: Wearever brake cleaner reacts with plastics

12-15-12, 09:10 AM
I always assumed that most brake cleaners were resistant to reacting with synthetics. I picked up a can of Wearever brand brake cleaner recently. My wife had gotten a few drops of soda on her laptop keyboard and one of her keys was sticking, so I popped the key out and sprayed the bottom of it with some brake cleaner. Within seconds it had fused to the rag that I was trying to wipe it down with. It appeared melted. So much for that. Then I put the half melted key back on her keyboard and it sticks worse now because it's so tacky.

I have some guns with composite frames that I have used Brakleen on before with no results like this. I don't know what happened really. It might be the brand, maybe the type of plastic?

12-15-12, 09:24 AM
The new formula evidently contains acetone
Several hits say not to use it on plastics -

12-15-12, 09:34 AM
Wow, I had no idea. I guess I can't assume things so much. Just accustomed to using Brakleen. Never using this new formula again.

12-15-12, 09:44 AM
Been there, done that. Ruined a plastic 50 round clip for a Ruger 10-22 by trying to clean it with (automotive) Berkebile Gum Cutter - the stuff turned the plastic case into chewing gum.

Most automotive sprays are only good for their labeled use. Even choke and therottlebody cleaners will literally dissolve some plastics, and everybody knows that WD-40 is wonderful for cleaning label gum off of glass jars.

12-15-12, 11:46 AM
Most brake cleaners (I use Brakleen) are very strong solvents and like Sub, I've gotten burned once or twice. I always try to test first on plastics, but I HAVE found that they are extremely good stain removers. Get a stain on a shirt or any other article of clothing, take it out in the garage, back it with an old towel or such and spray the Brakleen through the stain. It leaves no residue or telltale marks. If that doesn't remove it, nothing will.

12-15-12, 12:25 PM
and everybody knows that WD-40 is wonderful for cleaning label gum off of glass jars.

Huh. Never tried that. Lacquer Thinner always worked. So does a blowtorch.

12-15-12, 04:45 PM
Live and learn. Had you paid enough attention here, you'd know that all you had to do was dump some TECHRON on it.

But in all seriousness, on almost all electronics, all you need to clean is pure water. No solvents or magic in a bottle.

12-15-12, 05:20 PM
Or get a steel keyboard. That's my vote.

12-16-12, 12:53 AM
brake cleaner to get soda off? why not water or windex? that is funny how the rag stuck to the key though.

12-16-12, 01:32 AM
Live and learn. Had you paid enough attention here, you'd know that all you had to do was dump some TECHRON on it.


12-16-12, 10:10 AM
I used brake cleaner because it takes carbonized gun powder off my guns on contact, worked great on glock and bersa frames (some kind of nylon composite). Although that was brakleen. I tried water first but it had no effect on tacky soda. I figured all would be resistent because there are boots around brakes. I kindof worry in the future that I might hit some plastic or rubber while cleaning around the knuckle.

12-16-12, 08:26 PM
The plastic on laptop keyboards is too soft for acetone type cleaners. I would have used some goof off first.
Brings a story to mind of a guy who was complaining about some diesel and filled a large styro cup with it.
We stood there saying it's gonna melt get rid of it and a few seconds later poof goes the cup.

12-17-12, 12:17 AM
Isopropyl alcohol will handle most sticky substances. Never cleaned a keyboard with it (In fact, I will most likely never clean a keyboard in my life) but I see nothing in their design that it could damage. Soda would most likely dissolve rather quickly, as it is good at those types of things. Also, it is great on stubborn labels on vials/jars and whatnot. Plus, you can embalm things with it and make wet specimens, if you combine them with said vials/jars. Always a good thing to keep around.