MATRIXSYNTH: Cleaning the Sticky Surface off of Waldorf Nextel Based Synths & Other Sticky Gear, Knobs

Monday, September 21, 2020

Cleaning the Sticky Surface off of Waldorf Nextel Based Synths & Other Sticky Gear, Knobs


Update via @shimtrashpile: "Trader Joe’s face wipes have worked well for me... The tea tree oil ones. Trader Joe’s Spa Natural Facial Cleansing Pads with Tree Oil" You can find them here. Note one of the ingredients is alcohol though. I would keep them away from printed labels to be safe if you go this route. Update2: @shimtrashpile confirmed he only used them on blank surfaces.  So pick what's best for your situation.  Trader Joe's for no panel graphics if you don't want to worry about gloves and potential toxins, or 303 Multi Surface if you are worried about panel graphics. Just read the warnings on the label and be safe. Also keep your pets in mind, especially if you have birds. They are way more sensitive to any toxins that might leak into the air.

That out of the way here is the original post:

My Waldorf Pulse + finally suffered from tacky surface syndrome. Older Waldorf synths used a Nextel paint based coating that gave them a nice satin finish that was soft to the touch. They almost felt like suede. They were gorgeous when new, but unfortunately the coating breaks down over time and gets sticky to the touch. They also smudge when you touch them as you can clearly see.

Ivan Schwartz recommended giving 303 Products 30220 303 Multi Surface, All Purpose Cleaner Wipes a try. You can find them on Amazon here. I am happy to report back that they work! Attached are some pics of my Pulse + so you can see for yourself. I was a little worried about rubbing off the panel graphics so I didn't scrub, I let the wipes do the work, and I took my time. I ended up going through two rounds and two wipes. I gently cleaned the surface, then gently wiped the surface off with a paper towel, followed by a wet paper towel and a final dry towel. A micro fiber cloth would probably have been better but I didn't want to have worry about it later and/or toss it. There's a warning on the label to not let the cleaner touch your skin. These are not your generic sanitary wipes. I wore gloves. BTW, I would not recommend sanitary wipes that are alcohol based as they will likely remove panel graphics. Below you can see blue on one of the wipes I used, however none of the graphics were affected (the scratch in the Mod Sources label was there to start). I also stopped with two cleanings to be safe and I figured if it gets stickier over time I can just repeat the process. As of now it's about 90% better. I'm guessing I just took a light coating off. I also have a Line 6 Sonic Port that was sticky to the touch. I went to town on it as I wasn't too worried about the graphics on it, and the wipes not only worked, the graphics weren't touched. If you decide to give the wipes a try, be sure to read the warnings, wear gloves, make sure you have proper ventilation, and go slow... Be careful not to drip anything into the knobs and any other gaps. I take zero responsibility if you end up damaging your synth or yourself. :) P.S. Not sure if this stuff will work with sticky knobs but based on the Line 6 Sonic Port, I'm guessing it would. It would likely depend on how far gone they are.


Pre wipe

You can see smudges from handling. That's not dirt. That's literally the Nextel paint breaking down that you see.


Pre wipe

Pre wipe


1st wipe down


1st wipe down


1st wipe down


1st wipe down


1st wipe with Nextel paint on it.


2nd wipe down


2nd wipe down


2nd wipe down


2nd wipe down


2nd wipe down

Much better. It is no longer tacky to the touch. Some of the light residue you see is from the paper towel. It comes off.

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