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Thread: Stained Free-D Elements - Last resort solution!

  1. #1
    DPF Charter Member erudolf's Avatar
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    Stained Free-D Elements - Last resort solution!

    So, several years ago I got this awesome jumbo and then made the horrible mistake of leaving it in my car on a hot day. It came in this nice black box but in the heat of the car the ink/paint/stain or whatever is on the box MELTED onto the Free-D portion of the tree!!! I was horrified!!! And it wasn't just a spec, it was a big black spot about an inch long and quarter of an inch high!



    I had asked a few times on the boards if anyone had any ideas on what I could do but came up empty. So, in a box it sat.

    I was going through some of my jumbos today when I took a look at it and finally tried to do something about it. First I tried scrubbing it with soap and water - nothing. I briefly considered painting it but decided that wouldn't work. I then though maybe I could find another one that was damaged in some other way and I could change out the Free-D element but then figured that the chances of that would be slim and it would still be fairly costly.

    So.....as a last resort......I shaved it!!! Yes, I litterally shaved it off! I first tried a knife and a potato peeler but those weren't working too well but I got enough off to see that the ink didn't go very deep. So I went and got a cheap ol' BIC razor and shaved off the damaged portion!

    Note - I would only recommend this as a last resort. It did leave behind scratches and a sheen there the rest of the Free-D element is matt in finish. It is still a damaged pin but at least now it is presentable!!! 1000% better than the giant black spot!!!
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  2. #2
    Dr Facilier Martin B's Avatar
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    Glad it is better now!!

    That is a really nice pin!

  3. #3
    You guys are the best! thejessta's Avatar
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    Handy tip! Thanks!
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    ~Villainous Diva~ disneypinqueen's Avatar
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    I wish I would have known sooner because I would have told you to try cleaning it with baking soda and water. It's delicate enough that it doesn't scratch... I'm glad you got the mark off though!

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    DPF Charter Member erudolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disneypinqueen View Post
    I wish I would have known sooner because I would have told you to try cleaning it with baking soda and water. It's delicate enough that it doesn't scratch... I'm glad you got the mark off though!

    I don't think it would have mattered. That spot was nasty and soaked in.
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    How does the baking soda thing work? Do you make a paste with water, scrub, rinse ("repeat if needed")? How thick a paste? What do you use to scrub the pin with? Does it work for white and colorful Free-D the same way? Why is the sky blue?

    Quote Originally Posted by disneypinqueen View Post
    I wish I would have known sooner because I would have told you to try cleaning it with baking soda and water. It's delicate enough that it doesn't scratch... I'm glad you got the mark off though!

  7. #7
    Sandy Bellecat22's Avatar
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    FYI 99% of the DAK 4 park Jumbos had that black stuff on the trees. I have tried everything from rubbing alcohol to Mr Clean eraser to get it off. Some were worse than others, I'm just glad that mine isn't THAT bad. It does give the tree character though. :P
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  8. #8
    DPF Charter Member HeatherFeather's Avatar
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    I've also found that Barkeeper's Friend is good for cleaning a LOT of things around the house, including pins. I haven't tried it on a free-D element yet, but this may have inspired me to.
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    DisneyPinForum Senior Member CosettePontmercy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeatherFeather View Post
    I've also found that Barkeeper's Friend is good for cleaning a LOT of things around the house, including pins. I haven't tried it on a free-D element yet, but this may have inspired me to.
    I was going to suggest Barkeeper's Friend, too! Its a great product.
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    DisneyPinForum Senior Member
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    Maybe a Mr Clean Magic Eraser? Worth a shot right??

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    DisneyPinForum Senior Member
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    Why are they called Free-D elements?

    Never got that...

  12. #12
    DisneyPinForum Veteran colorwindpainter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tw1080 View Post
    Maybe a Mr Clean Magic Eraser? Worth a shot right??
    Magic eraser doesn't work... I tried that for a DSF pascal I got in a trade that was dirty and it didn't clean a thing and I've tried it on the free d ribbon on my tangled chocolate box that got a black stain on it. :/

    I had to replace the pin cause I couldn't stand the stain.

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  13. #13
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    This happened to me. My pin bag stained the free d on one of my pins black. I tried just water but it wouldn't come off. I'm gonna try the baking soda or barkeepers friend. Thanks.


  14. #14
    Duke Alex, Master Zapper Zagales14's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anmicki View Post
    This happened to me. My pin bag stained the free d on one of my pins black. I tried just water but it wouldn't come off. I'm gonna try the baking soda or barkeepers friend. Thanks.
    Did this work? I'm actually gonna try the baking soda thing right now on two 3D pins that were lightly stained blackly my pin bag... I'll take before and after picks and let you guys know how it works.

  15. #15
    DPF Correspondent tiggermickey's Avatar
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    I use and always have a pencil eraser ..it works great on mine ..



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  16. #16
    Duke Alex, Master Zapper Zagales14's Avatar
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    I don't think I'm going to have a choice but to shave them. I tried baking soda and water -- both leaving it dipped in for a while, and creating a paste and rubbing it. I've tried a miracle cleaning formula my wife once bought that works on almost everything. I tried 2 different pencil erasers and magic rubs. Nothing... My last resort will have to be to shave them!

  17. #17
    DisneyPinForum Veteran echoharmony's Avatar
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    I use magic erasers, they work well for me!
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  18. #18
    DisneyPinForum Veteran echan50's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if it will work but when I used to make custom action figures, we would use fine grit sand paper with some water. This would smooth out lines and finger prints caused but the sculpting clay. Shaving may distort the shape of the free d element or remove some the detail it had. I can't recall the grit size right now but I remember the sand paper was gray vs the sand/tan color usually used for sanding wood.

  19. #19
    DisneyPinForum Senior Member Foreverkeller's Avatar
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    Wow...I'm gonna start wrapping it in something so this doesn't happen.

  20. #20
    DisneyPinForum Veteran rik1138's Avatar
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    Things I was going to suggest have already been suggested, but before shaving try these ideas:
    Pencil eraser
    Magic Eraser
    Very fine grit sandpaper. (Maybe 500? Even 1000 first and work backwards...)

    I would think the sandpaper would work if the others don't as it (like shaving) is removing a layer of the rubber material, and it would likely leave more of a matte finish like the Free-D normally have.
    Just be careful not to sand paper the rest of the pin... Maybe mask it off with the blue painters tape you can get in a hardware store. (Do this when trying the Magic Eraser too, the ME looks like a sponge but it essentially acts like a REALLY fine grit sandpaper...)

    Never tried any of these myself (haven't needed to), but that's what I would try first...

  21. #21
    DisneyPinForum Senior Member
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    I use to collect and restore vintage Barbies. Some of them had stains in the vinyl from the metal used inside or from clothing. I use to use a zit cream to lighten/remove the stains. There are some markers/dyes to restore any color lost in the vinyl as well. I haven't done this in over 15 years so I don't know if there are new products out there now, but I know at the time there were instructions online. I would imagine that treating the stains on a vintage Barbie would be similar... just keep away from the metal part of the pin .

  22. #22
    DisneyPinForum Member Dapperdisneyprincess's Avatar
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    These are such great ideas/tips for trying to repair pin damages. Thanks for posting!

  23. #23
    DisneyPinForum Veteran
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    I used a nail file on the free D rose on a belle pin after it rubbed inside my pin bag and some of the black dye in the pin bag stained it. Did an ok job.


    Quote Originally Posted by rik1138 View Post
    Things I was going to suggest have already been suggested, but before shaving try these ideas:
    Pencil eraser
    Magic Eraser
    Very fine grit sandpaper. (Maybe 500? Even 1000 first and work backwards...)

    I would think the sandpaper would work if the others don't as it (like shaving) is removing a layer of the rubber material, and it would likely leave more of a matte finish like the Free-D normally have.
    Just be careful not to sand paper the rest of the pin... Maybe mask it off with the blue painters tape you can get in a hardware store. (Do this when trying the Magic Eraser too, the ME looks like a sponge but it essentially acts like a REALLY fine grit sandpaper...)

    Never tried any of these myself (haven't needed to), but that's what I would try first...

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