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Cleaning and Conditioning Rubber Exterior

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#1 bbyrd

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:18 AM

I have read about the cleaning questions with sticky rubber binoculars and conditioning afterwords to try and eliminate the sticky rubber breakdown. Seemed to be vauge as to a solution and care for this occurance.

Has anyone experience with this problem, a solution, and prevention?

#2 daniel_h

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 02:38 PM

You can get glue on leather look from good auto stores rip off old stuff & stick on new

#3 Simon S

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 02:43 PM

What binocular is it on?

#4 bbyrd

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:25 PM

What binocular is it on?


A old leupold binocular.

#5 daniel_h

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 12:52 PM

I forgot to say, cut that rubber stuff off & throw it away. At the collimation class the rubber covering which did NOT shockproof Nything was. A pain in the rear

#6 Simon S

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:14 PM

Try isopropanol it may remove to top layer.
Ring Leupold see if they know.
You could try brake fluid, I have heard it can stabilise rubber but as a very last resort.
And as Daniel says remove the rubber.

#7 Trinovid6x24

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 01:42 PM

To clean the rubber use 70% alcohol from the drug store and wipe it down with a Armor All wipe. Amor All is formulated to protect vinyls and leather from brutal sunlight in cars so it should be good enough for your binoc.

If your binocular is real nice i would recommend that you hot rod it by removing the cheap rubber and have a custom leatherette cover fitted over it. This would give you a classic look feel and will remembke the acclaimed Nikon 10x70.

Trinovid6x24

#8 bbyrd

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 03:11 PM

The 70% alcohol does help clean up the sticky parts. They were small parts. I plan to Armor all test in a small place before deciding to do the entire binocular.

Would also like to hear from anyone who encountered the same problem and share their experience.

Thanks to all!

#9 Gordon Rayner

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Posted 29 September 2010 - 10:48 PM

Deja vu.

Toluene is a good solvent (very flammable!) (Home Depot)to help remove sticky rubber residue and glues when discarding the practically useless rubber "armor" . Work outside and use solvent resistant gloves and a respirator mask, if available . Put any extra toluene into your gasoline car fuel tank, in moderation, to boost octane and possibly the energy yield of the fuel . It is an ingredient in octane booster additives.

The "armor" adds weight, and will become a sticky mess in the sun, salt water, perspiration, oil/grease residue on the hands , etc. environment of a fishing boat.

The rubber weight would be much better used for larger prisms and eyepieces. The rubber gives manufacturers and importers a phony sales point, and gives them an excuse to omit a case.

#10 Simon S

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:23 AM

I had this on the Bushnell Glasses-on binocular. The sticky coating was on the surface of plastic and removed with ipa.

#11 WOBentley

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 01:15 PM

I'd be careful with brake fluid. There are many different types and DOT 3 type fluids are excellent paint removers I once saw some dripped on the fender of a Rolls-Royce and quickly cleaned up...amazingly quick removal of paint...left a nice sized spot that needed to be repaired.

#12 StarWars

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Posted 16 December 2014 - 02:39 AM

My 15x70 Sky masters have some sticky rubber deterioration. So I might try WD-40 to clean the rubber...

 

Then re-clean and seal with Armor All.... 



#13 MartinPond

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 08:11 AM

Sometimes a badly-polymerized batch from China will just turn to goo on you,

but for partial cases, some boaters use 'french chalk', the powder gymnasts and

rock-climbers put on their hands.  They just rub that on.  The sun makes this

problem worse in the boating world.

 

Might be available in a sporting goods store.    

Something like ArmorAll has the risk of perhaps increasing the breakdown of the polymer in that case.

You probably will need a little dust cleaning of outside lense glass after that...cotton balls or similar.

 

If I had some sticky armor, I might experiment in a small area with zinc dandruff shampoo,

to see if the zinc ions stitched the goo back together a bit. It's a lack of polymerizer that causes

the problem, usually lead in China.


Edited by MartinPond, 17 December 2014 - 08:15 AM.

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#14 StarWars

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 04:38 AM

I gave the skymasters a good wipe down of Armor All and put them back in the case/box.

 

In a couple weeks I will inspect them again..... :fingerscrossed: :fingerscrossed:

 

 

 

BTW,  I found Barska and Oberwerk plus Garrett sells the 15x70 binos ..... :waytogo: :waytogo:


Edited by StarWars, 23 December 2014 - 05:12 AM.


#15 thersa

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 02:09 AM

Morning all, 

I have become very excited by this post, as indeed I read it (I know it is now quite old) while trying to find a solution to this problem 18 months ago. 

Basically a small pair of binoculars, which had become sticky and frankly unusable.  

I tried to clean off the stickiness with white spirit swab, but had no luck at all. 

Now even more degraded than before, last month I again cleaned the binoculars. I felt that I could no longer do any real harm, as they were now beyond use. 

Using a non lint cloth dipped into Acetone Soution, and rubbed the sticky black plastic on the binoculars.

The degraded black plastic came off instantly, in a messy gel like substance. 

Taking care not to dissolve the optics or plastic underneath the sticky surface, I carefully went around the whole of the effected surface area. 

Using a wooden manicure stick to scrape off stubborn degraded plastic, until eventually I was back to apparently 'good' clean black plastic. 

 

This was then polished with 'Brasso' a metal polish used for cleaning brass which has returned the binocular plastic to a stable, non sticky and usable item. 

I am delighted, and now three weeks later and they are still perfect.   I hope this helps..

 

Thersa



#16 samovu

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 04:12 AM

Welcome to Cloudy Nights, Thersa!

 

As I mentioned in another thread a few days ago (The latest trend in binocular covering and its durability), I rescued a Fujinon spotting scope after giving up on trying to repair the sticky goo by removing all of it with LA's Totally Awesome. Took some effort but in the end I ended up with something useable. I think your solution would have been better.

 

Cheers,

John 



#17 Jon Isaacs

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 08:49 AM

Thersa:

 

:welcome: to Cloudy Nights.. :whee:

 

A word of caution concerning acetone:

 

Some binoculars have polycarbonate bodies. Polycarbonate should not be cleaned with acetone as it damages the surface and can cause stress fractures.

 

Jon



#18 MartinPond

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 01:38 PM

"

This was then polished with 'Brasso' a metal polish used for cleaning brass which has returned the binocular plastic to a stable, non sticky and usable item.

I am delighted, and now three weeks later and they are still perfect.   I hope this helps..

Thersa

"

This is fascinating.

I had results with ammonia, but it was slow.

Brasso is ammonia and abrasive.

I think you took the next step...I'll start with that alone next chance.

Another thing to try next time!

 

For a somewhat-related but much easier problem:

I have found that the white 'bloom' on the real rubber jackets can

be fixed well with a good rubbing with WD-40 (and wiping excess off).



#19 hallelujah

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Posted 29 May 2016 - 03:45 PM

I have found that the white 'bloom' on the real rubber jackets can

be fixed well with a good rubbing with WD-40 (and wiping excess off).

I have had good success getting rid of the white powdery condition, off of rubber armor, using

my Bullshot waterproof bicycle bearing grease. No longer in production. (1989)

I rub it in using my fingers & buff it off with a lint-free cloth.

I use Q-tips in the tight spots.

 

I also have Phil Wood & Co. waterproof, ball & roller bearings grease, but I have not yet had an

opportunity to use it on rubber armor.

 

Stan



#20 Binojunky

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 09:56 AM

The Monarch 7,s in the 8x30 size arrived yesterday, the rubber covering on these is of a harder type than the earlier 8x42 &10x42 versions that I looked at when visiting Cabelas. Not sure if this is a result of Nikon listening to criticism of the durability of the softer sticky rubber they were using, or just a variation on the smaller 8 x30and 10x30 versions?. The binocular has an 8.3  degree FOV though with some softening on the outer edge. Optics are very bright, almost like looking through a bigger glass, I like them. One thing about Nikon and Pentax for that matter, they always seem to please me no matter what price point they sell at, :)  TD.


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#21 xiando

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 02:30 PM

Glycerin is the number one treatment for rubber. ArmorAll and products like that make thing look ok for a little while, but they tend to exacerbate the deterioration


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#22 MartinPond

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Posted 01 June 2016 - 04:39 PM

 

I have found that the white 'bloom' on the real rubber jackets can

be fixed well with a good rubbing with WD-40 (and wiping excess off).

I have had good success getting rid of the white powdery condition, off of rubber armor, using

my Bullshot waterproof bicycle bearing grease. No longer in production. (1989)

I rub it in using my fingers & buff it off with a lint-free cloth.

I use Q-tips in the tight spots.

 

I also have Phil Wood & Co. waterproof, ball & roller bearings grease, but I have not yet had an

opportunity to use it on rubber armor.

 

Stan

 

 

That makes sense.

In both cases, the mineral oil (WD40 residue) or the grease is dissolving the rosin or wax mold release that comes out of the

porous rubber surface.  This is way a plain solent alone does OK at first but the frost comes back: you need to keep the

wax crystals from forming....to stuff the pores with something instead of the mold release.


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#23 tom2102

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 12:46 PM

Owners of optical products like binocular's that have Rubber and/or Rubberized Armor components made of natural rubber may over time become very sticky to the touch which is a condition that is due to molecular breakdown. This is an irreversible condition and there is nothing short of replacing all of the affected parts to eliminate the problem completely. Some people use Talcum powder as an alternative to going to the expense of replacing the parts, forget solvents they don't work.



#24 MartinPond

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Posted 10 July 2016 - 02:54 PM

I have treated tackiness on thick natural rubber with some fingernail polish remover.

 

For rubber-feel coating on top of harder plastic, it took some "Goof-Off".

Very nasty stuff, but it strips the goo.

 

I haven't run into thick real rubber gooey through and through yet,

so I'm not sure what to do there.

 

Many people in the sailing community have to replace their binoculars

 when the other tricks (like talcum) fail.



#25 tjswood

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Posted 09 February 2019 - 11:21 AM

Resurrecting an old thread (besides resurrecting my old account :-)) -- I searched Google on "Celestron Ultima 80 ED Sticky Surface" and this was the best match I found.  Was a little surprised by the search results, I would think this is probably a common problem.

 

Yesterday, took the 80ED out of its box after a long storage period.  The plastic bag I had it in inside the storage sleeve was sticking to the "rubbery" surface, and the main body of the scope is a sticky mess.  I probably don't need to try to describe it better, most of you know what I am talking about.

 

I've read this thread and other sources --- first off, I have a woodshop, many hobbies and already own near every chemical known to man :-) --- my first gut reaction, and what I use for sticky tape / adhesive residue is WD-40.  No dice, didn't cut it.  Tried a little isopropyl - wrong tool for the job.  Tried a few other things with no success, this sticky substance is an interesting one!

 

I read above things like acetone, brake fluid -- as usual you'll get all sorts of ideas and it's incumbent on the owner to do what they are comfortable with, but I am not going to try either of those, as the 80 ED body (where its sticky) joins to to other surfaces (hard polymer, softer rubber) that might not react favorably to certain chemicals and could destroy that in the process.  Having worked with acetone, I'd think it would probably cut this sticky substance, but it would also cut the Celestron logo, and harm the other surfaces joining the main body of the scope.

 

I can't be the only Ultima 80ED owner with this sticky mess --- but I want to know what WORKS and not go into experimental mode on all sorts of product recommendations that I would have to pay for, order online and then have a chance it won't work!

 

Any help is appreciated, but I will approach any solution with the proper diligence!




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