How To Clean Sticky Rubberised Plastic Easily At Home

You might have become a cleaning expert! From your enamel bath and blinds to the extractor fan and your chandelier. But what about sticky rubberised plastic? Do you know how to clean it and remove the sticky surface? Your first thought should probably be to start scrubbing it with your fingernail. It’s a way; unfortunately, it’s not very effective. Or you might have read that talcum powder, white spirit, acetone or nail polish remover can successfully clean it. However, you better avoid them as talc is just a temporary solution, and the next three might melt the rubber coating.

A woman cleaning the rubberised remote control

Well, luckily, instead of damaging your manicure to clean hard plastic from the sticky residue, there are more effective ways to do it. There are many products you can buy from the nearest store; there are also plenty of household ingredients, which can get the job done along with some elbow grease. Are you ready to walk you through the process of cleaning sticky rubberised plastic at home without damaging it?

Why does rubber get sticky?

Many products, like electronics, are covered with rubber for extra protection to the plastic surface. That rubber cover on new products is vulcanised to help with the grip. However, due to temperature and UV exposure, it starts to deteriorate, breaks down and becomes sticky.

That’s the natural reason for the rubber to become sticky. There’s also one more reason why this might happen. And that’s human interaction. Rubber can get sticky because you have spilt something on it, a beverage, for example. Which hopefully is easy to clean up.

How to clean sticky rubberised plastic with alcohol

If you have ever tried to remove sticker residue from a jar, then you should know that alcohol is one of the best ways to do it. The same applies to rubberised plastic as well. Rubbing alcohol (or isopropyl alcohol) can dissolve the adhesive from the plastic surface and remove the sticky stuff, plus grime and grease. Test it first in a small area to be sure that the alcohol won’t damage your item.

A bottle of rubbing alcohol used to clean sticky rubberised plastic

Needed materials

  • Isopropyl alcohol(IPA)
  • A clean cloth

Steps to follow:

  1. Get a clean rag and fold it in half once or twice to form a square. If you don’t have a cloth, you can use some paper towels instead.
  2. Pour some isopropyl alcohol in the middle of the cloth to dampen it.
  3. Then, wipe the sticky area with the rubbing alcohol.

And that’s all! You don’t need to let it dry, as the alcohol evaporates really fast. There are, though, a couple of things you need to know before you start the cleaning with alcohol.

  1. Rubbing alcohol can remove the colour from certain types of plastic. Thus, test the alcohol first in an inconspicuous area before applying it to the surface to ensure that your item won’t be damaged.
  2. If the plastic item has crevices or any sensitive parts, like a keyboard, ensure that the cloth is barely dampened so the alcohol won’t drip down the crevices.

How to clean sticky rubberised plastic with a magic eraser

This eraser is made of melamine foam, and it’s one of the best ways to remove phone scratches. What’s more, it is very handy in cleaning sticky rubber parts on items, mainly on electronics, where you’re worried about using liquid solvents.

Needed materials:

  • A magic eraser

Steps to follow:

  1. Wipe the sticky surface with the eraser.
  2. Keep wiping until the stickiness is completely gone.

How to clean sticky rubberised plastic with baking soda

Baking soda is an inexpensive ingredient we all keep in our kitchen cupboards. It’s been used for cooking but also cleaning purposes, with amazing results. You can use it to clean your oven and microwave, get stains off the carpet and the list goes on and on. It’s also great to clean residue from plastic, like in the remote control.

Baking soda in a glass jar on a wooden surface

Needed materials:

  • A small bowl
  • Baking soda
  • Water
  • A spoon
  • A soft cloth

Steps to follow:

  1. Start the process by mixing equal amounts of baking soda and water. Put them in a small container and stir them with a spoon until you form a paste.
  2. Then, apply the mixture onto the sticky plastic with your finger and scrub in circular motions. Make sure that you cover the whole surface.
  3. Next, get a soft, damp cloth and wipe the item until you remove the paste from the plastic. If necessary, rinse the cloth under running water and repeat until there’s no paste residue left. If there are any crevices, use a toothpick or cotton swab to clean the paste.
  4. Finally, let the object air dry.

EXTRA TIP: If you wipe a battery compartment with the damp cloth, leave it open to air dry too. What’s more, avoid using any abrasive tools, like a scouring pad to scrub the paste. You will damage your rubber plastic piece. Instead, use a toothbrush with soft bristles.

How to clean sticky rubberised plastic with soap and water

Another easy way to clean sticky rubber surfaces is to use your dishwashing detergent. It’s very effective, especially when dealing with soft plastic, like an ID, plastic playing cards, and any other item you are afraid of damaging its rubber coating.

Dish soap, plate, and dish sponge on a dark background

Needed materials:

  • A small bowl
  • Warm water
  • Dish soap
  • Soft cloths

Steps to follow:

  1. Fill a small bowl with warm water, add a tablespoon of liquid dish soap, and stir them with a spoon.
  2. Dip one corner of the cloth into the soapy solution quickly and pull it out immediately. The cloth shouldn’t get too soaked.
  3. Next, rub the cloth over the entire sticky rubber part until you get rid of the sticky residue.
  4. Finally, once you finish, dry the item with a dry cloth.

EXTRA TIP: If you don’t have a clean, dry cloth, you can use paper towels or napkins. However, they might leave some lint behind. A microfiber cloth is a perfect solution. Cut an old T-shirt into rags and use them.

How to prevent the rubber from getting sticky

Prevention is better than cure. Rubber gets sticky because of ageing and environmental factors. You can keep your rubberised plastic items in pristine conditions just by following our below tips:

    1. Keep your rubberised object in a controlled environment with a humidifier.
    2. Add an extra layer of protection for the rubber using polyurethane, especially to new rubberised items or those without electronics.
    3. Keep them out of direct sunlight.

A wooden surface with a mobile phone, headphone, a mouse and mouse pad

With these simple cleaning methods, you can clean your sticky rubberised plastic easily at home. It isn’t so hard to get rid of the stickiness, and you don’t need to spend a fortune on products. Materials that you keep in your cupboards can help you. Follow our tips and keep your rubberised plastic brand new!

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