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!
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.
Sean at Universal Radio in Reynoldsburg, OH put me on to another terrific product that does the job fabulously and quite easily. It’s called MaxPro Ink/Adhesive Remover and is a citrus-based cleaner/solvent that won’t harm the radio’s plastic casing. You can get it on eBay for around $11 with free shipping:
It took me a total of less than 3 hours to clean both my E1s. I used a lot of paper towels, working a section of the radio at a time, spraying the solvent onto the towels and then rubbing the surface free of the degraded and sticky rubberized coating. After removing the coating, I simply wiped down the radio with a wet paper towel to remove any residual solvent. They are now clean and smooth and look like new with all the white print intact. And my hands didn’t suffer any from contact with the solvent.
A reminder if you do this: It’s important to seek out citrus-based solvents and avoid petroleum based solvents. It was so easy with this product that I wished I had done this a long time ago and wasn’t so nervous about taking it on.
Many 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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!