What to do when plastic becomes sticky?

Over the years, I've had several pieces of equipment with plastic parts that have become sticky. The latest is the rubberized part of a Sears Craftsman High Temperature Infrared Thermometer. There is also the rubberized case of a Radio Shack HTX-200 Two Meter Handheld radio.

Does anyone know of a treatment for these sticky surfaces?


Reply to
Fred McKenzie
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Know? No, but a couple of ideas. A clear acrylic coating might work. Mask off the unaffected areas and airbrush on a light coat or two of Future acrylic.

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Or, just try rubbing the sticky sections with talc?

Rich Webb     Norfolk, VA
Reply to
Rich Webb

Try vinegar. Let us know if it worked.

-- Boris

Reply to
Boris Mohar

plastic parts

a Sears



I had a pair of binoculars with a similar problem where the hard rubber/plastic parts with some black top coating that had become gooey sticky after couple of years ???

i treated it to a bath in %91 Isopropyl alcohol and it disolved and washed the sticky coating completely away exposing the hard rubber or plastic under part.

I had tried some other chemicals like acetone / methanol / tolulene which just made the stuff gooeyer, stickyer or compromised the plastic part underneath the sticky coating.

hth robb

Reply to

Methinks the plastic is slowly decomposing - so no treatment will stop the problem.

Reply to
Robert Baer


That is what I was thinking. I was hoping there was some chemical that would "passivate" the decomposing plastic.

I have some 100% Isopropyl Alcohol (fuel line water remover) that I'll try, just in case that works. If it does, I expect it will just be a matter of time before the remaining plastic starts to decompose.


Reply to
Fred McKenzie


I liked the idea of using alcohol because it would probably not hurt the underlying plastic. I tried some Isopropyl Alcohol (fuel line water remover) on the Infrared Thermometer. Just as you said, it wiped away the sticky coating.

I was surprised that the "rubberized" surface was actually a coating that had been painted onto the plastic. The alcohol acted as a paint remover. If I can disassemble the Two Meter Handheld radio's case, I'll give it a try as well. It is just too intricate to clean without getting sticky stuff inside the radio.


Reply to
Fred McKenzie

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