Why does my silicone get sticky?

Answered by Randy McIntyre

Sticky film build-up on silicone or rubberized handles can be quite frustrating, especially when it seems like no matter how much you wash them, the stickiness remains. But fear not! I’m here to shed some light on why this happens and how you can prevent it.

The main culprit behind the sticky feeling on silicone or rubberized handles is the absorption of grease or oils into the surface. These materials have a tendency to be quite porous, allowing them to absorb substances that come into contact with them. Over time, if not properly cleaned, this can lead to a build-up of residue that creates the unpleasant sticky sensation.

One common scenario where this can occur is when cooking with greasy or oily foods. As you handle these ingredients, some of the oils may transfer onto the handle surface. Even if you wash the handles afterwards, there can still be traces of grease left behind that gradually accumulate and create the sticky film.

Another situation where this can happen is when using cleaning products that contain oils or greasy substances. While these products are designed to clean and remove dirt, they can inadvertently leave behind a residue that contributes to the stickiness.

To prevent this sticky build-up, it’s important to be proactive in your cleaning routine. Here are a few steps you can take:

1. Regularly wash the handles: After each use, make it a habit to wash the handles thoroughly with warm soapy water. Be sure to use a gentle dish soap or a mild detergent that won’t leave behind any residue. Scrub the handles with a soft cloth or sponge to remove any oils or grease that may have been absorbed.

2. Rinse thoroughly: After washing, rinse the handles with clean water to ensure all soap or detergent is removed. Residual soap can contribute to a sticky feeling, so it’s crucial to rinse well.

3. Dry completely: After rinsing, dry the handles thoroughly with a clean towel or let them air dry. Moisture can promote the growth of bacteria or mold, which can further contribute to stickiness. By ensuring the handles are completely dry, you minimize the chances of any lingering stickiness.

4. Avoid using oily or greasy products: When cooking or using cleaning products, try to minimize the contact between the handles and oily substances. If possible, use utensils or gloves to handle greasy foods. When cleaning, opt for non-greasy or oil-free cleaning products to avoid adding to the stickiness.

If you’ve already noticed a sticky film on your handles, don’t worry, there are ways to tackle it:

1. Vinegar solution: Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a bowl. Dip a clean cloth or sponge into the solution and gently scrub the sticky areas. The acidity of the vinegar can help break down the greasy residue. Rinse the handles thoroughly with clean water after scrubbing.

2. Baking soda paste: Make a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the sticky areas and let it sit for a few minutes. Then, scrub the handles with a soft cloth or sponge to remove the residue. Rinse well with water afterwards.

3. Dish soap and warm water soak: If the stickiness persists, you can try soaking the handles in a solution of warm water and a few drops of dish soap. Let the handles soak for about 15-20 minutes, then scrub them gently with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly with clean water.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. By incorporating regular cleaning practices and avoiding contact with greasy substances, you can keep your silicone or rubberized handles free from sticky build-up.