advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 10, 2018 05:23PM
I've been noticing a number of plastic items of various type I have, where the plastic has become sticky or tacky, for lack of a better word. It does seem that something is coming off it, because handling the item in question leaves a sticky residue on my hands. Anyone know a cheap / easy / guaranteed fix for this?

I've already Googled it, and seen a number of different answers to this -- but I'm curious if anyone here has first-hand experience, and I'd rather not ruin an item or the surface/finish, if not necessary. (Some of the stuff I've seen online isn't really practicable, either ... for example, trying to use a baking soda / water slurry on a radio...)

TiA




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 10, 2018 05:43PM
I think it depends a lot on the item (type of plastic, size, finish, function). I can't remember this being a frequent problem for me.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: billb
Date: June 10, 2018 05:50PM
Wash your hands ?



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: space-time
Date: June 10, 2018 05:52PM
I didn't want to go there smiling smiley
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 10, 2018 05:55PM
I wouldn't say it's a frequent problem, but I would say I've seen more items have this problem recently. Things ranging from an expensive weather radio, to an emergency lamp, to an umbrella handle, to a remote control. It's aggravating to grab for one of these items, only to be left with a sticky mess on your hands, not to mention that it makes the item unusable... I wonder if more and more manufacturers are choosing to use cheap plastics?

Edit: since you brought up washing hands, I'll point out that the residue does NOT come off with soap and water... very tacky stuff indeed, another reason why it's annoying. (I grabbed an umbrella in my car today, and was not expecting either that I couldn't use the umbrella, nor that I couldn't wash it off my hands.)




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2018 06:22PM by PeterB.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 10, 2018 05:56PM
This has happened to me on a few items over the years.

It's the breaking down of the material, be it vinyl-like or something with a rubberized coating. I don't know that there's an actual fix for that.

I've tried cleaners like isopropyl alcohol (IPA). It didn't work on an old vacuum cleaner hose, but I was able to remove the rubberized coating of a pair of old Bushnell binocs, that were actually quite nice.

I wouldn't mind finding a fix for the hose, which is still 'tacky' to this day. It's intact, so I use some nitrile gloves when handling it.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: June 10, 2018 06:04PM
I had an umbrella handle do this and some kind of goo-be-gone helped a lot.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: June 10, 2018 06:10PM
There used to be a spray for rotary phone cases (it also worked on beige computer cases), but I don't know if it's worth trying to track it down for one or two uses.

If you have some handy, try some anhydrous isopropyl (warning: very flammable, dampen a corner of a rag/towel) on an inconspicuous part of the case.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 10, 2018 06:35PM
OK guys, I didn't care too much about the umbrella, so I gave the rubbing alcohol a shot...

It didn't do anything right away, but I noticed the stickiness seemed to be dissolving a bit, so I gave it a little scrubbing with a paper towel, and voila! No more stickiness. I wonder if it's something they put on as a coating on the plastic, or something the plastic "secretes", since the climate down here might accelerate breakdown or changes to the plastic coating. (I know it's not UV exposure-related, because some of the items haven't been exposed, like the remote control...)

Prior to the isopropyl, I tried Goo Gone** -- I love that stuff, and wouldn't have thought it'd work -- and interestingly enough, it didn't. Oh and I saw one page mention WD-40, which I tried too, and that didn't work either.

Isopropyl is fine, since I know it's pretty safe, it'd just be nice if it didn't require all the scrubbing ... for example on my radio, it'll be hard to get into all the surface crevasses. Wipe on, wipe off would be nice...

** not sure if this is the same stuff as what Dennis S is talking about. I do know not to use Goof Off, which is definitely NOT safe to use on plastics!




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Lizabeth
Date: June 10, 2018 06:41PM
The grip of my electric drill (cheap buy at HD, can't remember which brand...not a major player) got sticky and resorted to a duct tape fix.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: June 10, 2018 06:45PM
Sounds like you're describing a problem with the resin leaching out. It shouldn't be all that common. I wonder what environmental issues are causing it.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: hal
Date: June 10, 2018 06:57PM
Quote
PeterB
Isopropyl is fine, since I know it's pretty safe, it'd just be nice if it didn't require all the scrubbing ... for example on my radio, it'll be hard to get into all the surface crevasses. Wipe on, wipe off would be nice...

** not sure if this is the same stuff as what Dennis S is talking about. I do know not to use Goof Off, which is definitely NOT safe to use on plastics!

Most Isopropyl alcohol is 40%, but you can find 91% and it works MUCH better at removing adhesives.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: June 10, 2018 07:28PM
Been thinking about this...

If resin were leaching out then WD40 would clean it up. Alcohol would just spread it around.

This suggests that the problem isn't the plastic. It's something in the environment leaving a sticky deposit on the plastic.

In that case, the alcohol is doing little more than acting as a solvent. Soap and water would probably do as well and Formula 409 or a similar degreaser would probably be ideal for the job.







Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2018 07:29PM by Sarcany.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: testcase
Date: June 10, 2018 07:55PM
1st choice: I'd try WD40 and a paper towel.

2nd choice: Simple Green and a paper towel. boink smiley
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: June 10, 2018 08:34PM
Quote
Sarcany
Been thinking about this...

If resin were leaching out then WD40 would clean it up. Alcohol would just spread it around.

This suggests that the problem isn't the plastic. It's something in the environment leaving a sticky deposit on the plastic.

In that case, the alcohol is doing little more than acting as a solvent. Soap and water would probably do as well and Formula 409 or a similar degreaser would probably be ideal for the job.

I have a bunch of rubberized iPad cases that came from a variety of different environments that are sticky like this. I've been trying to figure out the commonality for a while with no luck. I've got over 1000 of these cases and there are maybe a dozen or two that are sticky like that.

A good cleaning with alcohol seems to work.



C(-)ris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Throwback Thursday Signature:
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 10, 2018 08:36PM
....tacky.....??

.....you either have taste or you don't......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 10, 2018 09:23PM
Nope, WD-40 definitely did NOT work, nor did Goo Gone ...

And yes, I used the higher concentration of isopropyl.

Simple Green is out for me, I'm violently allergic to it.

It is interesting to me that it's only some (very few) plastics, which makes me think -- again -- that some manufacturers are either using some substandard plastic, or putting some sort of nonstandard coating on it.

One of the worst of the bunch I have is an Eton emergency radio (the crank type that has a flashlight, etc.) ... I've never seen plastic that bad, and interestingly enough, the plastic is white. The umbrella was yellow, the other couple of items I've had problems with are black -- so it's an across-the-board thing with certain manufacturers' plastics. I'm also not convinced the problem is from skin oils -- neither the radio nor the umbrella have been handled barely at all. The white plastic of the radio I've noticed has also gone from regular white to an ugly off-white. So I think it may be environmental exposure to the air down here, which may have more than the average amount of oils in it (due to refineries and chemical plants here).

Edit: some Redditors think it's a particular component in the plastics: [www.reddit.com]

Edit #2: something else that didn't even occur to me to try -- plain ethanol. I find that sometimes the different alcohols are much better/worse at dissolving stuff. I'll try that on the next item ...




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/10/2018 09:40PM by PeterB.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: June 10, 2018 09:24PM
It's much more likely that it's a breakdown of some unstable polymer or the like, than something in the environment depositing a goo on the surface.

Or possibly air combining with the surface of the item, but that's sort of covered in the first speculation.

I had a pair of Wolverine boots with soles that were some kind of petrochem-product or similar. I wore them a lot, until heavy duty footwear wasn't required. Stored in the closet and forgotten, when finally running across them, the soles were gooey and breaking up and falling off the leather (which was still in great shape). Used regularly, I suppose the soles would have worn out before returning to ooze from whence it came.

Stupidly, I canned them instead of taking them to an excellent cobbler who might have been able to resole them with quality material.






I am that Masked Man.

Your boos mean nothing to me, I've seen what you cheer for.

Insisting on your rights without acknowledging your responsibilities isn’t freedom, it’s adolescence.

I've been to the edge of the map, and there be monsters.

We are a government of laws, not men.

Everybody counts or nobody counts.

When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Frank
Date: June 10, 2018 09:32PM
This happens routinely here in Hawaii. Warm weather, high humidity & salt in the air may be the cause. I don't know but would sure like to find a solution. I just noticed the soft black steering wheel center on my Vette is getting sticky. Bummer.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: JEBB
Date: June 10, 2018 09:49PM
Smear talcum powder on the sticky items. The works for me.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: June 10, 2018 10:05PM
It was "oops" spray that I used on the sticky umbrella handle. It worked pretty well.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 10, 2018 10:15PM
I have had this happen to random stuff. Usually cheap Chinese stuff with a "rubberized" surface. I usually dissolve it off with naptha. I use either charcoal lighter fluid, or lighter fluid, which is slightly thinner and more highly refined" If it doesn't work, I toss it.

Several rubberized thumb drives, CF card reader, nose hair trimmer, those are the most recent. A while back it was a rubberized cell phone case that wasn't even removed from the package. It's just @#$%& chemistry probably. I have rubberized handled hand tools 3-4 decades old, and they are fine.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: June 10, 2018 10:35PM
Acetone worked for me on some of that kind if stuff. Really nasty fumes, but IIRC, not terribly toxic. It will leach oil out of your skin, so wear protection.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Bo
Date: June 10, 2018 11:55PM
I have the same issues on several switches in our older volvo. Window rocker switches, dash rocker switches and a few of the stereo controls. All originally kind of a rubberized non stick surface now just soft, gummy and sticky. Very annoying
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: 3d
Date: June 11, 2018 08:50AM
FYI: Dollar stores sell acetone. Handy to have in the garage when all else fails.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 11, 2018 09:50AM
3d, good to know, but also FYI, acetone will damage some plastics. Rubbing alcohol and especially ethanol are probably safer...




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: 3d
Date: June 11, 2018 10:09AM
Quote
PeterB
3d, good to know, but also FYI, acetone will damage some plastics. Rubbing alcohol and especially ethanol are probably safer...

Definitely. Acetone is the "when all else fails" type of thing to use. Nuke and pave in a bottle. Use a little q-tip first to test. I had a nice compact windproof umbrella with that deteriorated tackycrap on the handle. So gross I was just about to throw it out. Wiped the grip down with acetone. Cleaned it straight down to the smooth plastic. Perfectly smooth and clean.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: June 11, 2018 11:00AM
Depends heavily on the type of plastic. In my experience it usually happens to items that are meant to be touched and it has a elastomer overmolding (aka soft-touch texture).

Try to keep compounds such as orange juice or citrus based cleaners away from plastics. It doesn't affect all plastics, but some start to melt almost immediately upon contact. Some moisturizers also will break down plastics, particularly ones that have natural rubbers integrated into them, such as santoprene.



**************************************
MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: June 11, 2018 11:49AM
[forums.macresource.com]



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: JoeBob
Date: June 11, 2018 06:01PM
I'm going to have to try some of these- have an older briefcase that the handle is getting sticky.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: June 12, 2018 09:04AM
.....these solutions won't work on......'sticky' keyboards.....blech!



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: PeterB
Date: June 12, 2018 11:37AM
Quote
NewtonMP2100
.....these solutions won't work on......'sticky' keyboards.....blech!

Newt, not sure if you're being serious or not, but if ethanol works, that'd be perfect for most keyboards ... as it is a very safe solvent and evaporates quickly without leaving an awful odor. I could almost imagine immersing one in an ethanol bath, letting the ethanol do its thing, then pulling out, dumping the excess and letting it dry out... voila, perfectly clean/sanitized keyboard. Of course, you'd need a ton of ethanol to do that...




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: June 12, 2018 12:39PM
You might try coating the item in corn starch. It won't necessarily look great, but it won't be tacky anymore.



**************************************
MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Any fix for sticky/tacky plastic?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: June 13, 2018 12:52AM
Then you can deep fry it!
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 109
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 5122 on October 03, 2020