I've recently purchased a house that has wire racks in various closets
that are covered by some plastic or rubber coating, this kind of
Over time they've become sticky and I've been told that they all do
that but my hand recoils when I touch them because they feel slimey.
Cleaning them would be a bit of a bear since there are so many and
each little wire needs to be cleaned. What causes the stickyness and
does it come off on things that sit on those shelves?
The whole garage is lined with them, which makes for good storage but
I tend not to like sticky. If I have them cleaned, will they stay
clean for a few years?
I would expect the sticky stuff to come off on things that contact it.
I have never heard of similar racks doing that, but it is not unusual
for rubberized materials to "revert" to the chemicals from which they
For one of my hand held radios, I was able to clean off the sticky
surface with 100 percent isopropyl alcohol. But that was a coating on a
hard plastic surface.
Yours is on a metal surface, so you might be left with bare, rusting
metal if you could clean the coating off. You would need to try
cleaning yours to see if any remaining coating is sticky.
I think you are stuck! If you can contact the previous owners and
determine who made your racks, you may be able to get some satisfaction
from the manufacturer. Just replacing all of your racks would be easier
than removing, cleaning and re-installing the ones you have.
Thanks, alcohol comes up pretty often when I use google or bing and
apparently this is a fairly well known issue. I read somewhere that
it's the chemical that makes the PVC soft that becomes sticky, but PVC
pipe doesn't become sticky so I don't know about that. Anyway, it will
be a few months before I get back to that house and I'll try out
various things on the racks in the garage and when I have something
working well I'll try it on the racks in the interior closets.
I'll be retired once I get back there so I'll hopefully have time to
clean each individual wire.
Someone in another thread suggested lacquer thinner. I just tried some
on a sticky camera lens. It worked OK, but I accidentally wiped away
some lettering on the lens!
One advantage that Alcohol might have, is it is not as bad on your lungs
as lacquer thinner. I did my lens cleaning outdoors.
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