Okay, here we go. Pictures at the end:
First off, the recipe as it stands is completely stupid and redundant. Clearly the guy who made it is not even a little bit chemically inclined. The active ingredient in oxyclean is sodium percarbonate. If you look that chemical up anywhere, (even wikipedia) you find that it is "an anhydrous source of hydrogen peroxide". This means that it is a source of hydrogen peroxide that isn't currently in water. So clearly using both a bottle of the stuff AND oxyclean is more than a little unnecessary.
Secondly hydrogen peroxide is literally the only thing that is actually used to make the change from yellow to white again. Everything else is just to make it into a paste, which may or may not be possible using a different process. That I have no idea of, since I didn't do it that way. Depending on the concentration it may well be safe to touch, but if it's too high it may not be. I never had a problem, but I also never calculated how concentrated it would be. You could just start lower, since this isn't like doing rit, if it fails to do anything to the keys, just add more stuff or light.
Also, it may be that the reaction just likes light period, not just sunlight. I say this, because one of my original attempts before doing my own research ended with the keys upside down in the solution in my kitchen with the light source being one of those "daylight range" or whatever florescent types. It still whitened up.
Thirdly, because of all of this, the only thing that matters is how much hydrogen peroxide you can get into the water. It doesn't matter if you grab a giant bottle of the stuff and boil it until it is super concentrated, or if you start with water and dump the powder in. This brings up the question, what is the quickest way to actually get this stuff into the water?
Well, in all seriousness, by using neither hydrogen peroxide nor oxyclean.
Hydrogen peroxide in its aqueous form can obviously be a bit unstable, that's why they are in those brown bottles, to attempt to stop light getting in and making them react. It also has chemical stabilizers in there to attempt to keep it from reacting as well. The concentration is also really not all that high, and can be expensive.
Oxyclean... ugh... it only has sodium percarbonate as an active ingredient. Thing is, there is no actual problem with having nothing but sodium percarbonate as a powder. IIRC it is only 30-40% this stuff. The rest is nothing but filler. That's some expensive filler.
I recommend getting something else instead. For example:http://www.ecogeeks.com/greenstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=72&products_id=201
This is a competing product of oxyclean. It easily has the highest concentration of the stuff in it. Something like 80-90%.
Either that (it's cheaper to go with that for small quantities) or just straight up going for the pure chemical:http://www.chemistrystore.com/Chemicals_S-Z-Sodium_Percarbonate.html
This is the cheapest place I found for the pure chemical. It can also be found other places like ebay, but I think I'd probably trust them more than the ebay seller.
So anyway, that's what everyone doing this in the future should buy. If you've got the other stuff at the moment, just go apecrap by adding lots of the powder or boiling half off the aqueous form. Or both, or whatever. Point is, more is better. I'm sure someone can refine this to whatever the maximum useful is at some point, but till then this should do.
Fourth, I'm pretty sure we're down to technique now. If there's anything I've forgotten I'll try to add it later.
Anyways, at this point the biggest question is of how to soak whatever it is in this stuff. For cases and whatnot just getting some tub to stick them in would do it fairly easily.
As always, surface area is the most important for this in order to let the now in water hydrogen peroxide react with the target. However you do this great.
When I did my keys I tried to hold them in place (because otherwise they were flipping over and being upside down) by having plastic push down on them. Clear plastic, clear glass/container. The reason there are two containers was one was a mix of hydrogen peroxide and dissolved sodium percarbonate, and the other was nothing but dissolved stuff. The clear plastic or water in the top things didn't interfere with the light. The problem was that they kinda stuck to the bottom of the plastic and then didn't react anywhere near as much as they would have, so even though they are much much better, they are not as pure as they would otherwise have been.
So if you are trying keys, try and figure a way to keep them in place from the bottom of the key. Perhaps some kind of weak enough adhesive, double sided tape (or duct tape in a loop), or whatever else. Maybe you have extra stems that you can superglue (or better) for whatever kind of key it is to a sacrificial container. Or, try using a container like the ones in the pictures, and just let the keys float upside down; then put that container on top of a mirror - I'd like to see this tried to see if it works. If you can get the solution to simply be around and above what you're trying to whiten, the better they will be and the faster. Especially if you fill alot of it with concentrated solution. Also it will have the advantage of being more even, you can see that some of mine are slightly different shades.
I hope all this was helpful to people.
[ Guests cannot view attachments ] 22333[/ATTACH]
[ Guests cannot view attachments ] 22334[/ATTACH]
[ Guests cannot view attachments ] 22335[/ATTACH]
[ Guests cannot view attachments ] 22336[/ATTACH]
[ Guests cannot view attachments ] 22337[/ATTACH]
[ Guests cannot view attachments ] 22338[/ATTACH]
[ Guests cannot view attachments ] 22339[/ATTACH]