Are your plastic products melting or disintegrating into a sticky gooey mess?

If so, your not alone, some of mine are too.

And I wasn't going to post about this when I first discovered it happing to some things I purchased a year or so back, but I'm finding more and more of the things I've paid good money for doing so. Hence this post.

I'm finding many products made from plastic, within a year of purchase and manufacture date, disintegrating or melting into this sticky gooey mess.

First it was a pair of Headphones in which the ear muff just disintegrated into powder. Then another that not only disintegrated into little specks of black foam but when touched just flattened out into a sticky doughy mass. Like bread when the dough isn't cooked enough.

If told a pair of ear phones or ear buds were going to disintegrate in your ear - would you have bought them? I think not.

Then I found my Dell monitor trim doing the same thing. Seriously Dell... like you don't have a high enough spread on your bottom line you need to get that cheap in quality. And this was not a cheap led flat screen. And even if it was, I don't expect the trim to start disintegrating.

The worst so far has been a cordless screwdriver type thing. Brand new. Only used once and put back into the package and stored. I took it out about 6 months before taking it out again only to find the handle which is made of a soft touch rubber like plastic had melted. Or better described as reverted back to a semi liquid sticky goo. When I grabbed the handle quite literally my hand molded into the soft rubber/plastic handle. When I took my hand off, a gooey stringy mess came with it. I've had to  wrap it in a plastic bag. I thought it odd and put it away.

Next was a mouse I bought with a soft touch feel, you know the ones. Hard plastic but with a soft touch coating that looks and feels when new pretty dang cool. It too started to disintegrate back to a semi-liquid gooey sticky mess. So I tossed it. Thinking maybe I got something on it, but couldn't figure out what.

Then I noticed other things - like my Creative Labs Inspire T10 Desktop speakers which the front grill area has this soft touch matt finish, when I went to dust them off, were sticky. And they have gotten worse and worse.

Creative Inspire T10 Powered Speakers
Look great new - but in a year look out.
The above are new - This is mine after about 8 months and I paid more for the finish!

You can see clearly the brownish sticky goo all over the front face.
Here again you can see the finish turning to a sticky goo.
Everything is sticking to it, dust, the landlords cat hair.
Even a plastic bag remnant to the left side.
I wonder what is happening to the inside, as I've also
noticed the controls becoming sluggish.


I contacted Creative about this today, and hopefully they will offer a replacement set. If your speakers are doing the same, I suggest you contact them as well.

One thing I noticed, and this is not a down rank on China, but all the products I have that are melting into this sticky gooey mess, are made in China. I don't know what the type plastic is that gives it a soft feel that they are coating the hard plastic with. But it certainly, on these products, is not holding up.  While other products with a similar soft feel coating, are holding up fine, also made in China. Obviously it's not the same quality plastic being used between the them.

Sounds to me like possibly some corporate leaders have pinched too many pennies to raise the bottom line at the expense of a little too much quality.

Either way - this is getting a little ridiculous with these products being produced in China being made using toxic, or incredibly inferior ingredients.

I have to think to myself, and out loud, How do you manufacture a product and not know with in a year or two it's going to disintegrate or produce acid or turn black and have mushrooms growing out of it?

Seriously I ask those in charge. You didn't know?
Oohh suuuure you didn't. wink wink

Lets try and do better for 2014 shall we?
(That's a rhetorical question)

57 comments:

  1. Ya, I had the same problem with the same speakers.. Cleaned it up with (lots) of windex and paper towels. Now the plastic is smooth again, at least for now.

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    1. did the clean with windex stay ok? or has it returned?

      Delete
  2. Many of those "soft touch", matt coatings (which they love to use these days) will get sticky like that fairly quickly. Fortunately the sticky coating can be easily removed with regular rubbing alcohol most of the time (the coating is often alcohol based). Petroleum or oil based cleaners/solvents usually don't work very well and often just make it worse.

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  3. I've tried using Rubbing Alcohol, Windex and the like on the speakers, the images above are after trying both. It dried it up to the point it wasn't as sticky, but, that was short lived. It became very sticky/gooey all over again.

    My understanding is the rubberized or "soft touch" coating was tried on dashboards in cars as well years back. They too became supper sticky as well. And alcohol was the recommended solution to dry up the stickiness.

    Personally, I don't want to use anything. I'd prefer a product that doesn't self disintegrate after a short time of ownership. This is something that goes beyond warranty into the area of quality of product.

    The brand new screw gun is totally useless. I'm thinking of cutting the rubber off and making a wooden handle replacement for it. Though not eager to jump into the goo just yet.

    Creative Labs - the makers of the above speakers - Did do the honorable thing and replace them. Though it took a few months (3) and the cost of shipping these to them, wasn't cheap -$25, actually too high in my opinion, but still half the cost of a new set given Creative Labs paid the shipping back to me.

    Creative Labs also let me know they were made specifically for Dell as part of a computer media center package. Yet CompUSA had sold them to me not as a part of a Media Center but a separate "better version" of the Creative Labs speakers costing more. Which is another can of worms I we can do with out and something I won't get into now.

    Bottom line no matter who makes the product - they should replace it if it disintegrates like this. Better yet, they should test the products going into the end product before releasing it.

    The only person that made out is the person that sold a manufacturer this type rubber. The cost is the reputation of the manufacturer, the product line and especially the ecology, since with-in a short time it all becomes something for the trash bin when it should and could have lasted a decade or more if made properly or out of a different material all together.

    I'm looking at wood again for speakers... No chance of a gooey mess to deal with. And is bio degradable to boot.

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    1. I called the manufacturer of my drill gun, Alltrade, and they said the rubber became tacky/sticky because it had been stored in a hot climate, which is true. I live in southern CA. He suggested using de-natured alcohol (not regular alcohol) to clean it. I've been trying WD-40, but it's a lot of work and I'm not sure it's doing the trick. My hands are so sticky, I can't feel much difference. LOL Guess I'll try WD-40 on my hands? Yes, it did clean my fingers, so I'll keep cleaning the drill.

      Delete
  4. I think it first happened to me with a Logitech mouse. That was several years ago, and I didn't find a good solution. I also didn't find any comments about this problem when I searched google at that time. But now I see that there are many discussions about this, and several suggestions for a cure.
    Yesterday I decided to do something about the sticky soft touch paint on my cordless drill, and I discovered that the solution was readily available among my normal household chemicals. It's a concentrated very alkaline type of soft soap that is traditionally used for washing wooden floors, and also known to work as a paint remover (in the concentrated form). I'm just not sure what is the right name in english. It's a type of potassium soap, and as mentioned it is concentrated, so it is very alkaline, and it is a rather firm gel. So I can rub the gel on the surfaces with an old toothbrush, and since it is a firm gel, it only goes where I put it. After a couple of minutes I can wipe it off with a paper towel, or scrape it off with a knife when I want to avoid pushing it into screwholes or shadowlines.
    I finished off wiping with a damp cloth, and my cordless drill is now nice and clean, but without any of the original soft touch surface.

    I found another person having trouble finding the correct name for this type of soap, and he has included some pictures and more info: http://syobelix.blogspot.dk/2013/10/a-tribute-to-sticky-stuff-removing-glue.html

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  5. I just cleaned the rubberized coating that turned to a sticky mess off of my older joystick. 91% rubbing alcohol and a rag took it right off.

    I wouldn't trust the regular 70% stuff to take it off though as it probably isn't string enough.

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  6. scratch a lil bit with a melamine sponge (magic eraser) + rubbing alcohol,worked great on my keyboard qpad mk 50, also my headphone AKG K 518DJ had the same thing.

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  7. I have a 2 way radio antenna which after about 10 years had the coating start to go sticky, I cleaned it off with some kitchen towel and some 80% Aniseed Absinthe (Bright red and foul tasting) that my brother brought back for me when abroad somewhere. It cleared the rubber right off and its now a nice shiny black plastic and no longer sticky. So maybe its worth looking in the drinks cabinet!

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  8. My complaint is regarding the fake thin plastic leather coating often found on headphones (the pads). I have Sony headphones and Radio Shaft headphones that both had the coating peeling off after just a few years indoors, in normal temperatures. It was like *WHERE* are all these "black specks" coming from. It's called environmental testing and companies won't do it because it would mean smaller in-ground pools for execs and CEOs. I used a pet roller extra-sticky lint roller to get all the flaking coating off the products, just passing along the suggestion. I also had a "Kensington" mouse with soft pads that turned into black glue. Companies are supposed to be doing accelerated environmental testing.

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    1. Actually, what you, I and others may be seeing is due to then trying to make plastics more environmentally safe.

      From what I'm understanding via various readings is that these plastics are being made from alcohol or some derivative thereof, in hopes of making them able to break down over time when tossed into a dump somewhere. And this is a good thing... however, they didn't test them to enough, and they are breaking down almost immediately.

      I understand their difficulty I'm making plastics environmentally safe. And I want them to be. But I also want a product that will last. If plastic is not the answer, or they can't find a satisfactory solution. ie: one that disintegrated once in the ground not before: then they need to find an alternate material to manufacture them with.

      Just my 2 cents...

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  9. I have had several products now that were coated with this rubbery texture, and they ALL have turned into this sticky goo. One was a pocket digital recorder; another a pair of FMRS radios, and another the LCD monitor in my RV. What is happening here is that the thin rubber layer is de-vulcanizing over time. Whatever company has specialized in this rubber coating process (some China company?) has done a VERY poor design job for this process. And is having VERY poor quality control procedures in place. So it is pretty clear to me that ALL products you buy with this coating, will have this problem within one or two years. The remedy; Do NOT buy products that have this rubber finish.
    What to do with equipment that already has turned into goo? The only thing you can do is to remove the sticky mess. The best solvent for that is isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol 95%). It will dissolve the sticky mess but leaves the underplaying plastic unharmed. Sounds nicer than it is though; because all the writing (white text that might be on your equipment) also will disappear in this cleaning process. There is nothing you can do about this. Another problem is that the underlaying plastic substrate won't look nice after the cleaning, as it was never designed to look nice - it was going to be covered with the rubber coating anyway. For instance, often you will see the flow patterns from the molding process in it. Really looks poor. So the best way to deal with this is as follows: first take the product completely apart so that you only have the plastic casings, then clean them thoroughly with alcohol, and then spray paint the plastic parts again with PlastiKote spray paint (in whatever color you want). The end result will look real nice (albeit without the lettering, that will be gone).
    However, this is a MASSIVE amount of work that you probably will not want to do for stuff that was cheap to begin with. But for more expensive stuff it might make sense. But the best remedy is: Don't buy products with this rubbery coating in the first place!!!

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  10. I am so glad for the internet and "problem seach-ability"!! I too have the CL T10 speakers and yes, they are getting worse and worse by the day. I am going to contact them to complain but I am glad to hear I am not the only one. In the meanwhile, I will try some of these cleaning suggestions tonight.

    wink48@aol.com

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  11. Same speakers,,.same sticky problem! I used 91& rubbing alcohol and only 3 hald sheet paper towels. Took about 5 min per speaker and they are no longer sticky. Wonder how long this will last, but at least much improved.

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    1. @ DRAGONFLY440
      I did the same with mine, I can't remember exactly how long it will last, I want to say maybe a month before you'll notice then getting sticky again.

      Definitely write them, be patient and insist that this is not a warranty issue but rather a "manufacturing defect".

      I can't guarantee they'll replace them, I'm pretty confident they will since they did the right thing by me and replaced mine. It just took three months... so like I said, be patient.

      And don't sweat the multi post, it happens and I caught it.
      Best of luck.

      Delete
  12. Whoa...sorry! I think I attempted to publish my first post 3-4 times. I just now noticed the memo stating the comments had to be approved. My apologies for the duplicate posts!

    The first comments were posted as wink48@aol.com

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  13. I have a Foodsaver V1205 that has this issue all over it! I barely used it and I hate to throw it out since I spent a bit of $ on it.
    I had stopped using it because of this sticky mess and couldn't clean it.
    I just used 91% rubbing alcohol and it's not sticky, BUT it looks terrible. Not sure if this will last but they need to do a lot more testing on these plastics especially for items that are used with food.

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    1. Same here with the food saver. Same model. All the black plastic parts have turned to a sticky good, I'll try the alcohol, but not holding my breath it will remove it, as I've tried all kinds of scrubbing with cleansers to no avail. As you said, my machine was expensive. it still works fine, but I do hate having to take it out of the cupboard to use it with the sticky goo to have to handle.

      Delete
    2. Same here with the food saver. Same model. All the black plastic parts have turned to a sticky good, I'll try the alcohol, but not holding my breath it will remove it, as I've tried all kinds of scrubbing with cleansers to no avail. As you said, my machine was expensive. it still works fine, but I do hate having to take it out of the cupboard to use it with the sticky goo to have to handle.

      Delete
  14. Stumbled across this while looking for a solution for the melting plastic on my 15yr old headphones...I stopped using them a long time ago because the hard plastic fatigued and broke but I wanted to fix it to use again...anyway, same thing has happend to my old phones when I dug them out of the drawers. melting soft touch plastics.
    I'm pretty its just planned obsolescence...the sooner our products break down the sooner we need to buy new things to keep the economy running and boost profits of these giant corporations.
    For more information on this concept watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfbbF3oxf-E

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  15. Baby powder may be used to restore the rubber finish.
    1. Rub the powder with a brush or with your fingers.
    2. Wipe the excess with a dry paper towel.
    3. Clean the surface with a damp towel.

    Good luck!

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    Replies
    1. Whoa, I'd tried everything and just about given up on my soft touch rubber mouse, but this baby powder trick totally saved the day! Thanks for the tip. :-)

      Delete
  16. Where do you live?
    I notice the same problem with many plastic objects when I moved to Cancun; a very hot and humid climate. This problem never happened to me when I lived in a dry mild climate.

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    Replies
    1. I have the same thing in Playa del Carmen, looking for the answer.

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  17. I have the same problem with the soft lighter pink plastic decorative trim on my gillette razor and the ring around the inside and the outside of my microsoft webcamera. Very odd.

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  18. I have a suitcase that is made of a hard plastic and although it is only a few years old it is now covered in this sticky mess. I have tried everything, including 99% isopropyl alcohol, turpentine spirit, white spirit, Methylated spirit, wd40 oil based, wd40 silicone based, glass cleaner, floor cleaner, bleach, 3M Industrial Citrus Cleaner, car alloy wheel cleaner, Carnauba wax etc etc - nothing works!! I may try covering the case with a vinyl covering, failing that it will have to be thrown away as it is unusable as it is.

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  19. I have a suitcase that is made of a hard plastic and although it is only a few years old it is now covered in this sticky mess. I have tried everything, including 99% isopropyl alcohol, turpentine spirit, white spirit, Methylated spirit, wd40 oil based, wd40 silicone based, glass cleaner, floor cleaner, bleach, 3M Industrial Citrus Cleaner, car alloy wheel cleaner, Carnauba wax etc etc - nothing works!! I may try covering the case with a vinyl covering, failing that it will have to be thrown away as it is unusable as it is.

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    1. You need to go all out with the 91% isopropyl alcohol to actually remove the goop completely. When you're done, you should be left with bare plastic. Trying to "clean" the goop with alcohol jut makes the problem worse because the goop is soluble in alcohol. Put a little bit of elbow grease into it...

      Delete
  20. I just bought a new PC case covered in the soft touch material. How do i prevent it from going sticky, some kind of treatment like Armourall or a polish? Anyone have any luck with this?

    I have mice and a ligitech remote that has gone sticky so i want to prevent it while still intact on my new case :)

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    1. Someone suggested talcum powder, this indeed seems to have a stabilizing effect as I have found out. So that is probably your best (and only) option. I know for a fact that the military packs rubber spare parts (o rings, earphone buds, rubber protective caps and so on) with lots of talcum which keeps the rubber fresh. So there must be merits to using this in combination with rubber.

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    2. Thank you for your suggestion. My only concern with talc is it will be clearly visible on the black soft touch material wont it?

      Delete
  21. Same gooey problem on a gun site AND BINOCULARS. What the deal help needed! Thanks Ron

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  22. I suggest to everyone with this issue. Stop trying to home remedy the problem. This is a "product defect" issue.

    Insist upon replacement from the manufacturer. Most reputable companies will replace the product. Insist that the replacement does NOT have the same coating applied or contain the same type material as in the case of ear buds and other foam products that turn to goo.

    If enough people do this, they [the manufacturer] will eventually quit using this material. It'll cost them to much in returns.

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  23. I have a joystick which suffered the same fate. The plastic itself isn't melting or softening, rather it's taken on a sticky feeling like something was spilled on it.

    The problem is, as others have pointed out, the coating the factory applies to give the plastic a matte rubbery texture. It's meant to be aesthetically pleasing, both in looks and feel. It also makes the product feel less cheap and more high end.

    If you clean it off with something like alcohol, it will remove the coating but the plastic underneath will be super smooth and glossy, which some people may not want. I would prefer if products didn't use it at all. Look at the XBOX 360 controllers, the plastic itself has a slightly matte finish, but it was molded that way, and not added later with a chemical coating. This means it won't be sticky after years of use.

    There may be a way to maintain it, as others have suggested Armor All. But it is annoying.

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  24. LA’s Totally Awesome Orange Degreaser and Spot Remover!

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  25. ALL THIS IS DONE ON PURPOSE !!! THEY CREATE THIS PLASTICS IN LAB TO LAST 6 MONTHS 1 YEAR OR WHATEVER THEY WANT SO YOU BUY NEW PRODUCTS !!!

    they use "ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY " as an excuse

    BULL SHIT

    mi laptop screen border is coming apart and i only found this page that talks abut this??

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  26. I first noticed it on an entire set of Paula Deen pots and pans. All the handles got sticky. Then I noticed it on the big center knob on my Logitech squeezebox - same kind of rubbery plastic - all sticky.

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  27. +1 more victim here, interested to know what the problem is.

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  28. I found that after cleaning with alcohol you can restore the original feel by applying a bit of oil on it. Use edible oil as you will be touching it all the time, so petrol based oil is not good for your health. Last I used Johnson's Baby Oil.
    After a while it sticks a gain but hey, at least you know how to "clean" it and keep it in shape.

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  29. Thanks for the alcohol tip. I never heard of this problem until today when I pulled out my power monkey solar charger and it's a sticky mess. Thought maybe it was from a leaking battery but the unit works fine. Used rubbing alcohol and everything is fine for now.

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  30. I have the same problem on Boston Acoustics Speakers!! Bloody expensive stuff to have such cheap materials used.

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  31. Usually that "rubberized plastic" is a polyethylene rubber. This is well known to break down. You need to always maintain this kind of surface with talcum powder (baby powder) and it can not be exposed to solvents, such as kerosene (K1,) or fuels. These will hasten the decomposition.

    Hopes this helps!

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  32. Same problem on Leapster hand held product. After trying 70% rubbing alcohol and still sticky, tried LA'S Totally Awsome cleaner. Sticky gone!

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  33. I just managed to clean the black goo off a budget microphone (JSH MUD637) and it worked a treat. I used lighter fluid and rubbed hard with a kitchen scourer (the green wiry pad stuck to a sponge type of thing). It exposed a few scratches that were already in the undercoat but it feels nice and smooth and will get more scratches and wear than it has now with regular road use.

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  34. I have this problem with plastic AND rubber. I've had rubber handles on umbrellas & hammers turn into what felt like used chewing gum.

    As for plastics, it's OLD plastics that goo on me, especially my old Rubbermaid Servin Savers lids, which became liek wax in both texture & smell.

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  35. I ended up here to find a solution after unboxing a brand new (and not cheap) ETON NOAA emergency weather radio. We purchased it a couple of years ago, it was still in the original box and has been in a stable climate controlled environment since purchasing it. It had a very attractive soft-to-the-touch red satin finish. Now it has a not so attractive gooey-to-the-touch mottled red shiny/satiny finish. When touched, it leaves the fingers unpleasantly sticky. I tried the talcum powder, but while it initially felt less sticky (and left it looking terrible), I immediately realized that the stickiness was still there, just temporarily masked, and the least amount of pressure on the finish would make it even worse. I had 70% rubbing alcohol, so I tried working a small area with that and a woven cloth. It did seem to help, but it will take a lot of effort. Because the radio is a mass of holes, indentations, bumps and humps, I am not sure if I will be able to get it so that it will be usable without something electronic getting damaged. But the only other option is to throw away a brand new $50+ radio, which is not an appealing thought. Thanks to everyone here who has posted suggestions. I will certainly be scrutinizing descriptions for the type of finish before purchasing anything in the future. "Soft touch" will NOT be an option for me!

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  36. "I have to think to myself, and out loud, How do you manufacture a product and not know with in a year or two it's going to disintegrate or produce acid or turn black and have mushrooms growing out of it?"

    How do you expect manufacturers to predict the future? We get prototypes from Chinese factories, if they have obvious problems, we tell them to fix them, we get better prototypes, they still have problems, and eventually we get a sample that appears perfect in every way, approve it and start selling it. If it only falls apart a year later, we won't know that until we start getting customer complaints. We don't specify how the substances are made; we just say "we want a rubberized coating on this part", and the factory does it. If we have problems, we'll yell at them and hopefully they'll find a different way to do it.

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    1. For starters stop blaming others.
      The simple answer is ask the right questions.

      By your standards from what you're saying, you say you want a rubberized coating. So, for instance, they coat it with a rubber with uranium primer and a lead top coating. As long as it meets the texture and color that's it? And you didn't ask any questions about the product materials? look at data sheets? So it's not you?

      You're in the wrong business if you don't know how to ask questions. Let alone, ask the right questions.
      If you're going into production, you sent a design to be prototyped, you'd think you'd know something about the materials is being made of. Most going into manufacturing, specify what materials are to be used. And know all about those materials.

      I'm currently making a prototype. I'm asking questions, the right questions concerning materials. I'm also testing materials. Having samples sent just for said purpose.

      And that's just for a working 3D printed prototype. Not even on the level you're referring to.

      Shame on you is all I can say. Tell is your product line, spare the consumer the expense.

      Delete
  37. I don't think it's limited to shoddy manufacturers. I needed to record some cassette tapes for a retro project and powered up my (one-model-down-from-top-of-the-line) SONY tape deck. It immediately blew its fuse. When I opened the lid (to swap the fuse) I discovered, to my horror, that all the belts had turned to goop, jamming the big motors (and hence blowing the fuse).

    Similar-age equipment stored elsewhere was completely fine. Also I noticed "leatherette" on my headphones disintegrated where it was in a contact with a lacquered shelf - and nowhere else. (The SONY deck was in the apartment where hardwood floors had been sanded and re-coated with urethane in another room). Other parts had rapid melting where they were put in contact or inside a container made of a particular plastic.

    I think we're dealing with something more sinister than just plastic melting on its own. There may be out-gassing from a different type plastic triggering the process, or incompatible plastic combinations.

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    Replies
    1. A cassette player that you'd say is what age? Figuring cassettes went out early 90's making that an 80's possibly 70's machine, making it 30 to 40 years old...?

      Out gassing does happen. I have had camera lens ruined due to foam inserts/padding out gassing and which stuck to the lens glass inside and out. Never used foam to store cameras in again after that.

      And yes, from what I've learned just using my 3D printer, some plastics are effected by certain chemicals. Even the vapors can effect plastic. ABS effected by Acetone. Melts it.

      I've had rubber belts turn to goo, or mush. Dry up, etc. Cheap rubber bands holding wires, disintegrate, sticking to whatever like glue before drying up.

      But, here, we're seeing plastics disintegrating within months of purchase.
      Handles of tools turning to goo. That shouldn't happen. That is the fault of the manufacture specified material being used that was incorrect for the application. More than likely, cost driven decision to go with a cheaper grade material.

      Not all materials created equal.

      And okay, let's play devil's advocate for second on behalf of the manufacturer.
      Let's say, they didn't know when they made the initial run of a product it was going to have a literal melt down in 6 months.

      That's fine for the first guy that used the material. As a reason only for the failure!
      Know the material has a known trait.

      All sequential parties using that material, or suggesting that material for use, know full well is failure rate is within 6 months. Yet they continue to use it, for handles, car dash boards, earphones, earbuds, speakers, etc etc etc.

      They don't get the same, we didn't know add the very first guy using the material.
      It's intentional at that point.

      I suspect, as breakage. A term used in sales.
      Some lessor companies rely quite heavily on breakage for future sales.
      Some products are designed with breakage in mind.
      Literal breakage. The part is designed to fail within a certain amount of time.
      Which steps into another area, but is similar to what I'm referring to in my point.

      Delete
  38. Both my Logitech mouse and Bluetooth headset has become sticky and gooie. I have 2 mobile phones which have this coating and I'm concerned they may end up ruined if the same happens to them. I'm all for stuff being degradable but not while your using it. I had some plastic bags that were degradable but over time they started flaking so they were not reusable.
    Do they know this coating breaksdown and if so why don't they stop using it. As from what I can tell there breaking down to fast.

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  39. Generally these coating are some form of Polyurethane. It is the designers lack of knowledge of polymers that leads to this issue. If they use a polyester-urethane, then the moisture and temperature gradually breakdown the polymer back into the liquid form by breaking the bonds of the polymer...If the designer had used a polyether-urethane, this similar but slightly different polymer is not readily broken down by the temp and moisture. It is purely a poor design decision by poorly informed design engineers.

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    Replies
    1. Actually they have been found to be a polyethylene based material.
      It's used in order to be more Eco friendly. Break down faster at the land fills.
      The break down / sticky goo issue was discovered first when polyethylene was used for dashboards.
      Not a new discovery, but one known about for decades now.

      Delete
  40. As said this coating is supposed to break down easily in landfill's. Although bfrom whatbweare experiencing it is breaking down long before itvreaches a landfill. I noticed the other day in my phone collection that my Sony are bar phone from 93 as started to go sticky on the keypad. I am very disappointed. Also I checked my Sony Ericsson which I kept in a poly bag that as gotten worse. I have a couple of other mobiles with a similar texture. These seem to be Ok.So how do I know if it has the degradable or non degradable coating.

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  41. I have a dozen of things that turned into gooey sticky shit. Razer mouse, Logitech gamepad, Sony mouse wheel, Wacom pen, Sigma torch... It's a fucking disaster. Everything is smeared with this slime.

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  42. Not only electronics... but also... a bottle opener. Cost wise trivial compared to speakers, tape drives, phones etc. described in other comments. I got it from a national UK supermarket sometime, I think, in the last year. Thought I'd got some oil or jam on the handle as it was horribly sticky... nope, plastic is turning to a film of goo. Window cleaner did nothing for it...
    Ho, hum...

    Thanks to Chase Canade for the original post.

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