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ewwwww

If you have the Dragon Quest Blue Slime controller for PS2 by Hori, released in conjunction with Dragon Quest VIII in 2004, you may have noticed that after 13 years of collecting dust on your shelf, it’s become disgusting. Maybe it’s got a gross, sticky film on it? This is actually pretty common with PVC items such as action figures and other toys, and my DQ Slime controller was susceptible to it as well. So, I’m here to tell you how to clean it up and make it, you know, not totally revolting to touch!

A warning: Follow this advice at your own risk. Neither I, nor my blog, are responsible for any damage you may cause to your controller.

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So if your Slime controller has this sticky film all over it, what you’re experiencing (from what I’ve always heard) may actually be the PVC slowly breaking down. Trying to clean it off with products that you’d think would work…doesn’t work.

Attempt 1: Good ol’ dishwashing detergent and water. It gets sudsy on the surface, but doesn’t penetrate the film at all.

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Nope

Attempt #2: Goo Gone! The collector’s friend! Gets rid of anything sticky, right? Well, almost. Stuff works great on sticker residue. PVC slime, though? bzzzzt. Try again.

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Slime 2, Goo Gone 0

Attempt #3: Isopropyl alcohol. Now this is a risky proposition, because rubbing alcohol can damage plastic. But guess what? We have a winner!

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First off, make sure you use 70%, and no higher. Don’t use 90% — that will for sure scuff the finish on your PVC and may remove the printing. However, diluting the 70% may make it too weak to break through the film.

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Success! You can see how the alcohol wipes the scum right away
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HAHAHA it looks like a fat dolphin from this angle
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It’s working

So with some paper towel, rubbing alcohol, and a fair amount of elbow grease, I went to work all over the controller. It did seem like it may be affecting the finish of the surface a bit, but when I got to the printed areas, it did not remove or damage them at all!

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The printed graphics look untouched, even after scrubbing over them with the 70% isopropyl
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These grooves and indents were the toughest spots to clean, taking quite a bit of work

I also used some Pledge Multi-Surface cleaner in conjunction with the alcohol. We use this stuff to clean just about everything around the house — windows, shelves, electronics — so I thought I’d try it on this as well. What I did was scrub the film off a spot with the alcohol, and then sort of polish it with the Pledge. It seemed to help shine up the scrubbed spot a bit and make it nice and smooth to the touch.

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The stand that the controller rests on had a little bit of film on it too, just from having the Slime rest on it. This came off very easily with just a little bit of alcohol.

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The little bit of gunk on the stand cleaned right up

After about 30 minutes of work, my Slime was no longer slimy! It had a nice, smooth shine to it, and felt and looked clean, with no damage to the printing or the stickers on the face. I used a little compressed air to blow any bits of paper towel out of the cracks.

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Before and after!

I’m very happy with the condition of my controller. Now, is it possible that this might happen again? I suppose so; if this is really caused by the breakdown of the plastic, it may continue to deteriorate further in the next 10 years. Or maybe I’ve stopped it, I’m really not sure. Regularly dusting this and other PVC items you have on display will probably help. For now, though, I no longer have a slimy Slime!

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Ready to play!