AirPod melted with alcohol.

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by w00t951, Apr 27, 2018.

  1. w00t951, Apr 27, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018

    w00t951 macrumors 68000

    w00t951

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2009
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #1
    The Genius said it's okay to clean these with 70% alcohol solution, but upon contact the plastic began to melt. I bought these about 10 days ago, do you think I could exchange them?

    EDIT: I should specify, the cleaning agent was laboratory grade 200 proof ethanol diluted to 70%/30% with distilled water. Clearly there's something other than water and ethanol in this solution.
     
  2. chabig macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #2
    Did you accidentally use acetone (fingernail polish remover)? That melts plastic. Plain alcohol should not.
     
  3. dan.tebeau macrumors newbie

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    Jun 1, 2015
  4. noobinator macrumors 603

    noobinator

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    #4
    Dang, what type of alcohol did you use?? And I'd love to see a pic.
     
  5. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    Potcheen? :p
     
  6. cyclingplatypus macrumors 65816

    cyclingplatypus

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    #6
    You'd have to ask a genius but to be honest, it sounds like you used something other than 70% isopropyl alcohol. I've used alcohol wipes with no issue. It sounds like you used acetone. Post an image.
     
  7. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #7
    Well, ok... I have a Bruan shaver. You know how it has the dock station to clean it with that lemon like alcohol solution stuff?

    [​IMG]

    The only reason why I mention this is because the drying fan inside of the unit broke on me a long time ago but I still use it all the time - but the alcohol has eaten away at the plastic on the shaver because it never gets dried off.

    So had this not happened to me I'd laugh at the idea of alcohol eating away at plastic, but it happens especially if you don't dry it off. But this is over the course of like 3-4 years....

    I've used disinfectant wipes on the AirPods - dried them off immediately. I use a piece of paper folded (sharp edge) to get inside the ear speaker area to get out earwax.

    Doubt Apple will do anything about it.
     
  8. w00t951 thread starter macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    Jan 6, 2009
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    #8
    It was a pure 70% EtOH/30% distilled water mixture from my lab, so it definitely doesn't have acetone or anything in it.

    And it's not very interesting, it just melted the top couple layers of plastic and it roughened up the surface. Funny enough the roughness means they stay in my ears better than before...
     
  9. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    California
    #9
    Yeah my shaver looks slightly porous and rough near the top part. Interesting. As long as they're still usable - cool.
     
  10. Charadis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #10
    I use ethanol in my lab all the time, especially for some of the assays that I run, and for cleaning up my bench area. I’ve had it ruin my phone skins in the past, so I absolutely can see it ruining plastic objects. Skinomi replaced my iPhone skin, but I’ve since switched to tempered glass.

    I’m glad you posted about this. I use 2-propanol for cleaning my ‘pods, usually wipes, but i’ll keep EtOH away for sure now. I hope you can reach a resolution with your own AirPods.
     
  11. TheSkywalker77 macrumors 6502a

    TheSkywalker77

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  12. BittenApple macrumors 6502a

    BittenApple

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  13. w00t951 thread starter macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    #13
    Yeah I'm not sure what else they put into the stock 200-proof solution, I suspect it's not just EtOH. I've never seen ethanol melt plastic like this, and I bet they put in small amounts of methanol or something to keep it azeotropic.

    I use it to wipe down my bench as well, but one day I decided to wipe down my Eppendorf ultracentrifuge - it stripped the paint right off the steel. I just thought the Germans used a crappy paint but now I'm thinking the ethanol is to blame.
     
  14. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    #14
    No it did not melt the plastic. You are mistaking a correlation with a cause.

    You either used the wrong cleaner, or just noticed the damage (caused by something else) and attributed it to the rubbing alcohol.
     
  15. w00t951 thread starter macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    #15
    It was 70% EtOH solution, and I didn't misattribute it. The white plastic literally rubbed off on my skin.
     
  16. NovemberWhiskey macrumors 68030

    NovemberWhiskey

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    May 18, 2009
    #16
    Take a video and do it again.

    EtOH is not going to "melt" plastic.
     
  17. NoBoMac macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #17
    Fortunately, my 10+ year old Series 7 is in decent shape, but, the paint near the razor head has been eaten away by the alcohol.

    Not surprised that the ethanol ate the Airpods. Not a great comparison, but, think along the lines of E85 fuel and how if the car is not equipped to take it, the fuel system and seals could be eaten away.

    An option is to use lens cleaners for coated lenses, as they are made to go easy on the lens coatings.

    Or, I will spray some multi-purpose cleaner on a microfiber (or paper towel when in a pinch) and wipe. Microfiber alone might be enough.

    Big thing to help keep the gadgets clean is to wipe often, particularly after some heavy/sweaty use. Set a reminder in Reminders to wipe down the buds on some schedule (weekly, every other).
     
  18. BigMcGuire Contributor

    BigMcGuire

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    Jan 10, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #18
    Nice another 7 series owner! I’ve owned this model since mid 2000s when it was the 9000 model and lasted until 2012. Then got the 7 I have now - going strong. Cool. :)
     
  19. ftaok, Apr 27, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018

    ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #19
    To me, 70% alcohol solution would imply 70% isopropyl alcohol, not 70% ethanol.

    Especially when used in the context of cleaning small parts.

    Isopropyl alcohol would not melt plastic. You used the wrong cleaning agent.

    Edit - I meant IPA would not melt plastic
     
  20. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2007
    #20
    This. The general understanding when people talk about alcohol for cleaning is 70% rubbing alcohol, not ethyl alcohol.

    Of course, there’s no harm in trying to get an exchange. Worse come to worse is they would deny it. Nothing to lose.
     
  21. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #21
    Can You at least share a picture of your AirPods for the rest of the forum members to view? That would be fairly interesting given what you stated you cleaned them with.
     
  22. TC_GoldRush macrumors 6502

    TC_GoldRush

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    Location:
    Nevada, USA
    #22
    Used 99% alcohol on my tech. before, no problems. You must've used the wrong cleaning agent.
     
  23. Relentless Power, Apr 28, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018

    Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #23
    I understand someone else mentioned a shaver, But I have Zero idea what a Norelco/Braun shaver has _anything_ to do with your AirPods being disfigured due to your own doing or why you’re asking about someone else’s opinion about a shaver? (Which is irrelevant), which also leads me to wonder why you won’t post a picture for others to see exactly what happened to your Airpods? That suggestion as previously made seems highly related to the thread albeit.
     
  24. w00t951 thread starter macrumors 68000

    w00t951

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    Jan 6, 2009
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    #24
    It's really not interesting, they look normal except for some swirling in the surface where the plastic melted. If you really want I could upload some pictures but IMO it's not worth it.
     
  25. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #25
    [MOD NOTE]
    A number of posts were removed, please stay on topic and stop the bickering.
     

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