Clarification of Answer by
04 May 2004 18:32 PDT
Your Request for Clarification has me wondering if the
Silly Putty is still embedded in your chair! Time is
not on your side in this matter. Silly Putty just sinks
deeper into a fabric over time.
As noted in the comment by joshinfo-ga, the key here is
that you need a solvent to dissolve the chemical makeup
of the Silly Putty. WD-40® does the trick here, and the
rubbing alcohol thins out the WD-40® for easier removal.
The dishwashing liquid emulsifies the remaining oily
residue from the WD-40®, and water will remove the
remains of the dishwashing liquid.
WD-40® is not oily or greasy in the sense of being thick
and viscuous. In fact, its crowning glory is its use as
a penetrating oil, used to find its way deep into the
surface of nuts and bolts that are rusted together.
This ability to permeate the smallest surfaces arises
from the fact that it is the thinnest possible kind of
oil that can be made. So, unlike heavier oils, it is
not suitable for long-term heavy-duty lubrication of
things like a bicycle chain. It's simply to thin to last.
WD-40® is a clear liquid, so in and of itself, it won't
add color to the fabric. The biggest concern would be
that the dye in the fabric might be susceptible to
thinning by the WD-40®, the alcohol, or even the
dishwashing liquid and water. For this reason,
joshinfo-ga's suggestion of trying it on a hidden
portion of the chair is wise. However, if it comes to
a choice between a lightened section of fabric or a
glob of Silly Putty, I would go for the former. If
the fabric does become lightened with the cleaning,
you can very likely darken it without too much
difficulty, using any number of coloring options.
If called upon to clean your chair, trust me, the
upholstery cleaner would be forced to use a similar
solvent to dissolve the Silly Putty. It would
probably be more expensive, more toxic, and require
'professional' application. Something like
trichlorofluoroethane, perhaps, which is used in
I suspect that your upholstery cleaner is shocked,
moreso, at the fact that a non-professional remedy
is available that precludes the need for his own
I would also find it hard to believe that Crayola,
who now manufactures the product, would recommend
a remedy which has not proven successful time and
again for a vast majority of users, as a readily
available and *timely* option to the services of
a professional upholstery cleaner.