Thread Number: 81331  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Sticky Handles
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Post# 1053609   12/8/2019 at 17:25 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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Is there a remedy for the modern alternative rubber material used for knife handles and other items that develops a shiny sticky film?  I've scrubbed such things and it just comes back even if the item hasn't seen any use.  I have a hand crank radio in my car and its entire casing is made of this material.  At this point the whole thing is saran wrapped.


What is this stuff, and is there a way to identify it before purchasing something?  This shit is as bad as bonded leather upholstery for making anything it's attached to super annoying or even useless.

Post# 1053618 , Reply# 1   12/8/2019 at 18:13 by ea56 (Cotati, Calif.)        

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I’ve not had this happen to any of my newer knife or utensil handles Ralph. The only thing I can think of that may cause this is oil, either from your hands or oil used in preparing food. Maybe if you washed them with ammonia and hot water this will cut the slippery coating. Ammonia will cut through any kind of oil or grease.

But is this is some sort of deterioration that occurs as the material ages then there is probably nothing to reverse or prevent it.


Post# 1053620 , Reply# 2   12/8/2019 at 18:17 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Don't know but I have a Star Wars lightsaber collectible that has that kind of material on the handle and it developed the sticky-ness.  Shameful.

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Post# 1053631 , Reply# 3   12/8/2019 at 20:41 by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

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I have a USB stick that has that same sticky rubber coating. I wish I knew how to get rid of the stickiness.


Post# 1053642 , Reply# 4   12/9/2019 at 01:04 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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My entire 01 VW Beetle's interior is cover with that crap from the factory.  BMW, Audi, and Mercedes used it too and now we are having to try to figure a way to remove it without ruining the thing it's attached to.  My S500 Mercedes had it and the oils from the leather made it gross.  But there are no leather seats in my bug and I don't use armor all on I don't know what else has contributed to the stickiness other than deterioration from temperature extremes.  I have a knife with it also, but it isn't's dry and began flaking off. 

If I could get it off the surfaces in my car without damage, it would look fine.  They are the same color underneath.  I've tried Goo-gone, naphtha lighter fluid, acetone, xylene, nail polish remover, etc.  I'm about to smear mineral oil all over it hoping it will soften it enough that I can remove it with another solvent.

Post# 1053651 , Reply# 5   12/9/2019 at 05:07 by toploader55 (Massachusetts Sand Bar, Cape Cod)        

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My Dad has a Beetle Convertible in Florida.

I detailed the car for him last winter and that stuff drove me crazy. Tried all sorts of products and nothing would budge it.

It has leather seats. I searched the internet and I used baking soda to clean the seats and then put a leather conditioner on them. The seats turned out great but the Dash is still sticky and nasty. It ruins the whole look of the car's interior.

He mentioned possible replacing the dash.

Post# 1053660 , Reply# 6   12/9/2019 at 08:02 by mrboilwash (Munich,Germany)        

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Once had a small travel hair dryer with this stupid rubber coating.
At first I thought it became sticky from sweat and oils on my hands but it wasn`t just the handle so it must have been some other sort of deterioration. Needless to say there was no remedy and I`ve finally thrown it away.
Thinking again talcum powder might have been a temporary relief, but it wouldn`t look pretty on a black or other dark colored rubber coating.

If I had a problem like this in a car I`d immediately get in touch with the car dealer or manufacturer and ask for help.
If it wouldn`t get me nowhere I`d try again on their Facebook sites

Post# 1053662 , Reply# 7   12/9/2019 at 08:34 by Logixx (Germany)        

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I have Tupperware that sweats oil. The dishwasher removes it but it just comes back after some time in the cupboard. No idea what's going on.

Dito in the Soft Touch surface on certain VW cars. My 2000 VW Golf 4 has it on the lower half of the dash and some other part of the interior and it has turned into a sticky mess that rubs off into one's clothes if you bump into it. It even starts flaking off. Ugh... Googling the issue, it says heavy-duty cleaner might take it off.

Post# 1053669 , Reply# 8   12/9/2019 at 09:55 by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        

it can happen, in other ways as well.........but thats a personal matter o!o.

Post# 1053671 , Reply# 9   12/9/2019 at 10:34 by sfh074 ( )        
Common problem ....

many electronic devices has this soft silicone coating applied to hard plastic. Over time it breaks down into a sticky mess.

I had 2 Vizio TV remotes that had this coating and they became disgustingly sticky. Got to the point where you could scratch this coating off with your fingernail. I read the coating (when new) is supposed to help make the device remain in your hand without having to apply added pressure. Kind of a tactile/anti-slip coating that seems to have now come and hopefully gone. My son-in-law's 4ish year old PS2 game controller has this coating but the newer controllers don't have it. As least the one in Target on display a couple of months ago didn't have it.

As for my 2 Vizio remotes that went bad, I used a plastics cleaner that I happen to have at the time. It worked great and only took a few seconds of rubbing to take off the sticky coating. It left a dark mess that didn't wash out on a microfiber rag that I used during the cleaning process.

Post# 1053682 , Reply# 10   12/9/2019 at 11:52 by chachp (North Little Rock, AR)        

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I have a silicone (I think) spatula that has a streak of this on it if we're talking about the same thing.  It's sticky and no matter what I do it doesn't come off.  I've run it through the dishwasher and tried other things but it's still there and only on that one.  I have about 5 of the same brand and only one is doing this.  So frustrating.  Just the other day I was trying to rub it off and couldn't.

Post# 1053685 , Reply# 11   12/9/2019 at 12:27 by RP2813 (Sannazay)        

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I've managed to remove it with a good scrubbing, but it just comes back.  It had been quite a while since had scrubbed this knife, and when I removed it from the knife block the other day, it was again sticky and had the tell-tale sheen on it.


This stuff should be banned.

Post# 1055743 , Reply# 12   12/27/2019 at 18:35 by DaveTranter (Central England)        
Vile stickiness

It's probably the surface of the rubber breaking down due to oxidation. Many natural and synthetic rubbers are 'chlorinated' or 'halogenated' to help reduce the rate of oxidation. You could try gently abrading the surface to get back to 'fresh' rubber, then apply neat chlorine bleach... Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse with water and leave to dry Don't wipe, as the new protected surface is fragile until dry.

For Logixx and others with the 'oily plastic' problem.....
We have this problem with some plastic sheathed cables at work. Unfortunately, it is a sign of the plastic breaking down. the 'oily film' is a component of the plastic compound which has separated out. I don't know of any cure for this. :-(

All best

Dave T

Post# 1055757 , Reply# 13   12/27/2019 at 23:57 by thomasortega (El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles de Porciúncula)        

Humm, it reminds me a Tide Brush that I bought here in the USA several years ago. It came with a tiny bottle of Tide that had a cap that was almost like an energy drink cap (for pretreating).

After a couple of years, the Tide Brush started to dissolve. LOL.

I used to love that brush. Extremely useful for zillions of things (except pre treating clothes)

Post# 1055760 , Reply# 14   12/28/2019 at 04:03 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I've found it can be removed with 95% isopropyl alcohol. But the film may return in time, since the synthetic rubber seems to ooze it. If it's just a coating, you might be able to remove the coating and get down to a more stable but harder plastic. But if it's a thicker rubber inlay or sheath, the ooze may come back in time.

I've a very nice multi-function pruning tool, "Surecut". It opens up to very nicely made pruning shears, a saw, a thorn remover, etc. But when closed the soft rubber on the outside of the handles gets that ooze. Sad! I have some other items where it's just a superficial coating and the 95% rubbing alcohol managed to remove it for good.

Good luck. Always try whatever you use on a small area to make sure nothing bad happens.

Post# 1055948 , Reply# 15   12/30/2019 at 06:41 by askolover (South of Nash Vegas, TN)        

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I have taken smaller pieces of my car's interior out and removed the rubber coating (it's sprayed on the plastic pieces' front only) and they are black underneath.  I used 90% isopropyl alcohol to soften it and a nylon scrubber to get it off.  It worked ok but not great and scratched the finish under it requiring me to repaint it with flat black spray paint.  But when it dried it looks great and isn't sticky anymore.  But the rest of the interior just has so much on it.  I'm about to have to remove the center portion of the dash to fix the flaps in climate controls (no heat, VW's brilliant idea to use foam stuff in there hasn't worked out well either) and I'm planning on stripping that part too.  It isn't so bad on the gray parts, just mainly the black parts.

Post# 1055965 , Reply# 16   12/30/2019 at 11:21 by SudsMaster (East of SF, West of Eden, California)        

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I notice my Telo internet phone device - about 5x8 inches - has that awful coating which now is a bit sticky and collecting a lot of dust. Unfortunately I'll have to power it down in order to be able to use alcohol to try to remove the coating, since otherwise the various functions would get incorrectly activated by the rubbing.

Post# 1055997 , Reply# 17   12/30/2019 at 18:08 by bradfordwhite (space coast)        

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They sell that stuff to make it seem like it's a luxury thing.


Someone decided they'd try and make it look like standard, reliable plastic handles and surfaces were somehow bad.  Where is that person or ad agency Now?



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