HomeGearGadgetsWhy do my gadgets get sticky? Really Despise Vulcanized Rubber

Why do my gadgets get sticky? Really Despise Vulcanized Rubber

You’re a gadget person, you love your electronics and spend lots of time meticulously taking care of each and every item only to end up with a sticky unusable mess that you aren’t too proud of anymore. What is up with the vulcanized rubber coating and why do my gadgets get sticky? We really despise vulcanized rubber coating on gadgets. There’s really one very good reason…

It deteriorates in a short few years and leaves a sticky mess!

There’s got to be a better way!

Nothing lasts forever and over the past couple of decades amassing a myriad of electronics along the way things apparently deteriorate more quickly than you might expect. It’s a real downer especially after putting so much care into using and storing your prized devices.

Vulcanized rubber is used virtually across all electronics like computer keyboards, marine radios, GPS, portable batteries, headphones, umbrella handles… the list goes on and on and on. The problem is that the vulcanized rubber breaks down over a relatively short period of time and makes you want to retire your device even when it’s in great working order.

Why do my gadgets get sticky?

Prolonged exposure to sunlight, storage in less than optimal humidity levels and even general exposure to the air and aging will break down the rubberized coating. You can try and store all of your electronics in a temperature & humidity controlled environment like a laboratory or even a clean room but unless you’re storing critical hardware, might be a bit overboard.

Unfortunately the only solution once the rubber breaks down is to remove it or don’t purchase it to begin with. There are a few different ways to remove the remaining rubber and adhesive that are left.

NOAA Marine radio: You can remove the adhesive with rubbing alcohol or other household cleaners and a cloth or gauze, paper towel with some strength…
  1. Mainly what’s left is the adhesive. If the rubber is broken down enough you can use duck tape to stick and pick. If you can manage to roll up a ball of it, you can use the same method you might use to get a sale sticker adhesive off a package by using it’s own sticky rubber to pick/stick & remove it.
  2. You can gently heat gun or hairdryer it, then use duck tape to stick and pick, but be super careful how hot and how long you heat the surface, it may melt your product if you’re not careful.
  3. You can magic eraser it, this thing works wonders on many things. If you’re a home owner you probably have a couple in the house already.
  4. You can use good ol’ fashioned rubbing alcohol and a gauze pad or cotton ball to rub the tacky residue off, often times you’re left with whatever the color of the plastic is but at least it won’t be sticky anymore.


In the end, we cry out to the various industries to find a better solution for grip because the rubberized coating sucks! As consumers, it may make you think twice about buying an otherwise functional product knowing that very shortly it will be a sticky mess that doesn’t look or feel good in hand. I know it has for us.