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how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 07, 2021 03:28PM
is there any definitive way to find out?
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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: August 07, 2021 03:39PM
Whisper softly in its ear, and ask nicely?
==
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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: lost in space
Date: August 07, 2021 04:27PM
If it's natural rubber it will have a distinct odor, like well, rubber.



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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: hal
Date: August 07, 2021 04:36PM
After a tiny bit of searching, I came up with this: plastic and be heated and reshaped - rubber can't
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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: neophyte
Date: August 07, 2021 04:57PM
Chemical analysis. Both are polymers of small hydrocarbon molecules*, so you would need to evaluate the chemical structure to determine what you have. One exception is natural rubber, which also contains some proteins, fatty acids, and inorganic salts.

It might help if you could narrow down the type of plastic or rubber you think you might have, based on the function of the item in question.

*Silicon rubber also contains silicon and some oxygen atoms.
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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 07, 2021 05:05PM
Quote
neophyte
Chemical analysis. Both are polymers of small hydrocarbon molecules*, so you would need to evaluate the chemical structure to determine what you have. One exception is natural rubber, which also contains some proteins, fatty acids, and inorganic salts.

It might help if you could narrow down the type of plastic or rubber you think you might have, based on the function of the item in question.

*Silicon rubber also contains silicon and some oxygen atoms.

Well, it is of a hard durometer but it's also over 40 years old. But I'm asking because I want to know if I can clean it (mold that seems to be embedded below the surface) and with what. So far, nothing of the household or mild chemical variety will get to the mold. It may be beyond hope, and perhaps paint will be the only solution. But then, is it plastic or rubber may be important.
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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: neophyte
Date: August 07, 2021 05:22PM
Have you tried putting paper towels soaked in 5-10% bleach on the surface, covering it with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation, and letting it sit for a day or 2? It may take that long for the bleach to diffuse into the tiny spaces the mold has grown into within the matrix of the rubber.
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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 07, 2021 06:44PM
If you have a Clorox bleach pen or the bleach version of the gel toilet bowl cleaner, it usually sticks to a surface longer and penetrates better.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: August 07, 2021 07:30PM
Quote
rgG
If you have a Clorox bleach pen or the bleach version of the gel toilet bowl cleaner, it usually sticks to a surface longer and penetrates better.

If you use bleach on rubber, you will damage it, especially if it's natural rubber. Modern synthetics are more resistant to chemical agents like that, so you'll often see bleach recommended for this type of job, but even then it's the wrong cleaning agent.

Use a mix of vinegar and borax. Borax will kill mold. Make a paste from it and clean with a soft toothbrush.



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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: August 07, 2021 07:35PM
borax. good call.



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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 07, 2021 08:37PM
Quote
neophyte
Have you tried putting paper towels soaked in 5-10% bleach on the surface, covering it with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation, and letting it sit for a day or 2? It may take that long for the bleach to diffuse into the tiny spaces the mold has grown into within the matrix of the rubber.

Thanks, I will try that.

(I choke on bleach fumes, but outside and with a respirator I'll be ok).
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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: August 07, 2021 11:00PM
.....use for contraception.....if you get baby, then plastic.....if you 'are not a baby daddy' then rubber......



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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 08, 2021 08:44AM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
rgG
If you have a Clorox bleach pen or the bleach version of the gel toilet bowl cleaner, it usually sticks to a surface longer and penetrates better.

If you use bleach on rubber, you will damage it, especially if it's natural rubber. Modern synthetics are more resistant to chemical agents like that, so you'll often see bleach recommended for this type of job, but even then it's the wrong cleaning agent.

Use a mix of vinegar and borax. Borax will kill mold. Make a paste from it and clean with a soft toothbrush.

Yep, if it is rubber the bleach could damage it.
I have had that issue with rubber toilet flappers and bleach tabs put in the toilet tank.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: how to tell if it's plastic or rubber...?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: August 08, 2021 08:47AM
Ok, I'll try the borax first
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