How Danny removed the sticky residue from his Grundig G6

SWL Travel Gear - Grundig G6Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Danny Garris (KJ4FH), for the following guest post which originally appeared on his blog, Up In This Brain:


How I cleaned the sticky coating off of my Grundig G6 radio with guidance from KJ4FH

A few weeks ago, I reached out to Danny Garris, KJ4FH, for help on getting the sticky coating off of my Eton E5 radio. I noticed on eBay that he was selling Eton radios with the gunk cleaned off and I was wondering how he did it.

Where does the sticky gunk come from? Well, for some reason the “geniuses” up at Eton/Grundig put a rubberized, chemical coating on a series of radios they released. They looked great new but over time, them coating seems to get adhesive-like properties, almost like it is melting off. It apparently has something to do with humidity and over time it makes everything stick to the radios – dust, dirt, you name it. It’s terribly annoying and just plain nasty. Shame on Eton/Grundig for doing this because a whole generation of good radios are impacted.

This leads me back to Danny and the instructions I have posted below in my Dropbox with his permission.

Click here for Danny’s instructions: 100%Perfected Way To BEST Clean The Sticky Coating Off The Eton E1XM / E1 / E10 /E100 Series Radios

I used rubbing alcohol at first on my Eton E5 based on some back and forth emails I had with Danny and it did remove a ton of the gunk but I also ended up with places in the finish where the paint was removed, as he warned. Still, my concern was getting rid of the gunk more than appearances since my Eton E5 is a radio I use almost daily that I have no intention of selling. In fact, I am keeping an eye on eBay for a spare unit to purchase just in case because the E5(also Grundig G5) is an amazing radio.

Not long after getting his full instructions with oven cleaner as a new ingredient to try, I noticed a Grundig G6 for sale on eBay for just $19.99 as a buy it now price. I briefly had a G6 years ago and I have always missed it but good units are typically somewhat expensive and rare. This G6 was advertised as working perfectly but completely sticky. The seller posted pictures showing it was one of the stickiest and nastiest radios I had ever seen. But, armed with Danny’s method for cleaning the radios, I grabbed it, knowing I probably would not get another chance at a G6 for such a cheap price.

Below are before and after pictures. The before pictures are from the eBay auction and the radio did in fact arrive that nasty but it does work perfectly! In fact, it is a fantastic performer for the size. I love the tuning knob and the tuning method alone makes it much easier and more fun to use than my Tecsun radios and my recently purchased Eton Traveller III. The G6 is a worthy companion for my Eton E5 and I am very pleased with this purchase.

The after pictures are from the hour of work I did cleaning the radio last night. So far I have cleaned the radio with oven cleaner only. I took about 45 minutes using the Q-tip method and then about 15 minutes “polishing” with a clean white cloth dipped in oven cleaner as I went. I still have some additional detail cleaning to do but the results so far are like night and day.

I owe Danny a big thank you as you can see in the images below and, keep in mind, I still have a bit more work to do so this radio is going to look even better shortly!

front_before

Here is the front as shown in the auction. Gross! According to the description, the seller bought it at an estate sale.

front_after

What a difference some over cleaner makes! I need to blow out the speaker with compressed air to get the Q-tip remnants out and do some minor detail work but the front is almost in new condition now.

As shown in the auction listing, yuk!

As shown in the auction listing, yuk!

I may do a little work with rubbing alcohol or WD-40 to get the shine back on this side but wow - what a difference!

I may do a little work with rubbing alcohol or WD-40 to get the shine back on this side but wow – what a difference!

I wonder if this radio was laying in the grass or something. It was nasty to even pick up and touch!

I wonder if this radio was laying in the grass or something. It was nasty to even pick up and touch!

After oven cleaner, it's like new again. I need to do a little more detail work but that's it!

After oven cleaner, it’s like new again. I need to do a little more detail work but that’s it!

This picture in the auction made me wonder if I was biting off a bit more than I could chew!

This picture in the auction made me wonder if I was biting off a bit more than I could chew!

I still have a bit of work to do on the back but WOW! What a difference!

I still have a bit of work to do on the back but WOW! What a difference!


What a difference, indeed! Thanks for sharing your experience and results, Danny!

I love my little Grundig G6 and, for some reason, the coating has yet to become properly sticky.  I know it’s only a matter of time, though, so I’ll keep this procedure in mind.

This has actually been a fairly popular topic on the SWLing Post, no doubt because so many SWLs have radios with tacky coatings. Click here to read previous posts with cleaning techniques.

If you’re interested in the now discontinued Grundig G6, check eBay for listings. Perhaps you too can find a “sticky” radio special!

13 thoughts on “How Danny removed the sticky residue from his Grundig G6

  1. James M. Surprenant

    Thanks for sharing – very useful. I purchased a Buzz.ed G6 on my honeymoon in Puerto Rico 7 years ago – at the Radio Shack, no less. The rubberized finish is shot, Radio Shack has folded, but the marriage survives!

    I appreciate these instructions and look forward to de-gunking my wee Grundig.

    73 de AB1DQ/
    James

    Reply
    1. rtc

      Thanks for this information.

      Tried the alcohol route with the same results,it
      takes off the gunk but some of the lettering too,
      and there is concern about seepage inside.Even
      with 91% or 100% it’s a real messy job.

      Goo Gone works as well as the oven cleaner,leaves
      the lettering intact and takes less effort than alcohol.

      You can also seal the finish with some spray on auto
      wax like Surf City from Walmart…it coats the sticky
      mess (if it’s not too bad) and at least avoids the above
      for awhile.

      A household spray on wax like Endust actually worsens
      the stick,so experiment some before you get started.

      As for the G6,they used its front end in the ill-fated
      G3…G6’s were just as notorious for poor QC,each one
      seemed to have something different wrong with it.

      Reply
  2. Edward

    I would be reluctant to do vigorous rubbing. For sticky stuff I use olive oil and let it sit for an hour then rub it off, clean with dish washing liquid and water. To protect the plastic lightly apply armor-all.

    Reply
  3. Tha Dood

    I’ll have to try that. My Grundig 300 Mini RX has the same deal going on with it. The douchebags that came up with that deteriorating rubber grip makes it nice to sell ’em out thy door, only to later stick on your floor. Ickie-goo….

    Reply
  4. James Patterson

    Talking about a “Sticky coating” in or on radios,I can say that I experianced a totaly unexpected sight when I received a ICF Sony 2001D in the mail from Australia.I bought it as “Second hand” in a not working condition.I already knew it wasnt in working order and was prepared to accept it this way,hopeing I could repair it,of which I found a small repair caused by corosion on battery terminals fixed the problem.But I can say that I was totaly shocked when I opened the case up to check for faults.The heads of the screws were rusty and very hard to unscrew.The entire circuit boards were covered in a “White sticky dust” almost like soap powder.The smell was that of strong Tobaco.There was a build up of this sticky “chemical” in the corners of the plastic case,and hence it has already corroded the Metal parts that cover some of the compoments and the back of the speaker.But hey the radio acturly works fine and the alignment is top dead center.So if it wasnt for this chemical of some sort what ever was put into it at some stage,it would still be as new.Ive had to change the rear cover because the powder had come out and slightly damaged the printing on it.But as soon as I opened the mailed package,when I received it,I smelt something strange about it and not being a Smoker,my nose detected the strong smell of tobaco,thinking that the previous owner had been a heavy smoker.So I emailed the sender and the person felt very affended when I asked,because the reply was that the sender had never smoked,nor smelt any thing coming from the radio.The sender had everdently bought the radio via E Bay,and it had never worked,so it had been left sitting in a box,in a closet,up untill I put a post out wanting to buy a Sony ICF 2001D in working or not order.Well to this day that radio has turned out to be one of my finest receivers working very well on all bands.But as far as that sticky white powder goes that I found inside,and the life of the radio well befor the sender had bought it from E Bay,…..Who knows.?? All comments accepted thanks!!

    Reply
  5. Chad KJ4VYI

    Wow I wish I would have known about this when I had my VW Jetta ( 2000 model ) the dash became sticky just like these radios.

    I went with the rubbing alcohol on the jetta ( whole bottle ) and it was nice for a bit but it just seemed to leak the sticky stuff over time in the hot florida sun!! Jetta is now gone and was replaced with a 2000 f150.

    may have to try this on my grundig mini 300 as it is feeling a bit sticky and not from the PB&J i ate while tuning it !!!

    thanks for the tip
    Chad

    Reply
  6. John

    I have two Grundig G3’s which have a similar pungent rubberized coating and neither of them have developed any stickiness at all.

    Maybe I’m just lucky ?

    On another note, I’m not sure why anyone would find the Eton E5 “Amazing”. I and many others find it to be a complete piece of junk. YMMV.

    Reply
    1. Mike

      I’ve owned an Eton e5 for 4 years & it has an excellent receiver on AM, FM & SSB. The SSB tuning is a little fiddly but other than that it’s a great little receiver. Last night I was listening to a friend of mine in Florida on 20m, just using the whip antenna, no problem receiving him. Incidentally I haven’t had the sticky residue problem (yet!).

      Reply
  7. Phil

    I called Eton and asked to speak to customer service. The person I spoked to told me that certain models had the sticky problem. I asked if he knew anyway to get the sticky mess from my radio. He thought for awhile and said that maybe nail polish remover would work. The problem is I can’t stand the smell of the remover and it doesn’t help my breathing.

    Reply
  8. Edward

    There is a product called “goo gone” and is available at CVS pharmacy in 2oz bottles. This gives me good results. If you need larger quantities, ULINE carries it.

    Goo Gone® – 55 Gallon Drum S-20306

    Removes all the tough stuff.

    Use on latex paint, labels, caulk equipment, tools.
    Industrial-size drum for the biggest jobs.
    Not available for sale in the following state: CA.

    MODEL
    PRICE PER DRUM ADD TO CART
    1 2+
    S-20306 Liquid 55 gal. 450 $1,695 $1,650 drum(s) ADD
    SHIPS VIA MOTOR FREIGHT
    Ships from Uline IL

    Reply
  9. James H. Kelly

    Turtle. Wax Luxe Leather Cleaner and Conditioner. 16oz. Bottle. Put on clean
    Rag wrap around Radio let it soak for a while clean it off. Comes clean and has stayed
    Clean.

    Reply
  10. Alfredo

    The link to Danny’s method is not working anymore.
    Could anyone upload the instructions please?
    Thank you guys!

    Reply

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