Saturday, February 11, 2012

Typewriter Ribbon Restoration Part 2

I do not stop moving the can while I spray the robbon.  I make one sweep from supply spool end to take-up spool end in one second or less.  I only put a mist (and sometimes a small puddle or two) along the ribbon.  Wiping after the spray will even out any puddles.

One correction is that I left out LIGHTLY wipe the excess.  I just wipe with enough pressure to even-out the WD-40.

When finished the ribbon will feel slightly oily or wet yet not excessively so.

Here is Cameron's post on one of his typewriters where he described how he treated a ribbon with WD-40.  I hope he does not mind I linked to his blog.
Living In The Woods


  1. Thanks for sharing about the WD-40 process you employed, I'll definitely note this for future reference.

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I've to give it a try :)

  3. That is a very detailed explanation, thanks for sharing! The problem with my preferred new old stock ribbons is that they sometimes dry out even before I have a chance to use them. This tip will be very helpful and I'll try it out in the spring when we can do the spraying outdoors.

  4. Thank you everyone. I did not get to do the silk ribbon today as the wind had not calmed all day. Surprisingly, even very early morning was not only cold -1C, but blustery wind. I hope to be able to spray it early tomorrow morning and post tomorrow evening.

  5. Bill, I will have to try your method, which keeps the typewriter itself out of the process.

    It will be interesting to see how long the WD-40 rejuvenation lasts, and if it is possible to do it several times before the ink is totally shot.

    1. Cameron,
      I've been wondering the same things. I plan to leave the ribbons in typewriters and use them regularly. It may take me a year or more to use a ribbon until dry unless the WD-40 evaporation rate is such that the ribbon dries. I am tracking the ink quality on the paper too.

  6. Thanks for the tips. Keep us posted on the longterm results!

  7. Lodged and memorised for future reference. Thanks Bill and thanks also for the link to Cameron's post. And I think Ted has also shared his attempts. When I try, I'll post about it.