Fix slimy plastic

Rubberized plastic has a tendency to degrade and get slimy as it ages. So what was once a nice input device becomes too gross to use right about the time it gets retro enough to be cool again. Fortunately you can fix it. Here’s how to fix slimy plastic.

Join the Get Rid Of Slimy plaStic club

fix slimy plastic
They aren’t kidding. Murphy’s Oil Soap says it cleans everything and it’s the best way to fix slimy plastic, even slimy plastic that wasn’t invented yet when it came to market.

To fix slimy plastic like you find on some game controllers and the scroll wheel on a mouse when alcohol won’t make it budge, there’s another thing to try before you chuck the controller. All you need is a bottle of Murphy’s Oil Soap. A 32-ounce bottle costs less than $4 and will clean every vintage controller in your house, and you’ll probably have enough left over for your vintage desk too. And it’s much safer for you and your controllers than using lacquer thinner. Please don’t use lacquer thinner.

Wipe a generous amount of Murphy’s Oil Soap on the slimy plastic and let it soak for about an hour. Then clean it up with warm water and more soap. If it’s especially stubborn, scrub it with a rough sponge or an old toothbrush.

The Murphy’s Oil Soap will remove the embedded dirt and grime along with the slime, refreshing the rubberized surface. It probably can’t make it quite like new, but it makes it tolerable again.

For that matter, Murphy’s Oil Soap is surprisingly good for all types of modern plastics, both for cleaning and reviving. And unlike harsher chemicals, it won’t harm them. And it’s much less harmful to you as well. Don’t put it on your pancakes, but it won’t attack your internal organs like the harsh solvents in lacquer thinner will.

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7 thoughts on “Fix slimy plastic

  • March 14, 2022 at 8:21 am

    Has anyone tried Murphy on plastic postwar train shells?
    Like Lionel red and silver colored parts?

    • March 14, 2022 at 2:09 pm

      As long as they’re unpainted, it should be fine. The problem with postwar red and silver was the paint, not the plastic itself. And Murphy’s Oil Soap can damage the red or silver paint they used, because even water will. I experimented with a junker postwar car that had red paint and just water was enough to take the paint off.

  • March 14, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    OMG – it works! – Thank you – tried the toothpaste, baking soda, goo gone etc etc. Thanks for sharing and posting.

  • March 15, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    91% isopropyl is what I use. Works great, no waiting.

    • March 15, 2022 at 4:57 pm

      There are times when alcohol works. I’ve had some success with it myself. When alcohol doesn’t work, Murphy’s Oil Soap is the next thing to try.

  • March 15, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    I have 90% isopropyl and it didn’t work

  • March 15, 2022 at 5:14 pm

    The Murphy Oil makes it managable – got an old Dell laptop and top cover is still sticky after trying many different suggestions – 91% iso didn’t do it either – nor goo gone, tooth paste, baking soda trick – etc etc.

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