Plastic knobs, fungus and cleanup

John M Iverson jackiv at JUNO.COM
Thu Mar 18 17:57:01 EST 1999

I have been told that this is a fungus feeding from the "mold relese"
used by the knob mfgr.   soak in ammonia laced water with adish wash
detergent for an hour or so.  works for me..  jack
Jack Iverson    K0EWU    jackiv at

On Thu, 18 Mar 1999 16:50:02 -0500 Christian Fandt <cfandt at NETSYNC.NET>
>Here's a question I've been wondering about for quite awhile.
>What exactly is the type of plastic many knobs are made of which,
>after a
>period of time in a dark, moderately damp place, develop what looks
>like a
>white fungus upon the surface??
>I'm sure most of you have seen this. I'm suspecting the white stuff is
>fungus based upon its appearance and conditions it would develop. I
>that finger oils which collect on the knob surface over time feed the
>fungus, perhaps the plastic itself (being an organic compound) feeds
>fungus. The type of plastic material is dependant upon whether this
>or not it seems. That is to say, I don't see it on knobs which seem to
>be a
>somewhat diff. material while under the same condx. The
>knobs are the most likely to exhibit this it seems, but color doesn't
>matter. The typical amber-yellow or clear screwdriver handles are
>apparently of the same material and show this too.
>As for cleanup and restoration, the once shiny surface of a knob (or
>screwdriver handle) ends up dull and somewhat pitted -depending upon
>severity of the collection of fungus. Anybody devised a way to bring
>the original gloss? Seems a clear lacquer or enamel paint would help a
>especially to at least seal the surface.
>Thanks for enlightening me!
>Regards,  Chris
>-- --
>Christian Fandt,         Electronic/Electrical Historian
>Jamestown, NY  USA      cfandt at
>Member of Antique Wireless Association
>        URL:
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