Editor's Note: Are you a hardened piece of rubber taking a spin around the internet? Well, take note! You are bound to be abused; someone might come after you with some white lithium grease or solvents or rubber rejuvenators or something just as smelly and icky. None of them will work to return you to your lithe and supple self. After all, the oxidation process of hardened rubber cannot be reversed, but someone is going to read this article and try it out on you anyway. Don't say we did not warn you.

How to Soften Hardened Rubber

We've all seen it. Just sitting there, staring back at us, with that smirk on it's face. Mocking us, taunting us, laughing at us. Its everywhere you look. You can't even be safe in your own home anymore. That's right, I'm talking about hardened rubber! Well I'm sick of it! I'm going to do something about it, and you can too.


1. Hardened rubber is a growing epidemic, and if we don't do something about it now, it's only going to get worse. I know if we all work together, we can eliminate hard rubber within our lifetimes. So lets get started…

2. I can point you to some products to use. As far as "steps" go, you can just follow the directions on the label. For now, I'll just list some commercial rubber-care products. I know of some home remedies for softening rubber, but I don't feel comfortable listing them because I haven't personally tried them. I don't want to suggest anything that could be harmful or just simply doesn't work. That would be a waste of time and money. This is a wiki after all, and if you know any home remedies THAT DEFINITELY, 100% WORK, please post them in here. But please don't add things like, "My Grandpappy used to use". Please only post it if you have personally tried it and KNOW that it works. Thank you.

3. At the top of the commercial products list is: 303 Aerospace Protectant. This works for natural rubber, and a whole lot more. This stuff is so good even Mickey Mouse uses it! Okay… Mickey Mouse didn't actually use it, but it has been used at Walt Disney World.

4. Visit 303products.com and you'll see what I'm talking about. If you're interested, they have some samples or you can visit a hardware store to get some. AceHardwareSuperstore.com sells a 16oz. spray bottle.

5. The only other suggestion I feel comfortable making is that you soak the rubber in automotive "stop leak" products, like: transmission stop leak, or, engine stop leak, etc. These produces are designed to soften and swell rubber seals and gaskets. On the label, look for phrases like, "Reconditions seals and gaskets", or "Rejuvenate seals and gaskets" or similar phrases. These "stop leak" products might soften the hardened rubber in question.

6. I would try the 303 Aerospace Protectant first — letting the rubber soak for awhile if necessary — and see if that works. If it doesn't, then move onto the stop-leaks.

7. I really hope that helps. If it doesn't, please post something that will. Thank you.


* "All that is necessary for the triumph of hardened rubber is for good men to do nothing." — Mickey Mouse


* Don't drink any of the products mentioned… or eat them for that matter. They are for EXTERNAL USE ONLY!

Article added: 26 April 2010

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If you can get your
rubber neck
loosened up, there
are umpteen uses.

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