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    Re: on washing sextants
    From: Jared Sherman
    Date: 2004 Aug 3, 13:37 -0400

    Armorall seems to be a good way to protect rubber. I've used it on some
    seals and parts that are 19 years old and still pass for new. It is supposed
    to replace the volatile compounds that slowly evaporate, which keep flexible
    plastics (and rubber) rubbery. It can be problematic, i.e. there are reports
    it will eventually "slip" the bonds of some glued seams in plastics, render
    plastic fascia unpaintable (the paint eventually lifts off) and so on. But,
    it does preserve plastics and rubber nicely. Key word: use sparingly, if you
    think you've just used enough, you've used too much.
    It also will ensure that the eye cup smears any glasses you may wear.
    The old tech way to keep rubber soft is plain talc, talcum powder.
    "Unscented" baby powder, since there's no telling what is in the scent, or
    the least expensive talcum powder in the drug store. The light dusting of
    talc seals the surface of the rubber and prevents oxidation. That's what we
    used pre-armorall, and it worked very nicely too.
    Personally, I used the Armorall. Sparingly. Then wiped with a clean dry
    cloth, to remove the "just enough" and just let the rest soak in. Shouldn't
    be necessary more than ??twice?? 3x? a year?
    Probably using a mild cleaner from time to time, some soapy water or
    eyeglass cleaner, etc. to remove body oils from the eyecup would do more to
    preserve it, than anything else.

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