cleaning reflectors

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by johnielvis, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    I got some old hot lights--movielights--tiny and strong. These are 650 watt smith victor lights--very small and made to be mounted on top of a super 8 camera

    One of them, after some use now a few times Say 1 hour total use, has the reflector starting to turn brown in patches from use-it looks like some kind of buildup is getting burnt...

    How do I clean the reflectors without leaveing MORE of a build-up...I did an intiial cleanup using 91% isopropyl alcohol on one of them after I noticed smoking--a build up burning off after an initial water cleaning--maybe this is coming from the old bulb sealing glue or something? this setup WAS owned by a smoker...these lights are from the 70s....so that's a lot of cigarette smoke buildup over the years--so I'm assuming that the bulb or the insides have some cig buildup that slowly outgasses and ends up coming out of the lights and getting burnt on the reflectors...

    So--any such experience and what's the best way to clean it where I don't leave any kind of residue that will cause the same kind of browning effect?
     

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  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I would try more agressive organic solvent. If that fails I would try buffing paste, followed by
    solvent cleaning to get rid of the wax.

    Cigarrete fume residues are brown from the beginning. They would have been visible from the start.
     
  3. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Are you sure you have the correct wattage bulb in there?
     
  4. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Take the unit apart and scrub the non electrical bits with Fantastic and a non scratching scrubber pad for washing pots and pans.

    Alcohol is only soso for removing tobacco smoke. It is good for speeding up the drying of parts after a good wash.
     
  5. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    I'll try the "regular cleaning" procedure--I don't remember ever seeing a "non-scratching rubber pad" but I'm going shopping tonite so we'll see what we can find....it works fine as-is--this stuff does LOOK like burnt oil or grease--VERY similar to the stuff that is built up in the corners of the olde tray in my ancient toaster oven--and the way oil/grease gets when cooked in that or in the regular oven--baked on brown that gets darker with use. I'm thinking that this stuff is grease or oild based residue based on the similarity of looks.

    it does work though (for black and white)--I have not seen a measurable decrease in light output as I continue to use it--when the light is on I don't notice any kind of color cast caused by it so I'm thinking this isn't critical--it's not smoking or anything when I use it now so it doesn't seem to be as bad as I thought.

    That's a 650 watt light in there. Am I sure that's the right bulb--no--the bulb says DVY--the lamp specifies DVY type bulbs (on the back by the power switch) to be used in it. Maybe the fixture writing is mistaken, but it checks out with others I've seen for sale. Maybe the bulb is mislabeled. I have not measured actual power used with a wattmeter. No--not sure at all--you can't believe what you read these days I know...
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I think it's mostly tar. I cleaned windows for a smokers office and Windex seem to have worked. As soon as the blue windex hit the window, it turned brown and dripped down the window.
     
  7. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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    You probably have one of the finer 'multi-purpose' polishing compounds in your possession, already.
    Plain, white, paste...'toothpaste.' Cheap old 'Pepsodent' works great.
    Gel type toothpaste...not as good as plain-paste, toothpastes.

    Marc
     
  8. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    A few thoughts:
    Vinegar. I'd try it diluted first.
    Bar Keepers Friend. If you have it, try it. If you don't have it, you need it anyway.
    There are cleaners for glass fireplace doors that might work. But what also works on glass fireplace doors are ashes on a wet cloth.

    Try first on the outside. What I'd be worried about is the effect of any cleaner on the "shine" of the aluminum.