Removing Sticky Rubber from Gadgets

Removing Sticky Rubber from Gadgets

$2 for 10 PCBs & 24 Hour Production:

Use Isopropyl alcohol to remove the sticky rubber residue on old computer peripherals and other gadgets. The once smooth grippy surface reverts over time to its natural liquid state, much like it was when it came out of the rubber tree. I don’t have a solution which leaves the rubber coating in place – if you’ve got any ideas, please add them to the comments.

A blog post on reversion:


  1. Billy Bass on August 12, 2022 at 1:41 am

    I’ve been trying hand sanitizer, alcohol content. It works but gets much worse b4 it gets better.

  2. Jeanette Shaw Redden on August 12, 2022 at 1:41 am

    After reading many comments, I tried 70% rubbing alcohol & a rag on 2 items & both came out very well! (1) sticky rubber handle on a Mr Coffee "milk frother" that had been in a box, new/unused for 15+ years – after scrubbing with alcohol, the handle surface was down to "hard plastic" like on a stereo or alarm clock. No big deal – not as pretty but I don’t mind at all. Before i put batteries in it, i set it out in the warm sun for several hours to dry it well. Now it works great! …. (2) two very sticky umbrella handles- only about 5-6 years old. The alcohol scrub did the trick – handles are more of a hard rubber now but that is fine with me! Both umbrellas fabric is attractive and colorful – now I don’t have to buy new stuff. I successfully recycled ♻️ what I already had. Am very happy with results ❤️

  3. Nicholas Welser on August 12, 2022 at 1:42 am

    Get to the point already!!

  4. Escorpio40 on August 12, 2022 at 1:43 am

    Wipe with alcohol and after apply ArmorAll protectant.

  5. Tomas Soejakto on August 12, 2022 at 1:44 am

    isopropyl alcohol totally works but only for awhile. sadly it would get sticky again overtime.

    But I wonder if —once I applied the IPA to de-sticky-fy the thing— that I could then cover it with some sort of paint and varnish? Does anyone know what type of paint I could use, and whether it would stop the tackiness from seeping through the paint?

    By the way I’m a casual plastic model builder so I have some acrylic and lacquer paints at my disposal.

  6. Pequod Express on August 12, 2022 at 1:45 am

    What about 70% IPA for removing stickiness from rubber that must not be removed?

  7. H.R. S. on August 12, 2022 at 1:52 am

    I tried all of the above and nothing worked on my intrastate large flashlight so I used… LA’s Totally Awesome all purpose concentrated cleaner and degreaser spot remover…it was the ONLY thing that really worked. Before that I worked an hour trying to get it un-sticky & smooth, yes it took the rubber off but who cares at least it’s not sticky which is disgusting!

  8. La Kırdı on August 12, 2022 at 1:52 am

    With baby powder you dont have the stickyness any more…

  9. Ekaterina S. on August 12, 2022 at 1:52 am

    You need to use a gauze or similar fabric together with the isopropyl alcohol. ☺️

  10. W skeleton on August 12, 2022 at 1:55 am

    How to remove it from action figures

  11. Dr. Doinkenberger on August 12, 2022 at 1:55 am

    Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) react with oils mostly, but also interact with bacteria on hands

  12. Grant MeAccess on August 12, 2022 at 1:56 am

    BEST WAY: Use 91% Isopropyl alcohol (NOT 70%) with trigger sprayer and a softer interior car trim cleaning tool. After all sticky/gummy substance has been removed. Spray plastic with 303 Aerospace Protectant. I did this on my 15 year old motorcycle glasses/goggles and they look like a brand new $50.00 pair of goggles. Best of all this did not remove the manufacture painted logo or painted registered trademarks.

  13. Jeff Hambleton on August 12, 2022 at 1:58 am

    In Saudi Arabia we were prone to having our feet covered in tar from just walking on the beach. There were two solvents that worked well.
    One was olive oil and the other was fly spray. You couldn’t even buy cough medicine if it said alcohol on the bottle, irrespective of what type it was and if by change you did come across any, you tended to drink it and keep the frankincense and myrrh for cleaning your feet.

  14. BJ Henderson on August 12, 2022 at 1:59 am

    I used alcohol with a old toothbrush and applied the alcohol over and over until it clean the residue off. Wiped off with paper towel. All done

  15. Ms Hutchison on August 12, 2022 at 2:01 am

    White Vinegar & Dawn dish soap removed ALL of the STICKY. It also polished to a mirror finish.

  16. Mike L on August 12, 2022 at 2:02 am

    Good offense is the best defense. Keep the dust off the device. Many things in household dust can, over time, react and damage those rubber coatings. Keep the dust off.

  17. Silkworm on August 12, 2022 at 2:03 am

    Hand sanitizer worked for me (62%) and the advantage is if you don’t want the more liquid version going where you dont want it.

  18. Lucas Hearne on August 12, 2022 at 2:04 am

    Great video. It was helpful to me. Thanks.

  19. Bonbon Mortel on August 12, 2022 at 2:05 am

    So you used WD40 to remove the greater part then switched to isopropyl alcohol to finish the job and come to the conclusion that WD40 is useless? Weird! What tells you that the reason why you managed to remove it with iso isn’t that you started with WD40? I’ve tried iso alone, it doesn’t work.

  20. Deathless2288 on August 12, 2022 at 2:07 am


  21. Charlie Schauer on August 12, 2022 at 2:08 am

    Rubbing alcohol worked very well for me, thanks

  22. YKLABATYD on August 12, 2022 at 2:09 am

    646 solvent worked for me, washed the parts with soapy water afterwards. 40% alcohol didn’t really help.

  23. revolutionpm on August 12, 2022 at 2:10 am

    Actually, using your tools will wear off the coating throughout the life of the tool and be noticed hardly at all.
    Gotta use your tools though.
    Also, acetone will do the job much better than alcohol, if you can endure the smell.

  24. Marcelle Daigle on August 12, 2022 at 2:12 am

    What worked best for me was Awesome cleaner! It truly did an awesome job…

  25. John Taylor on August 12, 2022 at 2:13 am

    A few years ago I used a thick rubber band to wrap a few shotgun shells around the barrel of a single-shot 410 to use as a quick reload if needed. Today the rubber band is still working, but it’s also sticky and falling apart, leaving a sticky mess on the shells. I used IPA but that didn’t work. WD40 did work and cleaned up the shells perfectly.

  26. John Burge on August 12, 2022 at 2:14 am

    After removing the stickiness there is possibly a base layer that remains a little sticky. Switch to a scourer sponge and it will come off with a little more effort and isopropyl. This worked for me.

  27. Blackbriar Blackbriar on August 12, 2022 at 2:15 am

    PlutoniumPimpJuice will take it off.

  28. Condéscending on August 12, 2022 at 2:17 am

    I just scrolled on to your video. I had a Fighting Game Controller I just bought from eBay brand new but it’s been in the box since 2007. I took it out of the box, the rubber was exactly how yours was. I just rubbed nail polish remover and it worked. Well, so far. Maybe it’ll change later on but so far so good the first 2 hours I been using it. So try Nail Polish Remover.

  29. busrevan on August 12, 2022 at 2:17 am

    Dude try nail polish remover it will get all the rubber off an may get rid of the black stain on ur drill bub

  30. June Harvey on August 12, 2022 at 2:18 am

    A post-Covid solution – hand sanitizer! Worked a treat for me🙂

  31. Barney29508 on August 12, 2022 at 2:21 am

    When you say "rubbing alcohol" do you mean "surgical spirit"?

    I’ve got loads of isopropyl alcohol, so I can use that, but which is better?

  32. Darshan Prajapati on August 12, 2022 at 2:21 am

    Just use a sanitizer

  33. Stephen Moll on August 12, 2022 at 2:22 am

    I have a Logitech mouse that had that problem. I just used one of these hand sanitizers that everyone has copious amounts of nowadays. It removed the stickiness without removing the rubber finish, it seems almost like new. No stickiness and now nice and grippy.

  34. 6PRaD0Active on August 12, 2022 at 2:23 am

    Hand sanitiser and scrape it

  35. FEMA Region 9 on August 12, 2022 at 2:24 am

    I hate when my joystick gets sticky
    Thanks Julian! 8^D

  36. claws988 on August 12, 2022 at 2:24 am

    your talk is so long winded and monotone. Felt sleepy listening to your talk. Go straight to the point instead of buying time for yourself.

  37. Richard Rudkin on August 12, 2022 at 2:25 am

    I do’t think is is reversion. Reversion describes the the status of cure of rubber when it has reached it’s optimum cure and then over cured. When this happens the physical properties regress and in serious cases the material can become sticky .This is much more of an issue in natural rubber, not so much in synthetics.

    It is far more likely that the stickiness is either a chemical attack from a substance that has been transferred to the surface that has reacted with the rubber, or alternatively it could be plasticiser or wax leaching from the material, this is called bloom.

    The staining might be discoloured plasticiser that has absorbed dirt from hands.

    Someone who nows what they are doing can fairly easily test the rubber (if it actually is rubber, it may be a plastic) and determine what it is made from, you can then chose a compatible solvent to remove the plasticiser. ( different rubbers are softened with different plasticisers).

    Sorry that that doesn’t give you a clear answer, but that is how it is.

    a retired polymer chemist 🙂

  38. John T on August 12, 2022 at 2:25 am

    Further tip: start out with 70% alcohol and a microfiber towel or cloth material or I will leave lint behind stuck to it. If 70% doesn’t work well enough, THEN move on to a higher percentage. Acetone will remove it too, but it also may remove the paint from the plastic; basically it works too well.

  39. Xmetal on August 12, 2022 at 2:25 am

    i guess it depends on the thickness and how bad the issue is but after using some IZOP. Alc. on stuff like this WITHOUT actually removing the rubber coating, it seems fine with that alone, on the few things I have tried it with

  40. Hans de Groot on August 12, 2022 at 2:29 am

    wd40 did not works for me the can was finished 🙂 I used oven degreaser (dubro) with strong cloth and that worked it aloso degreased my hands. betteer wear gloves when using that stuff.

  41. Lo on August 12, 2022 at 2:29 am

    Ehy doesn’t this happen to my dad’s old school stuff and only stuff I’ve bought in the past 10 years?

  42. George Matz on August 12, 2022 at 2:30 am

    right on!!

  43. Philipp Dase on August 12, 2022 at 2:30 am

    Just got my old black widow joystick out of the attic and went to find a video to show me how to remove the sticky rubber stuff. Amazed that I found yours straight away. I found that surgical spirit works great (and all the lettering stayed too!!). Thanks for the video

  44. R Zu on August 12, 2022 at 2:31 am

    I hope manufacturers will wake up and stop putting this crap on their products.

  45. Shore Diver on August 12, 2022 at 2:31 am

    I just bought two discontinued, old stock blow dryers. The exact kind I have used for the last 10 years but, now, the manufacturer has change the controls’ design. When I opened the boxes, I found that both of the dryers were incredibly sticky! I used the technique recommended here. Plain old rubbing alcohol. And it worked!! 👍😁 Takes a bit of elbow grease, but it works absolutely beautifully!
    Thanks so very much!

  46. Fede de Marcos on August 12, 2022 at 2:31 am

    Haven’t tried yet, but I saw on another video that a guy used ArmorAll Original Protector to clean stickyness from a Zoom H5 audio recorder without removing the rubber coat and painted letters.
    htt ps: / / ww w . youtube . com / watch?v=I13rDgTdxPA

  47. BJ Henderson on August 12, 2022 at 2:32 am

    I used alcohol and an old toothbrush until it felt smooth. Wiped off with a paper towel. Walla

  48. Bella Bee on August 12, 2022 at 2:34 am

    I camera body got this sticky rubber thing, and while wrestling with it I got black stains on my sweatshirt! Tried using iso and it did loosen it a bit, but left a black ring as the solvent spread it out! Chromatography! Not enough, I guess. I also tried lighter fluid and that did not shift the rubber. I shall go back in with more iso after seeing your efforts, thank you.
    I’ve read that dry cleaning fluid also works. You might find something useful in the stain devil range.

  49. John Chadwick on August 12, 2022 at 2:36 am

    Talcum powder. I have some speakers not used for 3 years. The rubber had gone sticky. A bit of talcum powder in the hand rubbed into the rubber and stickiness gone in a minute 😁

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