn't steered me wrong. I will have to try Gumout Jet Spray. I might even have some in the garage. I'll report back after I try it.

I spoke to my co-worker who said that he may leave the plastic in the hydrogen peroxide solution for 24 hours and that sunlight helps. I only did 2 hours inside at night.

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Old 12-15-20, 10:51 PM
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https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/cl...r-grips.39793/

https://thecabe.com/forum/threads/wh...bleach.101826/


The two CABE thread links above might also have some potentially helpful advice.



Ordinary household laundry BLEACH ( typically 2.5% to around 8.25% Sodium Hypochlorite) MIGHT BE USEFUL in Whitening those old White Grips.
For those of you who flunked or didn't take Chemistry & Advanced Chemistry in High School.....
DON'T TRY TO MIX ANYTHING WITH Clorox bleach or any other no-name bleach IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE YOUR OWN SUPER-CLEANER!!! DON'T!!!

CLOROX brand Regular Bleach has around 5.25% Sodium Hypochlorite --and-- CLOROX brand Concentrated Bleach has about 8.25% Sodium Hypochlorite.

no-name Brand BLEACH typically has a smaller percentage of Sodium Hypochlorite than the CLOROX brand does.

https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions...rt=SUBMIT_DATE
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Old 12-15-20, 11:33 PM
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I was able to clean up a pair of those white Schwinn grips using a combination of dawn and steel wool, then a few hours in bleach and water.
What it seemed like was that the surface layer was sort of sun burnt or damaged, once I used the 0000 steel wool on them, the bleach was able to do the trick. After, I polished the surface up using some Mother's polish. The result was about 95%.
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