Melted computer feet

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Thu May 20 08:10:11 CDT 2021

> On May 20, 2021, at 12:42 AM, Tom Hunter via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> I usually try the following commonly available chemicals listed in
> increasing strength:
> 1) warm water with detergent on a microfibre cloth and some elbow grease
> 2) alcohol
> 3) lighter fluid or white spirit
> 4) acetone (apply carefully and quickly)
> Acetone is really the last resort because it will readily dissolve many
> plastics. 

True, but strong solvents are a fine answer if you're dealing with metal cases.  My default solvent for that case is lacquer thinner, which is a blend of ketones and (I think) toluene; it is far more effective than acetone for taking off rubbery crud.  It is also even more likely than acetone to attack plastic.

A chemical engineer friend who worked for an adhesives company told me that a gentle solvent (good for adhesives stuck to plastic) is WD-40.

Alcohol is generally safe with plastics, but there are exceptions.  Plexiglas ("lucite") will turn cloudy when exposed to alcohol, as I found out when cleaning the case of a transmitter that had a plexiglas cover over the display.

For any solvent, it's always a good idea to test it first on an inconspicuous part of the case you're dealing with.


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