Dear Lifehacker, I’m looking for a safe (and easy) way to remove stickiness from old plastic and rubber equipment. Some of my old gaming gear (gaming keypad, analogue sticks on my Dual Shock controller, gaming mouse, etc.) have developed stickiness. How can I remove it without damaging the components? Thank you, Glue Blues.
I don’t want to seem all judgemental, but… eww.
It’s a bit late, but in the future try not to mix soft drinks, snacks and lollies with your gaming gear. Those are the most likely culprits for your current sticky woes, presuming that is that you don’t have some kind of an adhesive fetish. If you do, then carry on; presumably you like your gear that way.
As to how to clean your now gunged-up gaming peripherals, there’s a few key things to keep in mind.
The first thing to remember is that you’re much better off taking a slow and steady approach to gunge removal, with first perhaps just a little warm water applied to the sticky surfaces. If it is just a little sugar, you may find removal with a soft wipe is all you need. If that’s not enough, possibly a light detergent to get things moving.
What if it’s more stubborn, however? You could use any of the commonly available “goo remover” type products, most of which have a simple citrus base, but I’d go very easy indeed with that kind of approach. A lot of gaming gear relies on rubber membranes that tend to degrade over time anyway, and dripping solvent type products across them may not end well. Some people swear by baby wipes (as in this guide over at Kotaku) for the same kind of result.
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