Cleaning Up a Smith Corona XL 1500 Typewriter

This electric typewriter wasn’t the one I was actually after when I purchased a lot of three at an auction recently, but I quickly fell in love with it! Unfortunately, it smelled like an old attic and had tons of grit in the keyboard. I picked a nice day to spend out in the sunshine giving it a thorough cleaning and a new lease on life.

It doesn’t look all that grubby from the outside, but that was part of what made me want to tackle this project. I figured it’d be a nice easy way to spend my afternoon. Then I got it opened up.

Definitely some dust in here, as well as a few paperclips.

Doesn’t really make you want to sit down and type for hours, does it?

If you wanted to know what’s under the keyboard, there it is!

Yum! (Don’t mind the bench that desperately needs to be restained. That’s a project for another day!)

All done!

Oh, yeah. That’s a dream come true compared to what it looked (and felt) like before!

I know manual typewriters are all the rage right now, but there’s still something pretty special about an electric model! This XL 1500 is a beautiful typer, and I’m so glad I spent some time on it today. I haven’t quite decided if I’ll sell it or keep it as part of my collection.

Do you have a typewriter? I’d love to hear about it!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keepingand The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Siren’s Call, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

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Filed under Typewriters, Vintage

2 responses to “Cleaning Up a Smith Corona XL 1500 Typewriter

  1. Fantastic work on that one! Good thing the typewriter you got wasn’t overly yellowed by time. I’ve seen videos of similar restorations (tower CPUs, keyboards, etc.) that use hydrogen peroxide and a UV lamp setup to whiten the entire casing.

    • Thank you! I’d find the peroxide and UV idea online, but this one didn’t have enough yellowing to make it worth the process. I’ve got several more typewriters waiting to be cleaned up, and I can’t wait to dive in!

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