Retrobright Experience


Senior Member
I put together the ingredients to mix up some Retrobright and tried it today on a 13" Gen 2 Blue Oyster Pearl Tom.

First of all this is just my experience and your mileage may vary. This stuff is actually very caustic and you really have to be careful with it. If you try to use this you are on your own! Eye protection and gloves are mandatory!

I bought the following:

Peroxide $28.02
Xanthan Gum $13.99
Glycerin $ 7.79
Oxy Clean $10.00
Trays/brushes $14.00
Blender $20.00
Total $93.80

There are 32 ounces of Peroxide so you can make four batches and have enough for 3/4th of a fifth batch. The Xanthan Gum and Glycerin and Oxy Clean would last for way over 100 batches. I think you could coat three 13 to 15 inch toms with one batch.

I got food grade 35% Hydrogen Peroxide. Put it in a cheap blender and it instantly leaked out and got all over the counter. It sucks the oil right out of your skin and my fingers turned white cleaning it up. Sheesh. I put some baking soda on them and rinsed them then soaped them then put some coconut oil on them and in an hour my skin looked normal again. Scary. You get this stuff in your eye and you have a serious problem.

So after I cleaned up the mess I went and got my gloves. I was wearing glasses.

I left the hardware on the drum but did remove the rims and heads. The stuff really foamed up and painting it on with a cheap brush outside was easy. It stays in place and did not run at all. I put a couple of coats on it and set it on a table outside in the sun. After about four hours the drum was brought inside and (with gloves on this time) I used a dish brush and in the sink wetted the brush and wiped the stuff off into the drain. I took a damp cloth and dried it then finished with the dry part of the cloth.

The site says leave it on for a day. And to put it under an infrared lamp or leave it out in the sun. I left it outside in the sun for about 3 hours and turned it a few times. I will do this drum again now that I know how to use the gel.

The effect in just four hours is really noticeable. I had three drums that all had the same shade of yellowed wrap and comparing this one to the other two it has brightened it up and brought the pearl out really nicely. The white part of the pearl that was yellowed is now nearly white, slightly off, but another coat will bring it all the way out. The blue was almost a green, think yellowed blue. So now its between the other yellowed drums and a couple of bright blue ones I have that are my reference. Still ever so slightly yellowed but the blue is not far from coming out.

So the next one I do I will post some pictures. It is hard to capture the difference in a picture between a dulled Blue Oyster and a nice one.


Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Can't this be purchased in a quantity suitable to do one drum set. Unless you are going into business cleaning drums, why would you need so much.

Google BBlonde, peroxide gel. Should handle what you are doing for a lot less.


Senior Member
I guess you could buy the ingredients in smaller quantities.

I have three drums that need it bad and four more that will get a treatment.

The limiting factor is the 35% hydrogen peroxide. The stuff you get at the drug store is typically 3 to 5%. The stuff I got had hazmat shipping associated with it. Got it via Amazon.

I had imagined selling off the excess to some local drummers but I may need to get more peroxide as it is.

The Xanthan gum is food grade so I can use the rest of it in cooking. The glycerin has no other purpose I can come up with but at under $8 its not a big waste. Don't know if you have ever used oxy clean but its like bleach on steroids. The left over oxy clean will be reserved for non clothing items like shop rags.

Could not use the house blender, so got a cheap one at wal mart. I did not know how the mixture would clean up so I got two brushes. Turns out it cleans up pretty easily and in fact is sort of soapy. The brushes were under $2 each. Same with the trays, I got 5 disposable small paint trays at about $2 each. I really only needed one as there is no residue and the one I used can be re used.

I figured $100 for 7 drums is not a bad deal in the end. I did not count on being a hazardous waste engineer in the process!


"Uncle Larry"
Next time leave it out in the sun all day. Also, it is a UV lamp, not infrared. The UV light is what causes the reaction. I had great results on my WMP set. I let it sit out all day. And just for good measure, I did it a second time the next day.

I periodically rewetted it with a spray of oxyclean mixed in water.