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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 12th Dec 2023, 9:35 pm   #1
wireless_john
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Default Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

I went to the Swapmeet at Royal Wootton Bassett on the 8th and got talking to the trader that always sets up next to where you register for the auction and have your bidding card printed.

He had a black shiny meter on his table and he was telling me that it had originally been covered in that black soft touch coating that we all know about that had gone sticky and horrible to touch. Exactly like my wifes Pure DAB radio so I asked him how he got it off.

He told me he used Cillit Bang and that crucially it doesn't take the legends off above the push buttons. He said you have to leave it on for a few minutes then wipe it off and it may need two attempts but assured me it does work.

So, the next day, I bought some, armed myself with a couple of old towels and tried it on the radio and sure enough, it works! Took me about an hour. There are a few patches that need another go but nowhere is it sticky now.

Around the push buttons and speaker holes on the front, I applied it with cotton wool buds to minimise how much trickles down into the radio.

In the past I've had some success on a memory stick with foaming cleanser but it didn't work on the radio so I wonder if the formulation of this black stuff varies between manufacturers. Cillit Bang certainly worked on the radio. Cillit Bang seem to sell different products, this is the one with bleach. The radio is a 13 years old Pure Classic One and had become almost unusable. Hoping to be able to upgrade it to DAB+ in the New Year although I realise that's a long shot!

John
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Last edited by wireless_john; 12th Dec 2023 at 9:36 pm. Reason: Typo
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Old 12th Dec 2023, 9:42 pm   #2
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

There have been previous threads on this topic.

The consensus seems to be that there is no single treatment that works for all coatings of this type. You just have to experiment.
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Old 13th Dec 2023, 2:57 pm   #3
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

Cillit Bang, like WD40 or Swarfega, is a _range_ of products [with separate varieties sold for Limescale and Dirt, Black Mould & Mildew, kitchen degreasing etc].

I guess there may be variations in how effective these would be in removing the degraded sticky-stuff, which would explain how some people reported it worked and others said it didn't.
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Old 13th Dec 2023, 5:31 pm   #4
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

Yes, the one I bought was the one with bleach in it.

John
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Old 14th Dec 2023, 11:05 am   #5
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

A recent success on a sticky PC joystick used a soak in a hot washing soda solution, whereupon the coating was almost self-removing.
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Old 14th Dec 2023, 11:22 am   #6
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

As Paul says, there's no one solution. It seems that what shifts it depends on the specific formulation of the original coating. In my case, it was a Pure DAB radio, and I had tried quite a few other things on it before I tried Cillit Bang.

John
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Old 22nd Dec 2023, 1:01 am   #7
terrybull
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

I removed all traces of the sticky black muck from a small radio with nail varnish remover (Acetone). Very effective.
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Old 22nd Dec 2023, 7:08 am   #8
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

It'll be worth trying some of these approaches on the black muck residue that was once drive belts.

David
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Old 22nd Dec 2023, 8:54 am   #9
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

I think the vendor at RWB convinced me to try it because he had an example of where he had used it with him, and assured me that it wouldn't take the lettering off over the buttons etc. It didn't, and it did work!

John
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Old 2nd Jan 2024, 11:48 pm   #10
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

I know this is at least the second such thread but one thing I don't remember seeing mentioned is whether the rubber coating is actually transparent on black, or whether the coating itself is opaque black.

I'm asking because I have here a 'Polaroid' branded DAB radio which I acquired from another forum member and repaired - still working fine, but the black rubber coating has started to turn almost unbearably sticky.

All the white labelling of the control button functions is on the black casing / black coating next to the buttons.

This begs the question: If I remove the rubber coating, will I also remove the button legends, or are they screen printed on the black casing and is the rubber coating in fact transparent?
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Old 3rd Jan 2024, 9:24 am   #11
wireless_john
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

Good question! On our Pure DAB radio, the legends are on the plastic and Cillit Bang didn't take them off. This was also the case with the meter on the traders stall at RWB.
That would imply that the coating is transparent, but it doesn't look that way on the towel when it's coming off. I guess the answer is, tread carefully!

John
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Old 3rd Jan 2024, 1:44 pm   #12
Steve G4WCS
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

Isopropyl alcohol worked for me on a very sticky pair of japanese binoculars
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Old 4th Jan 2024, 12:21 am   #13
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

As others have pointed out, Cillit Bang probably used to be a single product but has now expanded out into a 'range' of Cillit Bang Products.

This being the case, it would be all too easy for someone to go out and buy the 'wrong' Cillit Bang product for this purpose with potentially disastrous results.

wireless_john, would you mind posting an image of the label on the -actual- Cillit Bang product which worked for you for this purpose? Of course it still may not work in all cases and could even still do damage to some items, but it would be helpful to know the exact product used in your case.
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Old 4th Jan 2024, 8:48 am   #14
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

According to the Safety Data Sheets there are 2 Cillit bang products that contain bleach - "Black Mould Remover" and "Bleach and Hygiene". Interestingly both appear to contain exactly the same amount of sodium hypochlorite and Amines.

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Old 5th Jan 2024, 5:23 pm   #15
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

Mine was 'bleach and hygiene'.

John
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Old 5th Jan 2024, 11:10 pm   #16
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

I tried a few products on a Denver DAB to reduce the stickiness.
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Old 11th Jan 2024, 7:35 pm   #17
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Default Re: Sticky Black Coating on a DAB Radio

On some non-radio items but based on this thread I used the "Grease and Sparkle" version (the first one that came out of the kitchen cupboard) to remove the soft touch coating, letting it soak for a few seconds then using an old toothbrush to spead it around, washed it off and repeated if required and it removed all the coating.

Ian
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