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Cleaning Electronics with Sugar 121

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the sticky-situations dept.
legoburner writes "Instructables.com has an article on removing logos from your PDAs or Cell Phones using sugar. Basically, the sugar crystals are strong enough to remove the logo (sticker), but are too soft to scratch the casing leaving it unscathed. The article has many pictures of the process as well as a thorough walkthrough. Let the rebranding of all your electronics begin!"
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Cleaning Electronics with Sugar

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  • by GIL_Dude (850471) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:19AM (#16071414) Homepage
    I guess the sugar makes it one sweet PDA?
  • Hm... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Isn't sugar also small enough to slip through any holes on the product though? I wouldn't want bits in my electronics rattling about.
    • Re:Hm... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Albert Sandberg (315235) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:27AM (#16071439) Homepage
      Isn't sugar also small enough to slip through any holes on the product though? I wouldn't want bits in my electronics rattling about.

      I suppose this is why he uses tape to cover other parts than the ones he's cleaning
      • I suppose this is why he uses tape to cover other parts than the ones he's cleaning

        Which then, of course, requires suguar to remove the tape residue... Clearly a plot by the Mexican sugar industry.
      • Why would one care to do this? Is it some kind of stand against corporate entities?
  • Sweet (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrSteveSD (801820) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:21AM (#16071426)
    Sweet!
  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:24AM (#16071430) Homepage Journal
    DIY stripper pole [instructables.com] that was advertised on the left side?
  • or my phone. why would i do that to my $200 razr?
  • See? (Score:5, Funny)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:29AM (#16071441) Homepage Journal
    ``Cleaning Electronics with Sugar''

    See? I've always told my mom that nothing bad was going to happen because of me eating candy over my keyboard. It even keeps it clean!
    • "Please correct me if my facts are wrong."

      (from the parents signature, for those who have them disabled)

      I don't even know where to begin... :-)
      • by spungebob (239871)
        Well... you could begin by explaining how you managed to get YOUR facts wrong. The fact that you misquoted the parent's sig makes me think that you may have some special insight into the process. :)
        • Truthfully, I misremembered it. I'm not sure what that does to the joke. Perhaps it does enhance it?

          I never noticed before that replying to comments strips away the signatures. Why is that anyway? You hear that slashdot?
          • by hesiod (111176)
            > replying to comments strips away the signatures. Why is that anyway?

            My guess is because if you are replying to a signature, it's most likely off-topic. Unless someone's sig happens to apply to the discussion at hand.
    • Yes, the sticky sugary substance which has coated your keyboard is candy.
  • by maxrate (886773) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:29AM (#16071442)
    You know how much smack I've wasted doing the same thing?
  • Careful doing this (Score:5, Interesting)

    by popo (107611) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:29AM (#16071443) Homepage
    This technique works great on PDA's and phones where the natural casing texture is what's under the logo,
    but if you've got a 'chromed' phone/PDA (particularly with a color), you may find yourself scratching off
    the background color as well.

    Sometimes the logos are actually printed in 'negative', where the background color 'is' the print and the
    logo is negative space.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    "First you get the sugar, then you get the power, then you get the women."
  • Hmm (Score:4, Funny)

    by xinu (64069) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:31AM (#16071449) Homepage Journal
    Words of advice: don't add water when rubbing off the logo.

    My hands are stiiicky...
    • by Anonymous Coward
      My hands are sticky too but I've been rubbing something else off.
  • Much easier way... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 09, 2006 @10:32AM (#16071452)
    I've used this [mgchemicals.com] to strip logos before, as long as the plastic can take it, this will wipe them off with only one or two "swipes".
    • I use Goo Gone [magicamerican.com] for getting stickers and adhesive residue off of books and such, and since it doesn't damage paperback books, it should be fine for plastic surfaces. It's available at most any hardware store.
    • by treeves (963993)
      A look at the MSDS shows 60-80% NMP (n-methylpyrrolidone). That will damage many plastics. Be warned.
  • Columbians relying solely on the instructable and cannot read or speak english use highly corrosive cocaine on their electronics.
  • Put the straw down, step away from the sugar bag and put your hands on your head, sugar junkie!
  • Baking soda (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I use baking soda to scrub when I want to reduce the chance of scratching.
  • And here I was thinking that people bought things only for the logo on them...
  • by mdm42 (244204) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @11:10AM (#16071564) Homepage Journal
    Now if someone could tell me how to remove those crappy "Designed for Windows XP" and "Centrino Mobile Technology" labels without leaving a residue or damaging or scratching the casing, I'd be ever so grateful.

    I hate those things.
    • by Carnivore (103106) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @11:34AM (#16071635)
      I'm really good at this. The best way to remove the adhesive residue is to use the residue that stuck to the sticker when you pulled it off. Take the sticker, find an area that has adhesive on it, and stick that part on the residue on your computer. Push, twist, and pull straight out and the residue will roll off. It takes about 30 seconds, and you end up with a totally clean computer.

      It's especially useful for notebooks due to the sheer number of the things that they put on them.
      • I've been using that technique to clean labels off used DVD/video game cases for years. In most cases, it works.
        • A great thing to remove sticky remnants is peanut butter.

          Apply just a little more than a four year old would, and then rub in a circular motion.

          When the sticky is gone, remove the peanut butter with a damp cloth.

          This works because the peanut butter has both oil and water based solvents in it.
          • by gardyloo (512791)
            A great thing to remove sticky remnants is peanut butter.

            Apply just a little more than a four year old would, and then rub in a circular motion.


                  A four-year-old would use three tubs of peanut butter if he had them. That must be some hideous stickum on those things!
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Stunning Tard (653417)
        And once you got it all off you can replace it with a free ubuntu sticker [system76.com].
    • WD40 (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      WD40 takes off the gunk left over by sticky labels. Don't spray it on there, use a cloth, then rub it until there is no trace of the gunk. All traces of the WD-40 itself can be removed using a dry cloth or some windex. I've heard this works well for bugs on your bumper too.

      Now if there was something that could get rid of that logo on my tv that stays in the bottom right corner when I'm on certain channels. That one is really anoyying.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Pick up some Ronson lighter fluid (accept no substitutes! It has to contain naphtha) at your local drug store and put some on a paper towel and just rub the remaining adhesive off. It works well on any non-porous surface. I used to work at a used book shop and we used this stuff to get off just about any sticker imaginable, even those crazy big stickers some universities slap on their used books. http://www.ronsoncorp.com/accessories.cfm [ronsoncorp.com] (big yellow container) Good luck!
    • Well my "Designed for Windows XP" - Sticker is made out of Aluminium, and I feel that it's the most durable part of my Dell Inspiron 6000. I would recommend a very sharp Knife, because anything else will break, or damage the Case.
    • I stuck the enamel "Ready for Windows NT" badges that were on my laptop onto
      one of these [guldstrom.se] and left it into the server room toolkit at work.

      Xix.
  • by wkitchen (581276) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @11:13AM (#16071571)
    I used some 3M Citrus based spray cleaner to get some old labels and label glue off of a monitor. After letting the cleaner sit for a few minutes, the label glue wiped off easily, as did the Dell logo. Totally clean, as if it had never been there. The plastic housing was unharmed. Didn't even dull the surface.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Be careful with the orange or citrus spray. On the one hand, it cleans most paper-based labels and most adhesive off with no damage at all. Spray on, wait five minutes, peel off - plus it leaves a nice scent.

      However - some older Compaq cases and some monitor housings are extremely reactive to the citrus. It bubbles away like something from the Alien movies - you have about enough time to utter a choice profanity before the plastic is completely burned away.

    • by hesiod (111176)
      > used some 3M Citrus based spray cleaner

      At work some people decided to use something like that (Citrace -- might be "industrial grade") to clean their keyboards. Turned them a nice, inconsistent, chalky grey.
  • Lighter fluid, such as the kind that comes with a Zippo, works incredibly well for this purpose. I've used this on everything from CD cases to electronics to books. A small squirt of lighter fluid on the edges of the sticker.. then let it sit for a couple of minutes and soak it up. The sticker will fall right off, no matter how stubborn, and all adhesiveness will be lost. Wipe off the lighter fluid.. it can stain some books if you leave it too long.
    • Just don't get it anywhere near a Dell or Apple.
    • I can attest to this. Part of our business where I work is refelting pool tables. To hold the felt in place at the edges we use 3M Super 77 spray glue (banned in California). The only and I mean ONLY way to get the glue off of the slate is by using lighter fluid. The stuff is simply amazing at removing just about anything solvent based. When we clean the crap off of our other equipment we use :

      Wildcat tape remover (for lightweight labels and tape residue)
      Ronsonol lighter fluid (for high-strength dec
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Russ Steffen (263)

        Unless 3M is selling a different glue under the Super 77 label in CA, it's not banned here. You can buy it pretty much anywhere (Home Depot, Staples, art and craft stores, etc). I have several cans, as it's an important structural component in my Zagi [zagi.com].

        • I'll have to look at the can on Monday, but I remember something on the can specifically about not beinf for sale in the state of California. Not the standard boilerplate about substances shown to cause cancer in the state of California, an actual ban. I wonder if there is a different formulation that 3M sells there?
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Russ Steffen (263)
            Okay, did a little googling and found there is a different version sold in CA and about 8 other states. Seems to be the same glue but a different "ozone friendly" propelant.
    • Lighter fluid, such as the kind that comes with a Zippo, works incredibly well for this purpose. I've used this on everything from CD cases to electronics to books.

      I don't think that mixing flammable liquids, electronics that heat up enough to vaporize (and possibly even ignite) them, and electric current is neccessarily a very good idea. Especially since lighter fluid works well as a cleaner because it's a dissolver, and many such dissolvers are capable of dissolving plastics - like the ones used in el

      • by karnal (22275)
        A few caution tips then:

        1. Use flammable liquids away from flame.
        2. Clean with flammable liquids outside (again, away from flame)
        3. Turn off the equipment before working with flammable liquids.
        4. Make sure equipment doesn't have the smell of the flammable liquid after a reasonable drying time.

        If you smell vapors, there is always a possibility of ignition, but you need the right fuel/air ratio to do damage. If you don't smell it on the device, there's not enough vapor there. Of course, as with anything
  • I find that the best and easiest way to remove stickers is to use an electronic contact cleaner spray. It won't harm the plastic or electronic parts and won't leave any sticky marks.

    Just peel a few milimeters off the edge and spray through the opening. Wait for a few minutes for the spray to diffuse and dissolve the glue. The sticker will peel of by itself.
    • by waferhead (557795)
      Contact cleaner can damage many types of plastic...
      Esp clear plastics.

      They usually don't melt, just get real brittle and/or crack up.
      (Craze)
  • Don't mess with sugar, use the blue (rougher) side of a pencil eraser. It takes a whille but it works. Sugar on my gadgets sounds like a really bad idea.
  • A cell phone that's a magnet for ants. Maybe if I use Equal instead...
  • Sugar? Real men use WD40
  • Uh-oh, next thing you know the CIAA (Cellular Industry Association of America) will subpoena the web server logs of www.instructables.com and start slapping John Doe lawsuits on anyone who read the pages. After all, those phones have been heavily subsidized by the cellular providers, and carrying their branding is part of the unwritten contract between the consumer and the provider... it's not YOUR cell phone, you're just licensed to use it. /sarcasm

    Seriously though, I'm not as concerned about the logo prin
  • Used "Goo Gone" many times for similar things and it removes even very old and dirty sticker glue just perfectly.
    Cut from their site:
    Goo Gone safely removes: gum tar crayon fresh paint tree sap oil and grease blood ink asphalt scuff marks tape and tape residue makeup, lipstick and mascara adhesives candle wax kitchen grease shoe polish soap scum bumper stickers duct tape bicycle chain grease

    http://www.magicamerican.com/googone.shtml [magicamerican.com]
  • Sucrose (Cane Sugar)
    Saccharin (Sweet'N Low)
    Aspartame (Nutrasweet)
    Sucralose (Splenda)
    Honey (Bees)
    Maple Sugar (Trees)
    Sodium Chloride (Salt)
    Bitter Sarcasm (CmdrTaco)

    I'd go for the CmdrTaco option. But only after applying a sweet sugar coating on the device, letting him lick the tasty sticker off it.

    And yes, I realise I will be branded a pervert after this post.

  • Nice but. (Score:2, Interesting)

    Is it legal? I mean, if I was verizon coming out in the market with a rebranded cell phone I'd probably like to make it illegal for users to unbrand it, just like it's illegal to unlock the software and use it on another network. If you don't like being locked in, buy the more expensive unlocked phone ... Then again if we're talking manufacturer brands, I am proud of my Sony Ericsson P990i, why would I wanna hide it's brand?
    • Brandalism (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lullabud (679893) on Saturday September 09, 2006 @03:33PM (#16072332) Homepage
      It's actually pretty sad that people would even have to question the legality of removing a logo from a product... that the thought would even enter our brains. The way corporations use their weight to twist moral principles seeds our thoughts with doubt about the other innocent things we're doing...

      To take the matter even further to the opposing side, I quote the graffiti artist Banksy, as written in his book "Wall and Piece":
      Brandalism

      People abuse you every day. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you're not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They're on tv making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are the advertisers and they are laughing at you. However, you are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with impunity. Any advert in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It's yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. You especially don't we them any courtesy. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don't even start asking for theirs.
      • I think that if I want to sell a product at a discount and ask that my brand is kept there in exchange I should be allowed to do so. It's like the corps are buying advertising space on a product that you own, so it should be illegal if the corp wants it so.

        I would never buy a locked cell phone, but just a brand doesnt bother me too much if there is some price benefit compared to a non-branded phone.

        Advertising pays for a big chung of everything we consume, and although we pay that money back when we buy stu
        • by kimvette (919543)

          I think that if I want to sell a product at a discount and ask that my brand is kept there in exchange I should be allowed to do so.

          You can ask to put your logo on the product, and they do so. However, once the ownership of that product changes hands, the new owner can do anything he desires with his purchased good, including removing logos and repainting it. If you do not like that, then do not sell product, but rent or lease it to clients instead.

        • by johanw (1001493)
          You may ask what you want. However, why would I obey it? Those who sell commercials will just have to hope most people will not remove such labels. It happens with other things too. I once got my car back from a maintenace checkup with some stickers added to the back window. Very irritating to see them continuously in my mirror, so I removed them ASAP.
  • I use SoftScrub (http://www.softscrub.com/ [softscrub.com]) for cleaning stuff off computer cases. It works great without scratching.
  • I have a Palm Zire 72. Once the blue paint finishes peeling off, I'll have a shiny silver PDA without any logos...
  • by dramaley (20773) *

    I've recently discovered that vegetable oil works very well for removing stickers from just about anything: wood, metal, plastic, etc. It doesn't matter what type of vegetable oil. I suppose if you wanted to be pretentious you could use extra virgin olive oil, but any liquid cooking oil seems to work. Peel or scrape off the sticker as best you can, then rub oil on the remaining residue. I usually use a cotton swab and just have to lightly rub the gum or glue a bit with oil and the sticky stuff lifts right o

  • Practically every liquid, gel, semi-solid, etc. is either water based, or oil based. It doesn't seem like a difficult concept, but people just don't get it.

    If it doesn't breakdown when in contact with water (think: chewing gum), it will when in contact with oils. This goes for everything you've ever come across... from reinvigorating dried-out Playdough, to getting gum out of hair, tree sap out of clothes, and yes, getting stickers, adhesive bandages, and labels off, with nominal effort.

    I generally hate
  • I find a hammer to be highly effective; it won't remove logos well, but you feel much better once the offending device is in twenty or thirty pieces.

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