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 has been a busy week, but Wednesday evening I took a few minutes to finally remove the sticky residue on my Grundig G6.
In case you’re not familiar, back in the day (roughly 2009 to 2013) Eton/Grundig covered a number of their radios models with a rubberized coating that unfortunately breaks down over time and becomes tacky or sticky to the touch. The Grundig G6 was one of those radios.
If you’ve been an SWLing Post reader for long, you’ve also no doubt read our numerous posts about cleaning off this mess. There are a number of solutions, but it seems the most positive long-term results by employing a de-greasing product called Purple Power (click here to read archived posts). Indeed, it’s the solution Eton Corporation recommends and the one I used to clean my Eton E1 XM.
Pre-cleaning, the G6 was incredibly sticky. It’s hard to see in the photos, but it was so sticky, it was challenging to remove it from its OEM pouch where it had been stored.
The Purple Power solution is effective, though. It requires only a few minutes to clean off the residue, then another few minutes to do a final polishing (I use a simple window cleaning solution).
The results are so impressive.
When I pulled the G6 from its pouch before cleaning, the back stand fell off. I believe it actually stuck to the inside of the pouch.
It’s so great to enjoy the G6 once again. It is a gem of a compact portable. One thing that surprised me? I forgot how fluidly the tuning works with no muting between frequency changes and how quickly (immediately) it switches into SSB mode. In the day an age of DSP portables, we’ve forgotten that these legacy receivers are actually better at both of these tasks.
Next up is my Grundig G3 which is quite sticky. I need to pull it from its storage bin.
Have you rescued a sticky radio recently? Please comment!
I’m back from a week of travels and the 2020 Winter SWL Fest. In short, is was another amazing Fest and so much fun. I hope to write more about it in the coming days, when I have a few moments to catch up and after I shake a nasty bug (chest cold) I picked up.
Although I had no intention of making purchases at the Fest beyond a few raffle tickets, I couldn’t resist snagging an Eton E1 (XM version) at a silent auction from the estate of our recently-departed friend, Tony Pazzola (WB2BEJ). Tim Moody kindly organized the silent auction.
Tony was an amazing friend to all and an avid radio collector, so there were some excellent radios offered up in the silent auction–I could have easily easy bid on each and every one of them! In the end, though, only one really caught my eye: the Eton E1 XM.
A small sampling of the radios from Tony’s estate.
Tony took amazing care of his radios, but his Eton E1 XM suffered from what all of those models eventually do: a sticky chassis.
Back in the day (roughly 2009 to 2013) Eton/Grundig covered a number of their radios models with a rubberized coating that unfortunately breaks down over time and becomes tacky or sticky to the touch.
I think this E1’s sticky coating put off potential bidders.
It was particularly nasty–if you picked up the radio, you had to immediately wash your hands.
The E1’s starting bid on Friday was $200–quite fair considering this unit is fully-functional and comes with all software, cables, manuals and a SiriusXM radio antenna. By Saturday, the starting bid had been decreased to $150. I resisted putting in an offer, but after seeing that it didn’t sell after all bidding had ended, I couldn’t resist. That E1 needed a good home, right? Plus the proceeds go to Tony’s family.
The sticky coating didn’t scare me. If you’ve been an SWLing Post reader for long, you’ve no doubt read our numerous posts about cleaning off this mess. There are a number of solutions, but I’ve heard the most positive long-term results by employing a de-greasing product called Purple Power (click here to read archived posts). Indeed, it’s the solution Eton Corporation recommends.
On the way home Monday, I stopped by a big box store and grabbed a bottle of Purple Power.
Tony still had the original plastic film on the large backlit display.
Sporting a pair of nitrile gloves, I grabbed a bunch of paper towels and a few cotton swabs, then started the cleaning process. I spent the better part of an hour carefully going over the entire body of the E1and trying to remove residue in every crevice without allowing the Purple Power solution to creep under buttons.
In short? I’m very pleased with the results and am now a solid believer in Purple Power.
As others have reported, Purple Power breaks down the sticky residue and allows it to be removed with a cloth or towels with very little scrubbing. Indeed, the process was much easier than I anticipate.
Now I have a super-clean Eton E1 XM to put on the air!
Now I have no excuse to finally remove the sticky residue from both my Grundig G6 and G3!
So far, I’m loving the Eton E1. It is, no doubt, a benchmark portable. Of course, another motivation behind snagging this E1 is so that I can compare it with the Eton Elite Satellit once it eventually hits the market.
Do you have an Eton E1? What are your thoughts about this receiver? Please comment!
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.
Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Steve Z, who writes with another option to clean radios (like the Eton E1, Eton Satellite and others) with a rubberized coating that has become sticky with time:
I ran across this blog when I recently took out an Eton portable radio and found it to be a sticky, gunky mess. The radio is probably around 8-10 years old and it’s been a few years since I used it. I didn’t have any of the products mentioned here, but tried a few similar products I already had in my home with varied success:
Simple Green: Did nothing. Don’t bother.
Goo Gone liquid: Very limited results. Had to scrub a lot for minimal results. Not worth it.
Simple Green Grill Cleaner: Worked well. Sprayed a portion of the radio, waited a minute and then cleaned with microfiber cloth. Had to use a little elbow grease, but results were good.
Goo Gone Kitchen Cleaner(foaming degreaser): WINNER by far! Easily and quickly cleaned sticky gunk off radio. Sprayed portion and then easily wiped clean with microfiber cloth. No damage to writing or graphics on radio. Whole radio took about 30 minutes. It would have been faster, except there are a lot of dials and nooks and crannies to work around.
One thread that’s had a surprisingly long run here on the SWLing Post deals with sticky radios.
A number of portable radios manufactured in the past decade were coated in a rubberized, tactile material that was quite functional when the products were new. With time, however, the coating breaks down and becomes incredibly sticky to the touch. We’ve published a number of articles about how to clean sticky radios–click here to read our archived posts.
Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Lee Reynolds, who writes with his suggestion:
Gunk on radios – I was the lucky winner of an E1 at one of the ‘fests.
Of course, the coating went bad and it would up looking like the flypaper/Wino of radios.
I made a desultory attempt at cleaning it (using that Purple Power stuff) but it was a nasty, dirty job that I didn’t complete. A disheartening mess.
Fast forward three or four years after that. I had some time on my hands, I took another look at the radio.
I found that the gunk continues to mutate – it had actually lost most of its ability to adhere to the radio’s casing. Now it would rub off with a paper towel and nothing else.
A couple of rolls of paper towels and some Pledge left it something you no longer needed to put gloves on in order to feel comfortable touching.
So – another fix for the gunk – time and patience. No cleaners needed.
Thanks for sharing, Lee. Worth noting: if you gave up on your sticky radio some time ago, perhaps you should pull it back out of storage and see if the coating has deteriorated to the point it might simply rub off? Time might have made the job much easier.
Here in the Houston area we are getting in to the heart of hurricane season. I have a little Eton FR-300 radio that has am, fm, tv and weather bands, a flashing red light, a white light, and a siren. I hadn’t picked it up in some time, and, while doing a “emergency inventory” today, I picked it up and it was so STICKY!!!
The first thing tried was rubbing alcohol, but the type suitable for first aid which is only 50% which just spread the stickiness around.
I did a “sticky radio” search and up came your blog, which I am already familiar with (no stickiness issues on my trusty Sony ICF-SW/7600GR) .
When I browsed the suggested solutions, “citrus-based” came up. Turns out I had the solution under my sink: “Veggie Wash” is a citrus-based product used to clean fruits and vegetables, and now, radios!
Squirted some on a paper towel and it does the job nicely.
Thanks for the suggestion! Like you, I imagine many others will have Veggie Wash on hand.
Spread the radio love
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