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Mold or Goo on long term storage screwdriver handles. Whatizzit?

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  • Mold or Goo on long term storage screwdriver handles. Whatizzit?

    I have a lot of screwdriver handles that have been stored for some time and they seem to have a whitish mold or something growing on the handles. It looks just like white over spray ranging to almost appearing to be painted white.
    On another note, most of the affected brands are craftsman and excilite; Whereas some of the crap no name stuff still looks ok. No rust...just this white stuff. Cleaning solvents? cleaning ideas anyone? What izzit anyway?
    Thanks, Mike
    Bricolage anyone?....one of lifes fun games.

  • #2
    just wipe with wd40, if mould it would be interesting as to what kind of plastic eater you have discovered, i suspect the end of civilisation as we know it as all wires will be covered in wood or somthing!
    maybe there is an organic residue on them that the mouls is eating or its an oxidation reaction of some kind, bio friendly mould [injection mould] release agents have been around for a while so some spores could get a foothold, scrape some and have a look down a microscope, maybe they will name oddbalium mycellium fastus if it a new strain lol
    sodium metabisulphate aka bleach perhaps
    regards
    mark

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    • #3
      My Stanley black plastic dead blow hammer became white over the years,and eventually chunks of plastic fell off of it. Tossed it. Perhaps the plastic is disintegrating??

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      • #4
        It is plasticizers migrating to the surface. In other words the plastic is decaying because it it was designed for cheapness not longevity.
        "The Administration does not support blowing up planets." --- Finally some SENSIBLE policy from the Gov!

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        • #5
          Sears had a LOT of plastic handled screwdrivers that did that (plastic handled wood chisels also). You may also notice an odd smell coming from the toolbox. Smells almost like vomit.
          The department manager almost went nuts trying to find the source of that smell. We found out it was coming from the screwdriver bin (special sale bin)
          I think that the formula has been changed to get rid of the smell.

          The white "crust" on the handles will scrape off with your fingernail, but it will come back eventually. Part of the aging process.

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          • #6
            I read about a type of plastic that was supposed to be good for things like screwdriver handles. I don't know what was so good about it, but that particular plastic reeks above and beyond most others. It also tends to be a bit sticky, although nothing comes off on your hands. I've seen it used on high-end tools.
            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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            • #7
              Yeah, I opened my old Kennedy tool chest that's been closed for years. The excelite and craftsmans all have it, including the smell.

              Chris

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              • #8
                The original black Snap-On handles do it too. Then they exude some oily substance and then spontaneously fall apart. At least the dealer comes once a week and happily upgrades the screw drivers with new stuff.
                Joe

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                • #9
                  Same Problem and Sears Replace?

                  I had the same problem. I have a drawer in the kitchen in which I keep a few tools (including screwdrivers) so I don't have a run out to the shop to get a simple tool when needed. My wife complained of the drawer smelling of vomit and it was the screw and nut driver handles. I took all of the offending tools and put them on the deck in the direct sun light for several weeks. There were rotated daily so all sides of the handle were in the sun light. That seemed to "bake-out" the smell as she has not compained about the smell after I put the offening tools back into the drawer.

                  Will Sears replace their Craftsman brand screwdrivers with the whitish coating? My "local" Sears store is almost 100 miles away and I don't want to make a trip only to find they won't accept them as they are not really damaged and are still usable.
                  Bill

                  Being ROAD KILL on the Information Super Highway and Electronically Challenged really SUCKS!!

                  Every problem can be solved through the proper application of explosives, duct tape, teflon, WD-40, or any combo of the aforementioned items.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris S.
                    Yeah, I opened my old Kennedy tool chest that's been closed for years. The excelite and craftsmans all have it, including the smell.

                    Chris
                    Back quite a few years ago, I had one of my Xcelite "spintites" do that
                    but it was a different style handle than the rest. I think it was older.
                    All the rest of them never did develop any. And that has been 30 or
                    40 years ago. So I would think that plastic has not been in use for a
                    long time now.
                    ...lew...

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                    • #11
                      If it is mold vinegar will take it off and kill spores so it will not come back.

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                      • #12
                        had it happen to a full set of new craftsman screwdrivers a few years ago. I put them in a tool box I don't use often and in less than 3 months the handles were white and the blades were rusty! I had other craftsman screwdrivers in the same drawer that were years old that were like new yet. Took them back and Sears replaces them

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                        • #13
                          The stuff that plastics exude can definitely rust metal. A gunsmith friend had a pistol OILED in a box,which kept getting rusty. When he changed the plastic grips,the rusting stopped.

                          Yes,that vomit smell isn't too good!!

                          Nitrocellulose plastic is the worst. I have had vintage guitars' bindings go bad,and screw up the metal parts. That stuff exudes nitric acid IF the plastic wasn't properly made to begin with. Some nitrocellulose never seems to go bad,while some not that old just falls apart.

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                          • #14
                            Ha, Ha, Well I'm glad to hear I'm not the only on with this problem. We have a huge and I mean huge bin of old Excelite tools and the smell/stink will knock you down.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gwilson
                              The stuff that plastics exude can definitely rust metal. A gunsmith friend had a pistol OILED in a box,which kept getting rusty. When he changed the plastic grips,the rusting stopped.
                              Plasic grips? Yuck!

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