It's not every day that a question I've never been asked before crosses my transom. But recently, that very thing happened and what ensued was the unravelling of a clean person mystery. Join me on this journey, won't you?
@joliekerr Help! Kid had one of those sticky hand toys and it has left an oily stain on my wall! Tried cornstarch paste. No dice. Ideas?
— BabbleTwit (@BabbleTwit) September 1, 2017
I had some ideas, based on what I assumed was a run-of-the-mill stain on the wall in need of removal. It quickly became clear to me that this was no run-of-the-mill stain on the wall! Because all of my usual products and techniques bombed out in the face of this sticky hand stain.
There was also a notable lack of information on the internet about how to successfully remove sticky hand stains from walls and ceilings. That meant that it was time for me to head through the looking glass and find out what, exactly, these bizarre hands are fabricated out of, to see if any of the ingredients tripped a wire in my filing cabinet brain.
Trip a wire the research did! Because I discovered that one of the primary ingredients in sticky hands is gelatin and I know from my past work with dried jelly shots — this work contains multitudes — that dissolves gelatin.
At this point, I figured it was worth a shot. If it didn't work, well, so many other things hadn't worked and pineapple juice isn't a super spendy investment.
Okay, I've gone into some WEIRD places—sticky toys are made of polymers & gelatin. It's ~possible~ pineapple juice may break down the stain.
— Jolie Kerr (@joliekerr) September 2, 2017
Reader, it worked. IT WORKED! Finally, victory!!!
Ok I tried the fresh and I can't say it was any more effective but the stain is now so faint that it is only visible to me...win?
— BabbleTwit (@BabbleTwit) September 15, 2017
A note on technique, should you also find yourself with a sticky hand stain on a wall or ceiling:
- In testing, both pineapple juice and fresh pineapple worked equally well;
- If using juice, apply it to a rag and give the stain a gentle scrubbing, with the understanding that several passes may be needed to entirely remove the mark;
- If using fresh pineapple, cut a large enough piece that it will be comfortable for you to hold as you rub it against the stain;
- Go over the area with a clean, damp rag and some dish soap to remove the juice.
So there you have it. We finally know what works to remove sticky hand staining, and boy howdy, is it ever a weird and delightful answer!