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Soft Feel Finish on Radio

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RMA01/04/2019 12:58:12
154 forum posts

I'm sure I'm not the only one to have this problem. I have a small Blue Tooth Speaker/Radio which has a rubberised soft feel to the case. It's a couple of year's old and now the surface has become tacky and very unpleasant. I've just taken my binoculars out of the case and I notice the same thing has happened to them!

Has anyone on here encountered the same problem, and have you found a way of removing the tackiness? I did try detergent on the radio to no effect.

Thanks

Jeff Dayman01/04/2019 14:07:44
1559 forum posts
37 photos

Could be the result of de-polymerised soft touch paint. This stuff is/was used on hard plastics to give a nice tactile effect but the chemistry goes off after some time on some parts if it was not mixed exactly right to begin with. Not much to be done with it except scrape it all off, but this will ruin the finish.

Some years ago there was an "overcoat" product offered to supposedly re-catalyse the soft touch resin but this stuff didn't apply well an also trapped any dust or dirt already on the surfaces.

Bill Davies 201/04/2019 14:30:06
83 forum posts
10 photos

I have it on a number of items. I bought several pairs of Lidl's Bresser binoculars several years ago, they are all tacky. A dirt cheap mains drill (from B&Q? a decade ago??), the body is hard plastic but other bits are artificial rubber (including the strain relief grommet) and all went tacky. They are now falling apart. Poor materials, or the future green world where everything is biodegradable.

I can remove most of the stickiness on the binoculars using washing up liquid, but not all. They are stored in their original boxes, perhaps this is bad? But the stickiness returns. I have assumed it was the plasticisers leaking out, and presumably the next stage is the plastic falling apart, just like the power drill.

I have also tried dusting with talc, but it doesn't look good, plus it is not a permanent cure.

John 7701/04/2019 14:52:18
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10 forum posts
7 photos

I have had the same problems on different items and have found that white spirit or Isopropyl alcohol removes it after a lot of rubbing with a cloth.

Rik Shaw01/04/2019 15:13:44
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1305 forum posts
351 photos

I used to own an early digital SLR camera and the rubber hand grip became sticky. I tried all sorts without success until finally the problem went away. (Thank you Ebay)

Rik

Grindstone Cowboy01/04/2019 16:16:19
112 forum posts
1 photos

A careful dusting with talcum powder usually helps, at least for a while. Looks pretty awful, though.

Frances IoM01/04/2019 16:47:36
620 forum posts
22 photos
the tuning knobs on my Smart car radios (prob 2000 vintage) went completely tacky a few years ago - managed to find a replacement set for one + just replaced the other radio as too unpleasant to use whilst driving as the tacky residue stuck to fingers.
Philip Rowe01/04/2019 16:52:59
170 forum posts
14 photos

I've had all manner of items where this has happened, the latest being the remote for the Sky box, in this case after about 2 weeks of stickiness the rubber has now started to disintegrate. Fortunately I'm not too worried as I've decided to ditch Sky after their latest price rise and switch to Freesat. I too have tried all manner of potions and powders, some work for a short time but I haven't found anything permanent, its just another one of the modern world's annoying tricks sent go upset old folks like me.

Phil

RMA01/04/2019 17:33:20
154 forum posts

Seems it's a common problem then, but so far I've only had the two products fail. Since posting I've done a little research on the web and there doesn't seem to be a conclusive answer, but the Isopropyl alcohol seems the best method although apparently time consuming. Immersion in this fluid for a while and then scrubbing with a stiff brush will remove the 'crud' and get back to base. Difficult to do with the radio though.

Can this fluid be bought over the counter, or have the EU stopped us doing that as well? I remember when I was about 14 or 15 going into the chemists and asking for a bottle of Ether. I was asked what it was for and when I said I make my own Diesel fuel for my model aircraft, they just handed it over....how times change!

I guess putting this material on products ensures a limited life, I will however try and avoid buying anything else that's covered in the stuff. My binoculars weren't particularly cheap either!

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Jon Lawes01/04/2019 18:00:15
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313 forum posts

The disabled hand controls in my car did this when parked up for a while. I went to use it again and the rubber hand grip for the throttle/brake had turned to blu-tac.

pgk pgk01/04/2019 18:03:28
1397 forum posts
278 photos

Ebay seems to be the place to buy chemicals these days and somehow the sellers get away with posting noxious stuff with limited packaging (at least the few I've bought). Acetone, isopropyl alochol both available.. and I just looked and ether sold too ..

pgk

Neil Wyatt01/04/2019 18:07:16
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Moderator
16257 forum posts
679 photos
74 articles
Posted by John 77 on 01/04/2019 14:52:18:

I have had the same problems on different items and have found that white spirit or Isopropyl alcohol removes it after a lot of rubbing with a cloth.

 

Ditto.

Isopropyl alcohol is readily available. I currently am using a spray bottle of 'whiteboard cleaner' which I use of loads of different things.

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 01/04/2019 18:09:28

Ian S C02/04/2019 09:37:11
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7427 forum posts
230 photos

Last year the grips on the handle bars of my bike went into melt down, what a sticky mess that was. No Chinese bike that one, a Marin, made in USA.

Ian S C

Hopper02/04/2019 10:47:06
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3651 forum posts
72 photos

I'd be very surprised if most of Marin's components were not made in China. Like Harley Davidson's today. And BMW's. And just about everything else.

The old quality fade strikes again. Component manufacturers and contractors reduce the amount of costly stabiliser put in rubber products so they last a few years and then start reverting back to the sticky liquid stuff drained out of a tree that the rubber is made from, or back to the sticky synthetic substitute used.

Nick Hulme02/04/2019 16:22:22
694 forum posts
37 photos

Acetone cleans it off quite quickly although might affect the base material - always do your test patch!

Ian S C03/04/2019 10:58:55
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7427 forum posts
230 photos

Twenty five years ago we bought a couple of dozen wheels ex Willys Jeep, govt surplus, and the tires had gone the other way, they were as hard as iron, mostly cut off with the angle grinder, they had been stored outside for a good many years, but the wheels cleaned up like new. I was at the time helping to restore/rebuild Jeeps.

Ian S C

Martin W03/04/2019 11:26:12
790 forum posts
29 photos

Isopropyl Alcohol can be bought from CPC (Farnell) in either 400ml aerosols or 1lt cans. I always have some around for general cleaning as it leaves a smear free finish and does not attack most plastics though it will affect some paints. It's also good for removing emulsion paint after it has dried, as is methylated spirits, which it useful for cleaning those bits you didn't really mean to paint.

MartinW

Jon05/04/2019 21:10:23
988 forum posts
46 photos
Posted by RMA on 01/04/2019 17:33:20: Can this fluid be bought over the counter,

Very very limited i only know of one place in England that sells soft touch paint. Theres a min order of 2 ltrs (2 cans) and hardner about £130.

Wont find it on ebay either unless in USA and no one will export, come to think of it neither did the shops or producers there.

Acetone wouldnt fetch this stuff off plastics and woods but could on aluminium anodised wash it off with running water with aid of your nail.

SteveW06/04/2019 13:50:51
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111 forum posts
10 photos

Wine bottle stopper changed to a thick black gloop in our cutlery drawer. With some elbow grease it did all come off with methanol. Will now have to finish the bottle...wink

Neil Wyatt06/04/2019 17:53:13
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Moderator
16257 forum posts
679 photos
74 articles
Posted by Jon on 05/04/2019 21:10:23:
Posted by RMA on 01/04/2019 17:33:20: Can this fluid be bought over the counter,

Very very limited i only know of one place in England that sells soft touch paint. Theres a min order of 2 ltrs (2 cans) and hardner about £130.

Wont find it on ebay either unless in USA and no one will export, come to think of it neither did the shops or producers there.

Acetone wouldnt fetch this stuff off plastics and woods but could on aluminium anodised wash it off with running water with aid of your nail.

Or you could invest £7.99 in a can of rubberised spray paint from Halfords?

www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductMobileDisplay?catalogId=10151&storeId=10001&productId=764729&categoryId=165495&langId=-1

Neil

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