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Old 14-12-2017, 02:37 AM
vuur2 vuur2 is offline
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Default Greasy stuff on inflatables
First, let my tell you that I'm kind of hesitant to start talking about this.
Because well... out of insecurity, I suppose...
But I guess I really need some advice, so I'll get on with it.

The thing is, when I touch inflatables with my body, it will leave a little bit of sweat and body oils (I think they are the cause).
While this is not much of a problem immediately, over time the inflatable will become dirty because of this.
After a while this sweat and other stuff has become a thin, and moist, oily substance that is very slippery.
I think this is quite nasty
So when I encounter this, I will try to wash it off.
But so far, I've had no luck in doing so!
I've tried washing gloves and paper towels with cold and warm water, hand soap, dish detergent, all-purpose cleaner, and alcohol.
After washing, the substance appears to be gone, but after a few days it starts to come back again.

Lots of times, the fact that my toys will become dirty like this is preventing me from sitting, hugging, lying on or riding them, while I'd really prefer to.
Sometimes I still do what I'd like, but I'll dress up well to not touch the vinyl with my skin.
Even after washing myself extensively before commencing my play, I'll still leave some sweat and the inflatable will develop this dirtyness a few days later.

Is anybody else having this problem?
If so, how do you handle this?

And does anyone know a better/successful cleaning method so that the greasy stuff won't come back again after a few days?

(after you've read this, I hope you don't think it's just me that's dirty )
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Old 14-12-2017, 03:49 AM
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loonerdude44 loonerdude44 is offline
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Default Re: Greasy stuff on inflatables
I guess you're a teen too?

I'm not sure if it will work but with mine I take them in the shower with me to clean them. Perhaps body wash might work? Specifically the body/face wash that is supposed to clean out pores from human slime (greasy oil and teen sweat), I'm not sure what it'll do to the vinyl though. The stuff I use has a pH of 5.5 (slightly acidic, but hopefully not acidic enough to quickly degrade vinyl), whereas regular soaps are usually slightly alkaline. Try it, maybe it'll work, maybe it won't. Sometimes you just have to experiment and keep your fingers crossed.
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Old 14-12-2017, 10:04 AM
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craggy2012 craggy2012 is offline
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Default Re: Greasy stuff on inflatables
It's the plasticiser in the vinyl leeching out. Vinyl as is, is rigid think of a vinyl record, or plastic water pip around the home. To make it soft and flexible they add a chemical compound to raw vinyl to make PVC vinyl which soften's it so it becomes flexible and soft.
Unfortunately this 'plasticiser' is a weak chemical bond and body oils in sweat, oil based lubricants, exposure to UV in sunlight or even prolonged exposure to hot water removes this compound making vinyl harden up again- or worse case turn brittle and crack.
It's something I've only experienced once with a 48 inch beach ball I'd heat stretched in the shower. After a few sessions using hot water from the shower head the PVC started to thin as it stretched- but also turned hard and crinckly between your fingers. Usually I don't keep inflatables for too long- they either burst through repeated use or folding them up after use eventually weaken their seams and they naturally split- but one of my oldest inflatables is now a good 25 years old and still as soft and stretchy as ever just like the day I purchased it back in the early 1990's!

You do read from time to time about folks adding new plasticiser into an inflatable by pouring or pumping it into the item through the pinch valve(s)- you then inflate the item and slosh the plasticiser around inside it which slowly softens the vinyl making it even softer and more stretchy but whether it actually works in the long term no one really knows.
Best way to care for an item you want to keep forces long as possible is to shower first before play to remove skin oils if your known to sweat, keep oil based lubricants away from inflatables (unless water based) and thsts pretty much about it.
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Old 14-12-2017, 05:20 PM
vuur2 vuur2 is offline
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Default Re: Greasy stuff on inflatables
Yes, I'm a teen, I'm 19 now.
But I don't think age has to do with it?

Trying shower gel is an option, yes. I'll try that next time.

As I already mentioned, even washing myself extensively before playing doesn't completely prevent sweat and body oils getting on the vinyl, also because the vinyl doesn't "breathe" and so my skin will sweat at the places it touches the vinyl.

That it's the plasticizer getting leeched out of the PVC is something that had crossed my mind before, especially after my crocodile got all crinkly too at the places where this greasy stuff was.

Just looking to prevent this from happening: a way to successfully clean my inflatables.
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Old 14-12-2017, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Greasy stuff on inflatables
Originally Posted by vuur2 View Post
Yes, I'm a teen, I'm 19 now.
But I don't think age has to do with it?

Trying shower gel is an option, yes. I'll try that next time.

As I already mentioned, even washing myself extensively before playing doesn't completely prevent sweat and body oils getting on the vinyl, also because the vinyl doesn't "breathe" and so my skin will sweat at the places it touches the vinyl.

That it's the plasticizer getting leeched out of the PVC is something that had crossed my mind before, especially after my crocodile got all crinkly too at the places where this greasy stuff was.

Just looking to prevent this from happening: a way to successfully clean my inflatables.
Your age would most definitely have something to do with it, you're in your teen years, and most teens are incredibly greasy and sweaty. I've noticed that I get really greasy, but my orca doesn't seem to be affected.
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Old 21-12-2017, 06:41 PM
Bubble Boy :-P Bubble Boy :-P is offline
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Default Re: Greasy stuff on inflatables
I've noticed the greasy stuff on my inflatables too! I always assumed it was my own body oils as i have very oily skin but it makes sense that the stuff is plasticizer leaching out...or maybe a combination sweat,body oils, plasticizer & other stuff
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Old 10-01-2018, 01:53 AM
freetofloat freetofloat is offline
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Default Re: Greasy stuff on inflatables
A relatable problem. Though, I agree taking them in a good shower somehow often does the trick...maybe its the body wash?

The plastciser JK referenced I found the hard way after using baby oil on some rafts, following which they quickly became brittle.

Along with the greasy residue, paint schemes are often affected too.
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Old 13-02-2018, 09:55 AM
vuur2 vuur2 is offline
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Default Re: Greasy stuff on inflatables
Yes, like craggy2012 said, it's (also) the plasticizer coming out of the vinyl, since at the spots the greasy stuff is, the vinyl is not as flexible by far as the rest of the vinyl on the same toy.

But I've become quite desperate as I want to save my inflatables!
I slept on one of them a few days ago.
Afterwards, I washed and cleaned it for about 15 times in 3 days.
I used water, dish detergent, hand soap, all-purpose cleaner, alcohol and body wash.
But after a few hours, it starts to become greasy again!
And it's getting brittle at those spots!
How can I stop this?
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Old 13-02-2018, 06:02 PM
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loonerdude44 loonerdude44 is offline
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Default Re: Greasy stuff on inflatables
Try using ATBC (Acetyl Tributyl Citrate) on the inside of the toy. ATBC is the most popular plasticizer nowadays for inflatables. You can buy some here in small amounts: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0047V7A56/ Make sure you pour it in and keep it around the brittle areas for best effect. I've noticed my inflatables only leech plasticizer when they're low on air or deflated completely.
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Old 14-02-2018, 03:57 AM
vuur2 vuur2 is offline
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Default Re: Greasy stuff on inflatables
That item does not ship to my country
And I was thinking: if the inflatable is leeching plasticizer, would it have any use to add plasticizer again? Since the new ATBC will leech out too, I guess?
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