How to Remove Sticky Rubber from Nylon


Paul asked: How do I remove sticky rubber from nylon? The rubber elastic bands that I use to keep my kites closed have perished/melted with age and left a sticky residue on the fabric. The fabric is ripstop nylon, similar to the sail of a yacht. I am concerned that a solvent will damage the nylon. Hope you can help. Many thanks.

When rubber breaks down due to age or dry rot, you can end up with a sticky mess. Cleaning it without damaging the fabric might seem tricky, but thanks to what many folks are calling a “miracle product,” the solution is actually quite simple. Here’s what you need to do.

You Will Need:

  • Goo Gone
  • Clean white cloth
  • Cotton swabs

Steps to Remove the Rubber:

  1. Goo Gone is readily available at most superstores and home improvement stores. Check for it in the cleaning aisle or paint department.
  2. In a well ventilated room, apply Goo Gone directly to the sticky mess according to label directions. To avoid staining, use a cotton swab to apply it only to the rubber areas.
  3. Wait a few minutes then repeat the application. The time between applications gives the Goo Gone a chance to break down the sticky nature of the rubber.
  4. Use the clean cloth to blot away the rubber.
  5. Repeat if necessary.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If Goo Gone doesn’t take care of the sticky rubber, try putting the material in the freezer. Once the rubber has hardened, use the blunt tip of a butter knife or a spoon to gently scrape it from the surface.
  • Goo Gone may slightly stain some fabrics. If you’re concerned about your nylon, spot test it first. Use caution to keep the Goo Gone on the rubber and it’s much less likely to stain.
  • Goo Gone can be harmful or fatal if swallowed. Always use in a well ventilated area and keep away from children.
  • Do not use Goo Gone near heat or flame.

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