Soft touch remover > Sticky button magic

Ebenezer

Member
Messages
3,452
Thank you Eb, as mentioned to Scaf the encouragement really helps to progress to other areas!
Here’s the climate control panel in more detail but will post better picture in the morning.

View attachment 98877
So you did the climate control buttons too? Mine's sticky so really want to sort it but concerned with losing the symbols and lettering.

Eb
 

lozcb

Member
Messages
11,327
Thank you Eb, as mentioned to Scaf the encouragement really helps to progress to other areas!
Here’s the climate control panel in more detail but will post better picture in the morning.

View attachment 98877
Excellent work man , 5 stars when i can i expect you round with your suitcase of tricks ...............mine in one or two places are just starting very very slightly
 

mowlas

Member
Messages
1,121
So you did the climate control buttons too? Mine's sticky so really want to sort it but concerned with losing the symbols and lettering.

Eb
Yes indeed I did them too. I understand your anxiety and shared it before I started - it took courage to get going, even after reviewing dozens of threads and videos on the subject. However, once you practice your technique on one button, your confidence and knowledge grows. How you use the technique I describe below will adjust according to the stickiness and age of your car, so it is important to 'learn' and adapt it by experimenting on one button first.

The thing to keep in mind is that the sticky, soft-touch layer is a completely separate and removable layer from the painted surface with its laser-etched symbols/lettering. The paint layer is actually very robust as long as you don't use harsh chemicals or solvents on the sticky layer and don't use abrasive materials to scrape off the sticky layer. Your aim is to further soften up and gummify the sticky layer so that you can scrape it off with a combination of very soft plastic tools such as the blue plastic pry tools you find in a smartphone repair kit (see below) and a microfibre cloth. The absolute key to this, and not lose one's mind, is to focus on one area or button at a time.

The items I use are:

• A very gentle softening agent for the sticky layer - use the following undiluted - ValetPRO Citrus Pre-Wash Cleaner with Citrus Oils - Breaks Down Dirt and Road Grime - 1 L (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01GLGR6DA) OR Goo Gone Mac-GG12 Original Surface Safe Liquid Remover, Yellow (https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00006IBNJ)
• Small soft plastic scraping tools such as the blue pry tools shown here in this smartphone repair kit https://www.amazon.co.uk/Opening-Repair-Repairing-Disassembly-Tools/dp/B07WCLRH2D
• Microfibre cloths
• To protect the exposed plastic buttons, with a matt appearance, I have used either https://www.amazon.co.uk/Autoglym-Vinyl-Rubber-Care-500ml/dp/B001151E5I or https://swissvax.co.uk/products/protecton-matt-plastic-conditioner
• Tight fitting, thin latex gloves as you don't want prolonged exposure of the softening agent to your skin. However, you need to be able to feel the reaction of the sticky layer as it yields, hence a thin, tight fitting variety


So the technique I used is as follows, on one button or area at time:

  1. Start by applying the softening agent with a cloth to the surface of the button, let it sit for a minute and continue to apply a two or three more times. See if the surface starts to yield by applying the cloth firmly and seeing if some of the goo comes off onto the cloth.
  2. When you have reached this stage, you have to scrape the majority of the sticky layer off using the blue triangular pry tool. Only use enough, limited, soft pressure until you feel the gooey layer start to yield and come away and start to bobble up into small clumps - you can just pinch the clumps away with your fingers. Keep the surface dampened and lubricated with the softening agent whilst you are doing this. If you feel unsure about the plastic tool, then just scrape away with the microfibre cloth. I tend to use the plastic scraper on large surface areas such as the infotainment surround and more of the cloth on the buttons.
  3. After a while, you will have scraped off most of the goo but there will be little residue bits left behind. For the final stages, use only the cloth with a slightly firmer rubbing motion. Shine a light or take a picture of the end work to make sure there aren't tiny pieces of the sticky surface left behind.
  4. Thoroughly wipe off off the softening agent with a different damp cloth - rinse and wipe a few times to ensure there are no chemical traces left.
  5. Finally, after finishing all the areas and buttons, apply the UV protector coating to all cleaned up areas. Wipe off immediately with a different cloth for a matt finish
Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss further before you start.
 
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mowlas

Member
Messages
1,121
Excellent work man , 5 stars when i can i expect you round with your suitcase of tricks ...............mine in one or two places are just starting very very slightly
Thank you Loz! I really wish I had the time! The suitcase of tricks and techniques described just above. As mentioned to Eb, happy to PM or chat directly to share more.
 

mowlas

Member
Messages
1,121
@alastairb top notch work! That looks like new! Well done!

Haven’t tried Full Dip but had difficulty with matt clear plastidip as the second and third coatings tended to ‘frost’ up with micro bubbles which didn’t pop and dried as is. Will definitely give Full Dip a go!
 

tmc0011

New Member
Messages
19
Sorry if I’m being thick here but do the buttons need to be masked before spraying? Isn’t there a high risk that the spray will penetrate through the gaps and edges of the buttons and just cause more ‘stuck’ button problems down the road?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

alastairb

Member
Messages
69
Took the buttons out. Couldn't get the light switch off and didn't want to break it so taped it off.

It looks terrible going on but this brand is fine , I just let it flash off and go again. 3 or 4 coats this time round. Let's see how long it lasts.
 

Ebenezer

Member
Messages
3,452
I'm thinking about having a go at my HVAC buttons which are very sticky in this heat following @mowlas efforts.

Can the buttons be prised off easily (and put back)? If so what's the knack?

Thanks
Eb
 

Ebenezer

Member
Messages
3,452
Following @mowlas 's write up and donning my biggest brave pants I set to on my HVAC buttons in situ, no need to remove them. I used Goo Gone and a fine microfibre cloth.

HVAC before I started. The buttons were all pretty icky and nasty to touch.104341

After rubbing with the fine microfibre cloth liberally wetted with Goo Gone and also using a cocktail stick to scrape / loosen small bits of gunk around the raised bits and excavate between the buttons.
104342
104343

As you can see most of the gunk has gone, and what's left that you can see in the photos, is imperceptable in the flesh. The buttons are a joy to touch, albeit just plastic, but that's much better than the stickyness.

It was a cinch. All in, probably 30 minutes, although I could now probably do another one faster.

I was concerned about rubbing out the graphics, but as you can see they suffered no ill effects at all, despite relatively strong rubbing. I was also concerned that I had rubbed off some of the grey on the edge of a couple of buttons, but as you can see from the before pics, the paint had already been chipped.

The stickyness was caused by a transparent film which was removed purely using the fine microfibe cloth. In truth I don't know if the Goo Gone enabled the removal or not, or just provided some lubrication. It may have disolved or softened the gunk but I couldn't be sure.

I am beyond delighted since I had been quoted a big wedge for this to be sorted professionally. I have no doubt that the buttons would have been pristine and better than new, but this is absolutely fine for me!

Now I have a sticky air vents to look at and the NIT surround. I'll need some more encouragement....

Eb
 
Last edited:

Harry

Member
Messages
684
Following @mowlas 's write up and donning my biggest brave pants I set to on my HVAC buttons in situ, no need to remove them. I used Goo Gone and a fine microfibre cloth.

HVAC before I started. The buttons were all pretty icky and nasty to touch.View attachment 104341

After rubbing with the fine microfibre cloth liberally wetted with Goo Gone and also using a cocktail stick to scrape / loosen small bits of gunk around the raised bits and excavate between the buttons.
View attachment 104342
View attachment 104343

As you can see most of the gunk has gone, and what's left that you can see in the photos, is imperceptable in the flesh. The buttons are a joy to touch, albeit just plastic, but that's much better than the stickyness.

It was a cinch. All in, probably 30 minutes, although I could now probably do another one faster.

I was concerned about rubbing out the graphics, but as you can see they suffered no ill effects at all, despite relatively strong rubbing. I was also concerned that I had rubbed off some of the grey on the edge of a couple of buttons, but as you can see from the before pics, the paint had already been chipped.

The stickyness was caused by a transparent film which was removed purely using the fine microfibe cloth. In truth I don't know if the Goo Gone enabled the removal or not, or just provided some lubrication. It may have disolved or softened the gunk but I couldn't be sure.

I am beyond delighted since I had been quoted a big wedge for this to be sorted professionally. I have no doubt that the buttons would have been pristine and better than new, but this is absolutely fine for me!

Now I have a sticky air vents to look at and the NIT surround. I'll need some more encouragement....

Eb
Brill! Well done.
 

mowlas

Member
Messages
1,121
Following @mowlas 's write up and donning my biggest brave pants I set to on my HVAC buttons in situ, no need to remove them. I used Goo Gone and a fine microfibre cloth.

HVAC before I started. The buttons were all pretty icky and nasty to touch.View attachment 104341

After rubbing with the fine microfibre cloth liberally wetted with Goo Gone and also using a cocktail stick to scrape / loosen small bits of gunk around the raised bits and excavate between the buttons.
View attachment 104342
View attachment 104343

As you can see most of the gunk has gone, and what's left that you can see in the photos, is imperceptable in the flesh. The buttons are a joy to touch, albeit just plastic, but that's much better than the stickyness.

It was a cinch. All in, probably 30 minutes, although I could now probably do another one faster.

I was concerned about rubbing out the graphics, but as you can see they suffered no ill effects at all, despite relatively strong rubbing. I was also concerned that I had rubbed off some of the grey on the edge of a couple of buttons, but as you can see from the before pics, the paint had already been chipped.

The stickyness was caused by a transparent film which was removed purely using the fine microfibe cloth. In truth I don't know if the Goo Gone enabled the removal or not, or just provided some lubrication. It may have disolved or softened the gunk but I couldn't be sure.

I am beyond delighted since I had been quoted a big wedge for this to be sorted professionally. I have no doubt that the buttons would have been pristine and better than new, but this is absolutely fine for me!

Now I have a sticky air vents to look at and the NIT surround. I'll need some more encouragement....

Eb
Well done Eb!

I too found little spots here and there afterwards which are indeed imperceptible to the eye and cleaned the rest off when I had a few mins here and there. But the feeling is night and day and joy to have back.