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How to Polish and Restore The Finish to Dull Bakelite

Sometimes a piece of Bakelite has been made dull from overzealous rubbing or testing, or from age and use. It is possible to restore the original sheen of Bakelite at home. Simichrome polish or Maas Metal polish are small tubes of slightly abrasive (like toothpaste) cream that are sold in hardware stores. Both of these polishes are excellent for restoring the original sheen to Bakelite.

To restore, squeeze a pea-sized amount of polish on a clean soft rag. Rub the cloth all over with a little bit of elbow grease, then polish with a clean cloth. It may take several rounds of polishing the Bakelite but the dullness and light scratches can be removed by employing this method.

Both polishes are also useful in identifying Bakelite. Unless a piece of Bakelite (like black Bakelite) has a coating on it, a small amount of polish rubbed on with a cloth will come away slightly yellow when applied to true Bakelite.