Ron notes that “Purple Power” is not the same product or formula across the globe

We’re shared a number of posts here about how well the product “Purple Power” cleans the sticky residue off of portable radios than once had a rubberized coating (the coating breaks down over time and becomes incredibly tacky).

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, RonF, who writes from Australia with this important note:

Tip for non-USonians: what’s sold as “Purple Power” (and “Simple Green”, and several other frequently-recommended cleaners for this sort of thing) are not necessarily the same products around the world.

For example, in the US “Purple Power” is an ethylene glycol based cleaner/degreaser; here in Aus, if you ask for “Purple Power” you’ll get a sodium hydroxide based degreaser.

One will clean the gunk off your radio; the other will clean the gunk *and most of the labelling* off…

Wow–that is an important distinction! Thank you for sharing, Ron!

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6 thoughts on “Ron notes that “Purple Power” is not the same product or formula across the globe

  1. Robin

    I have just removed all of the sticky gooey coating from my Pure One Flow internet radio by using methylated spirits on a fibre-free cloth (I used an old vest). 2 or 3 applications worked well, then a rub with WD40 to remove any residue. Finished with some furniture polish for a high gloss. Finally I tried Carnauba wax which gave it a really deep piano-black wet-look shine. Well satisfied!

  2. Bill Lee

    for example search purple power msds data sheets
    and get many entries
    The newer SDS, Safety Data Sheet

    or the older MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet

    or a longer set of warnings

    And in Canada
    Aiken 4315PS Nettoyant Violet Power 12/907,2 g
    Le nettoyant/dégraissant Purple Power fonctionne sur une grande variété de surfaces dans l’automobile, la ferme, la marine, la maison et les applications industrielles.
    with a reference (in English) on the Amazon.CA page to cleaning an Eton radio

  3. Dave

    1 re “One will clean the gunk off your radio; the other will clean the gunk *and most of the labelling* off…” would have been great to know which one does what 🙂

    2 In fact there are a number of slightly different safety data sheets on the web if you do a search, and at least one US SDS lists a strong alkali ingredient (“Potassium Hydroxide 4 – 6 %”) so it’s not entirely clear to me what the active ingredients are and if they vary for different markets. I would guess though that the key component for sticky removal is the glycol ether (note: glycol ether [listed as Ethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether for example] NOT ethylene glycol, no reason to include EG in the formulation that I can think of) which is a common cleaner ingredient. (I write as a chemist who has worked in chemical specialities formulating industrial cleaners).

    Anyway I have a sticky Grundig G4 and I’ll look out for a glycol ether containing cleaner locally and see what happens.


  4. Andrew (grayhat)

    ethylene glycol ?

    man, be careful with that, probably the cleaner is diluted or mixed with something, otherwise the glycol can burn w/o visible flame and that’s a nasty thing (just imagine breathing it, if it starts burning…)

    1. Ron F

      It’s not straight ethylene glycol (typo on my part in my original comment); US “Purple Power” is a mix of a couple of different compounds, including a wetting agent / emulsifier (poly(oxy-1,2-ethanediyl), a-(2-propylheptyl)-w-hydroxy) and diethylene glycol butyl ether (which is non-flammable) as a solvent.

      However, my point was that the common names are meaningless since the actual formulation varies from place to place, so don’t rely on them being the same. Always worth checking the MSDS/SDS for details…


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