mold forms on cords, knobs, and tool handles

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Attila Iskander wrote:

I wonder if this is an example of an actual good use for WD-40? Too many people use it as a lubricant instead of what it was designed to be - a tool protective coating...
John :-#)#
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(Please post followups or tech enquiries to the newsgroup)
John's Jukes Ltd. 2343 Main St., Vancouver, BC, Canada V5T 3C9
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wrote:

Uh, oh...
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On Tue, 05 Mar 2013 23:27:28 -0500 krw wrote:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WD-40
WD-40 is mostly marketing with a mix of 15% mineral oil and 51% mineral spirits.
< pass the popcorn >
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On Thu, 7 Mar 2013 18:44:54 +0000 (UTC), "Danny D."

No, it's a car wax!

Indeed.
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The following spam just arrived...
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William Sommerwerck wrote:

Ask them why their plastic turns white and stinks after a few years. ;-)
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micky wrote the following on 2/27/2013 2:21 AM (ET):

What kind of handles do these tools have? Steel, plastic, rubber, wood? You say these things have a 'dust like' layer. Could it be brushed off, or has to be washed off in a dishwasher? I know many of my tool handles get a gray or dark covering after a while, but I attribute it to an accumulation of dead skin cells from my hands. This could also be attributed to the handling of the TV knobs. I don't know about the 'mold' on the cords. All my tools are in an attached garage. I doubt whether this is mold if there is no other mold in the basement.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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wrote:

Good questions. I'll look at all the stuff again and get back to you. Within 24 hours I hope.
Micky.
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On 2/27/2013 8:21 AM, micky wrote:

Try to store it in a plastic bag together with a package desiccant (Silica gel).
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wrote:

It's not mold. It appears to be mold, but if you look carefully, it doesn't "grow" in a radial pattern, as you would expect real mold to grow. I've put the dust under a microscope to be sure. It's plastic dust. Hit is with some heat, and watch it melt. I get this plastic "mold" on most of my cheap plastic handle tools. The plastic breaks down along the surface and sorta crumbles. It's probably caused by exposure to something in the air, which condenses onto the surface when wet. Washing the stuff off with any kind of kitchen cleaner works, for a while.
I've tried a few things to prevent its return. Dipping or spraying with acrylic coating (clear Krylon) seems to work best. I have one old plastic handle nut wrench, that I coated only half with acrylic spray. I can see tiny pits starting on the uncoated side, but the coated side looks like new. Note that you have to really clean the plastic with sandpaper and solvent before spraying or it will flake off. Also, don't worry about the dull finish after sandpapering, as the clear acrylic will make it shine again. Also, the acrylic sometimes feels kinda "sticky". I'm not sure what causes that.
Unfortunately, I haven't had any luck preserving rubber and flexible handles that have the same problem. The acrylic coating just cracks and falls off. Even worse, I haven't found a fix for the rubberized paint coating on plastic, that eventually turns to a sticky gooey tar mess.
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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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On 2/27/2013 10:29 AM, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

the usual culprits are ozone or uv rays.

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On Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:31:08 -0700, chaniarts
You can eliminate UV from the guess list. I've had it happen in a closed toolbox, where no light enters except perhaps twice a year. It's also happening in my steel drawer tool boxes, where again little light enters. Ozone is a possibility, but I don't have any obvious sources for excessive ozone in the shop (Hi-V, electrostatic precipitators, negative ion generators, laser printers, etc). However, I do store aromatic chemicals nearby, which may be the problem.
Also, an important clue is that I can have a drawer full of plastic handle hex spintite wrenches, and only some of them will have a "mold" problem. This implies that the culprit is resident mostly in the plastic and not the environment.
Opinions seem to vary...
Mold growth on plastic: <http://www.ehow.com/info_8526040_fast-mold-grow-plastic.html
Can mold grow on plastic and, if so, is there a way to clean it? - See more at: <http://moldblogger.com/can-mold-grow-on-plastic-and-if-so-is-there-a-way-to-clean-it/
How to Remove Mold From Plastic: <http://www.ehow.com/how_7939800_remove-mold-plastic.html
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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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wrote:

Maybe a photo will help: <
http://802.11junk.com/jeffl/pics/drivel/plastic-rot.jpg
This is a drawer from my steel Craftsman toolbox that I don't use very often. The white stuff is the alleged "mold". Note that it's on two of the handles, but not the others. The larger tools are made by Vaco. The blue and the yellow handles are covered with the stuff. However, the other handles, from the same manufacturer, are pitted, but untouched. That's because they previously were cleaned and coated with a very thin layer of Krylon clear acrylic. I'm not sure why the blue and yellow handles are affected. I probably just forgot to coat them (about 18 months ago). There is no rust anywhere inside the toolbox on any of the other tools, so it's not moisture accumulation or consensation.
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Jeff Liebermann snipped-for-privacy@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
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On Wed, 27 Feb 2013 10:14:07 -0800, Jeff Liebermann wrote:

That's EXACTLY what this screwdriver USED to look like!

So, whatever it is, it's common.
Again, I don't know if it is a mold or a chemical. It does NOT happen to all tools of the same type.
It just happens to select tools which were stored in a different environment (I think my affected screwdrivers were used when I worked at a hospital on oxygen respirators).
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Yes, I'm glad to learn about that. I thought I was so alone (boohoo).

In my case, I'll have 20 tools in a drawer, or 15 little tools in an inbox, and only a few get "moldy". I have to take some time later today to see how many are yellow.
In addition, the box of knobs is two boxes actually, in the same drawer of an old dresser. Theyr'e almost all brown or black, and I'll have to check if the moldy ones are all on top, or the bottom or something, but I don't recall that being the case. And only some get moldy.
The tooks and knobs have all spent 100% of their time in the previous year or years in the same room in my basement.
IOW, the environments are the same
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Migration to the surface of a plasticizer, or an un-cured acrylic monomer, followed by oxidation?
--
Dave Platt < snipped-for-privacy@radagast.org> AE6EO
Friends of Jade Warrior home page: http://www.radagast.org/jade-warrior
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wrote:

Yes, the yellow one has the most. I t hink my yellow ones are most likely to have this and when they do, they have the most. The one screwdriver that reminded me of this has a yellow plastic handle. (The other two things t hat reminded me a couple days ago where jumper wires with banana plugs, blue and green, but that's soft vinyl and not hard plastic. ......))

Maybe because one is yellow? I just based a whole paragraph on that!

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On Thu, 28 Feb 2013 10:26:49 -0500, micky wrote:

Mine are on craftsman tools, which are not yellow.
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I have an Xcelite nutdriver that is red and a Craftsman screwdriver that is clear with red stripes on it. Both of them have a white dust like material on them. This is the same stuff that has been called 'mold'. It is not mold, the plastic going bad.
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)

_highlighting 831-336-2558 FREE
Your explanation makes more semse than "mold". The OP did not say what type of handles or tools were/were not affected, or if the tools were in a dark airless corner or out in plain sight, etc, so we really need more information.
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