How to test for bakelite with Simichrome Polish in pictures

August 10, 2008 · Filed Under Simichrome · 1 Comment 

In a series of 4 pictures, here are the basics of testing for bakelite using Simichrome Polish. All you need is a tube of Simichrome and a couple of cotton swabs, a clean cloth, a paper towel or tissue.

Instructions and Application:

Tube of Simichrome polish, q-Tips and bakelite belt buckle Apply a small dab of Simichrome on to the tip of a cotton swab. The amount shown in the picture is much more than you need, but I want you to be able to see that Simchrome out of the tube is pink in color.
A dab of Simichome on a Q-Tip After rubbing the plastic belt buckle, notice how the Simichome on the end of the cotton swab has change in color from pink to a dark yellow. You do not have to rub long or hard for this to happen. You will know in a matter of 10 to 15 seconds.
Simichrome colr change after testing for bakelite Notice the colors on the Q-tip after rubbing the plastic belt buckle in the background with Simichrome polish. The tip of the cotton swab has changed from pink to yellow. There is still some pink Simichrome polish to the left of the yellow spot on the cotton swab to show you the contrast in colors.
Plastic button that failed the Simichrome bakelite test. The last picture shows a round brown plastic button that failed the bakelite test. Notice how the polish is still pink on the cotton swab after it has been rubbed onto the button. I have heard of at least 6 or 7 other tests for bakelite. However, often when you see antique dealers advertising that their wares, it is not unusual for them to say in their item description that it passes the “Simichrome test”.

Please note that neither Happich who makes Simichrome nor I, thepolishguy.com guarantee the results of this test nor authorize it. It does seem to be for some reason the gold standard for bakelite testing in the antique & collectible trade.

Materials Used:

Polish Guy Tip Polish Guy Tip : “Whether your item is bakelite or not, Simichrome with clean and polish it and make it look so much better. Always try any polish in an inconspicuous place to see if you like the results. “

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