Published : 5th October 2003
Does anyone have a 'trade secret' they'd like to share on getting burnt moth stains out of the soft matt aluminium reflectors used in large soft lights? [Similar finish to the normal Redhead reflectors.]
I've used methylated spirit (I’m not sure what it's called in Nth. America - basically it is alcohol with an impurity added to stop you drinking it ) which removes about 50% of the brown mess. I can't sand or polish the aluminium as this would ruin the rough finish.
Clive Woodward wrote:
>I've used methylated spirit…which removes about 50% of the brown >mess. I can't sand or polish the aluminium as this would ruin the rough >finish.
You might try Naptha / Lighter Fluid. It's a great solvent and works well on metals without being too harsh. Just make sure it's dry before you fire up the light.
ICG, New York
Here's a suggestion from left field : oven cleaner.
Since it's designed to remove baked on organic compounds I would think it would do the job.
I would first test it on a small portion of the reflector to make sure it doesn't etch the metal.
Randy "moths are food to something" Miller, DP in LA
Dan Drasin writes :
>It cuts grease so well that, used undiluted, it'll take the oils right our of >your skin, so after using it it's a good idea to lay on some hand lotion.
I'll second this warning. Having used the orange based solvents, I was naive enough to consider that the stuff was so full of orangey goodness that it was bound to be skin friendly. Wrong! Even a small amount can cause intense dryness and eruption of skin conditions. So while the stuff is very good I would strongly recommend hand protection with either a barrier cream or suitable gloves.
Easy-Off Oven cleaner or Trisodium Phosphate. (TSP)
Don't leave either in contact with the aluminium too long and be ready to neutralize them with a mild acid like vinegar. Start with a dilute solution.
There are specific compounds for removing carbon from aluminium. I think one is called Carbon-X. It's used to remove jet exhaust from aircraft engine cowlings.
If you have a lot to do, crushed walnut shells in a sand blaster at low pressure will do the trick and won't abrade the reflector.,
Brian "The things you learn on industrial films." Heller