Mike wrote in, asking for tips on how to remove gunk from rubber (or rubbery?) tool handles.
I suppose this could apply to hand tools, or power tools which have overmolded grips.
Is there a way to remove the stickiness that sometimes form on black rubber tool handles without ruining the rubber?
There are too many different types of soft polymer materials for me to guarantee that one particular cleaning method will work over another. What I would do is try one cleaning method on a small area where potential degradation wouldn’t hurt performance or usability.
I think I would try an alcohol wipe first, due to simplicity of use.
If that didn’t work, I would try Simple Green, an industrial cleaner and degreaser, or a similar non-toxic degreaser. I have a tub of Simple Green wipes that I bought a while back, which should be quicker and easier to use for something like wiping down gunky tool handles.
If I had nothing else available, I might alternatively try a damp rag with Dawn dish soap or similar, but for hand tools. I wouldn’t try this on power tools.
Some tools are impervious to automotive solvents and fluids, but usually this only applies to tools designed for such usage environments.
Use the wrong solvent, degreaser, or cleaner, and you might damage the handle material. In some cases, you could cause an overmold to deteriorate, or if the adhesive is attacked, it could cause the handle to delaminate from a tool.
Do you have any recommendations about how to clean soft rubber-gripped tools?