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!


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


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!

Spread the radio love

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

  1. Charles KC8VWM

    The only way to actually fix the gooey rubber problems on the Grundig radio is to remove the rubber coating.
    Forget trying to clean it in an effort to make it less sticky. It simply just doesn’t work.

    The safest way to do this is NOT to use a 100 percent alcohol solution. The problem is the high content alcohol will dull the original shiny plastic finish making it appear like it was sandblasted or scoured. In some cases the alcohol will also remove the button labeling.

    So a gentler approach is needed. We do this by reducing the alcohol content. We also use a microfiber cloth which prevents scratching the surface. The removal of the rubber goo may end up destroying the microfiber cloth but this is a small price to pay to restore the radio to an amazing like brand new appearance once the rubber coating is removed.

    The best product that works to do this is called Symmetry Foaming Hand Cleaner. It contains 65 percent Ethyl Alcohol. It also contains a foam cleaner. The soapy foaming action significantly assists with removal of the rubber coating without scouring and damaging the surface.

    Once the rubber coating is removed you will end up with a high gloss plastic finish. The radio will look like you just purchased it the other day.

    Not sure how to attach photos here but I have them if you need to see the final dazzling results.

    Tips. There’s no need to rub the display. Avoid rubbing the display.
    The speaker grill may end up with residue stuck in the tiny holes. A soft toothbrush that is wet will erase this residue.

    Don’t over do it or scrub too hard. The objective is to ensure the microfiber cloth is wet enough to remove the rubber coating, but not so wet that it’s dripping off the cloth. Avoid the idea of getting alcohol into the cracks of the buttons.

    Letting the wet cloth sit for a second or two before rubbing seems to help the alcohol foam cleaner penetrate into the rubber coating better making it easier to remove. Less scrubbing will be required.

    The cloth will become soiled. You will be required to use a clean part of the cloth to remove every new section of rubber coating.

    This works or your money back. Lol Really I was ready to just trash my Grundig because of the sticky coating problems. Doing this will save your radio. Remember, underneath that gooey sticky rubber mess is a brand new radio. It WILL look like a brand new radio!


  2. James Patterson

    I had a small analog flat screen TV packed away cause TV had changed over to all digital.I got it out thinking I would use it connected to an HD digital box.It had all the sockets.But to my dismay,it too had the same rubberished finish all around the plastic case that had gone very sticky.I tried kerosene,thinners and washing detergent.Nothing worked untill I tried Metholated Spirits.This worked perfectly,I managed to wipe off all the sticky surface,almost desolveing all rubber.It took off some of the branding and words etc,but is fine now,I did connect it to HD and it works fine.A very clear picture & sound.So I found Meths did the job for me.Be carefull not to rub off the words etc.

  3. David Delcloo

    Thanks for the info, I used Oven Cleaner and it cleaned the sticky stuff off so I can use the radio(s) again. I have a pair for travel.

    David aka Superdad4sure

  4. Bronwyn

    Late to this but just googling the same problem. Solved the sticky coating by removing with Walter base eucalyptus oil, or tea tree oil. Easy as.

  5. Tha Dood

    I used a combination of Lift-Off and 91% isopropynol to ungunk my Grundig 300 Mini and Eton E-10. The E-10 was a harder deal to clean off due to, not only being bigger, but all the nooks and crannies to clean up on it. Either way, you are going to spend time of at least a couple of hours to clean them right.

  6. Jim myer

    Great comments! I have a grundig mini 300 that became so sticky I could pick it up and not even grasp it and it was as if it was glued to my hand with super glue! I tried hand sanitizer, vinegar, lemon juice and none worked! As a last resort I tried 91% rubbing alcohol on a clean rag then using another rag polished it! It looks brand new. Lettering looks great too!! ??

  7. Alfredo

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

    1. Jim myer

      I used 91% rubbing alcohol on a white cotton rag and rubbed til sticky gooey residue came off. Pretty quickly too. Then used a clean white rag, old pair of holey socks? And polished it. Alcohol didn’t hurt or fade or remove the shine or a sticker that was on the unit. I have a grundig mini 300 world band receiver. Good luck with yours.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

    1 2+
    S-20306 Liquid 55 gal. 450 $1,695 $1,650 drum(s) ADD
    Ships from Uline IL

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    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!).

  12. 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

  13. 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!!

  14. 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….

  15. 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.

  16. 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/

    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.


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