How To Clean Sticky Plastic

The majority of electronics are housed in some kind of plastic which for the most part is very long lasting and easy to clean with a damp cloth. There is one type of rubberized plastic coating that doesn’t fall into this easy to clean category. The coating is used to make the plastic feel more upmarket but once it starts to degrade it becomes tacky and eventually straight up sticky.

I have tried all sorts of cleaners including Goo Gone which is usually great for removing sticky marks from plastic. Nothing worked and most just made the coating more sticky. I didn’t want to start trying more harsh solvents as I’ve damaged plastics in the past using things like alcohol rub.

An old Linksys E4200 router had become so bad that the entire top was sticky with a layer of dust attached. I was trying to clean the dust off in the laundry room when I noticed the box of baking soda and thought it was worth a try. Using a small cup I made a thick paste of baking soda and water, I then used my finger to rub the paste on the router. In a few seconds the sticky coating started to come off. It took about 10 minutes and a quick wipe with a damp cloth but the stickiness had finally gone. The plastic underneath is by no means pristine but at least it isn’t sticky and I can now clean it with just a damp cloth.

It won’t be quite as easy to use this method on things like TV remotes but it might be easy to remove the cover and clean it before reassembling.

Outlook Procedure Entry Point Error – Windows XP

This one came as a surprise since there aren’t many updates being released for Windows XP or Office 2010. On PCs running Windows XP 32bit SP3 and Office 2010, a recent update has caused an error when opening Outlook. The error message includes the message below and gives no option to continue to open the program.

The procedure entry point CompareStringOrdinal could not be located in the dynamic link library KERNEL32.dll

All the machines I’ve looked at so far with the error all worked fine after removing update KB4011273. Follow the steps below to remove the update and stop it from installing again.

  1. Go to Control Panel > Add or remove programs.
  2. Check the Show Updates box at the top right.
  3. Find the section with Office updates and uninstall KB4011273.
  4. Once it has finished uninstalling open Internet Explorer and go to
  5. Select Custom.
  6. When available updates are shown uncheck the update and check the Don’t show this update again box.

    Don't show update
    Don’t show update Windows XP

The update should not be installed automatically and Outlook will now open. It will buy you enough time to get whatever data you need before buying something more recent.