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!
This reader used Purple Power to clean his benchmark Eton E1.
It’s made by Aiken Chemical and can be found at auto supply shops (e.g. Autozone, NAPA, etc.), home improvement stores, and a few major retailers (such as Walmart).
The method involves dampening a cloth or microfibre towel with the cleaner, then wiping the radio in a single direction with gentle pressure. Don’t rub back and forth or swirl in circles. It won’t remove logos, lettering, or numbers.
The agent stated that only one cleaning is necessary. The rubber coating will remain non-tacky, permanently, after using Purple Power.
Having said all that, I haven’t personally tested it. You’ll might recall that I had already cleaned my radios with oven cleaner.
Also, Purple Power is hard to find in Canada. I do have other degreasers in my workshop; some of them are even purple-coloured (e.g. Zep Commercial Purple Cleaner and Castrol SuperClean), but they’re highly corrosive and toxic, so I’m not keen on trying those on my
Therefore, if one of your other readers already has a jug of Purple Power handy, maybe they can test it out and report back to us.
After the display on my Eton E-1 receiver died, the good folks at Universal Radio swapped my broken but lightly used radio for a factory reconditioned unit. Fred Osterman warned me that the plastic case was sticky and somewhat gross and he wasn’t kidding, but I was still grateful that he had a replacement radio.
After searching around the Internet (including your blog) and trying various cleaners and solutions that didn’t remove the dirt and grime from the radio (such as rubbing alcohol, Gunk and dishwasher detergent), I went to my local O’Reilly Auto Parts store and asked if they had a recommendation. Their solution was a product called Purple Power ($4.49) and a microfiber shammy mitt ($4.50). In less time than it took me to watch an episode of “Dr. Phil,” my Eton cleaned up beautifully, with no damage to the unit — it looks and feels brand new. The plastic retained that nice tacky feel without all of the stickiness that attracts gunk like dust, hair and other crud.
Purple Power is made by Aiken Chemical. You’ll want to have a clean bucket of water to remove the gunk that Purple Power removes from the plastic — it really was disgusting but I won’t hesitate to give the radio a Purple Power bath the next time it starts getting gross. And, no, I’m not affiliated with Purple Power, Eton or anyone else, including the microfiber shammy!