Keeping Your Super Sticky Suction Cup Clean While Traveling

sdrawkcaB

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Packing up a radar detector for air travel for use in a rental car is a frequent occurrence for detector enthusiasts. Many detectors utilize a "super sticky" suction cup, which can easily get dirty while sitting in your luggage as it picks up dust particles from other items such as clothing. This makes the suction cup lose its stickiness and prevents it from reliably adhering to the glass upon your arrival and setup in your rental car.

This is a quick tutorial for how to keep your super sticky suction cup clean and ready to go upon arrival, with just five minutes of preparation work before your travels. This guide applies only to the gelatin based "super sticky" suction cups, and not to the more traditional smaller clear plastic suction cups.

1. Detach your sticky suction cup mount from your detector, and rinse the suction cup under some warm water in your sink. Don't use soap or detergents on it. Simply rinse it off with water and scrub it with your fingers to get off all dirt and gunk.

2. Then shake off the excess water from the suction cup, getting off as much as possible. DO NOT use a rag or cloth, as they will leave fibers on the suction cup which will detract from the stickiness and cause it to not hold suction.

3. Lay the suction cup down on a flat surface, setting it on its side so that the freshly cleaned suction cup surface is not contaminated.

4. From your kitchen, grab a small section of cooking grade wax paper, a strip wide enough to span the diameter of your suction cup + 10%. Take the wax paper and press the suction cup up against the waxy side of the wax paper, ensuring it is as uniformly distributed as possible. Avoid bubbles and creases as much as possible towards the edges, as they will let dust and dirt come in and contaminate the surface stickiness.

5. Cut away the excess wax paper, leaving only a small lip around the edge of the super sticky suction cup. You'll want to leave enough edge for you to grab with your fingers, but also not leave so much such that the paper is likely to be pulled back on its own as it moves around in your luggage.

6. Your super sticky suction cup is now clean and protected, and ready to travel with you uncontaminated in your luggage. When you get to your destination and pick up your rental car, you now can simply peel back the wax paper and adhere the suction cup mount to your windshield.

Note: In my photos, I realize I broke my own advice, allowing a few air channels to form on the the wax paper, as well as not trimming back the paper as much as I should have. I wasn't actually air traveling this day when I did this, so I was less interested in perfection and more focused on just getting some photos.


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sdrawkcaB

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Saran wrap (or however you spell it) is what I use, but I bet wax paper is a hell of a lot nicer to work with. It works wonders and takes 0 time at all
That's a good idea too. Do you ever have the saran wrap rip apart as you're pulling it off? As long as it comes off cleanly, it sounds like another great idea!
 

thebravo

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My arkon mounts all came with a round plastic disk that is the designed for this. But yes anything that keeps the dirt off when travelling makes it much better
 

sdrawkcaB

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DrHow

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I just put mine in a clean new zip lock bag after cleaning it. Works a treat.


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Me too.. I have used small squirt of Pam inside the bag. That rinses right off the cup of warm water. And keeps it from sticking to the zip lock sandwich bag.

unless I am taking a Pro M. The whole thing except for the cord fits in the ziplock. Those nice quality suction cups clean easy, and hold very well.
 
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CA90

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I would think wax paper could leave residue if left for a long time. It might help it stick more though.
 

Blasirl

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Packing up a radar detector for air travel for use in a rental car is a frequent occurrence for detector enthusiasts. Many detectors utilize a "super sticky" suction cup, which can easily get dirty while sitting in your luggage as it picks up dust particles from other items such as clothing. This makes the suction cup lose its stickiness and prevents it from reliably adhering to the glass upon your arrival and setup in your rental car.

This is a quick tutorial for how to keep your super sticky suction cup clean and ready to go upon arrival, with just five minutes of preparation work before your travels. This guide applies only to the gelatin based "super sticky" suction cups, and not to the more traditional smaller clear plastic suction cups.

1. Detach your sticky suction cup mount from your detector, and rinse the suction cup under some warm water in your sink. Don't use soap or detergents on it. Simply rinse it off with water and scrub it with your fingers to get off all dirt and gunk.

2. Then shake off the excess water from the suction cup, getting off as much as possible. DO NOT use a rag or cloth, as they will leave fibers on the suction cup which will detract from the stickiness and cause it to not hold suction.

3. Lay the suction cup down on a flat surface, setting it on its side so that the freshly cleaned suction cup surface is not contaminated.

4. From your kitchen, grab a small section of cooking grade wax paper, a strip wide enough to span the diameter of your suction cup + 10%. Take the wax paper and press the suction cup up against the waxy side of the wax paper, ensuring it is as uniformly distributed as possible. Avoid bubbles and creases as much as possible towards the edges, as they will let dust and dirt come in and contaminate the surface stickiness.

5. Cut away the excess wax paper, leaving only a small lip around the edge of the super sticky suction cup. You'll want to leave enough edge for you to grab with your fingers, but also not leave so much such that the paper is likely to be pulled back on its own as it moves around in your luggage.

6. Your super sticky suction cup is now clean and protected, and ready to travel with you uncontaminated in your luggage. When you get to your destination and pick up your rental car, you now can simply peel back the wax paper and adhere the suction cup mount to your windshield.

Note: In my photos, I realize I broke my own advice, allowing a few air channels to form on the the wax paper, as well as not trimming back the paper as much as I should have. I wasn't actually air traveling this day when I did this, so I was less interested in perfection and more focused on just getting some photos.
Nice write up. Do we have a sub-forum for How-To's?

I kept the original slick disk from when I bought my detector. I like the wax paper idea, but I think the backing sheet from contact paper or other such things would be more durable.
 

skd

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Thank you for your advice. I hadn't thought about it. But now that I do, I realize the same effect with my sticky pads that I am using. Priority in the city I place my detector on a sticky pad to be more stealth blending into the dashboard. For six months or so they are gone destroyed by dust. Maybe I shall try exactly the same advice of yours to see if my old pad would come back to life once again, hm... We'll see.
 

Brainstorm69

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Lint free and clean better than anything else I've used. Come in individual packets that can be packed easily, too.
 

Exadata

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With no care whatsoever (if it got really dirty I'd rinse it off in the sink), my Garmin GPS (c550 from like 2007) suction cup lasted about 7 years before I had to replace it. The replacement is still hanging in there but, like my co-workers use to say you can "Just lick it, and stick it". 🤣
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Lint free and clean better than anything else I've used. Come in individual packets that can be packed easily, too.
These should be featured as a hack "All Star" on TruTV's very corny "Hack My Life" show.
 
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skd

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Yesterday, following this advice, I managed to "refurbish" my sticky pad, that I place the radar detector on. It has become as good as new. Thank you for your idea. It's working. :) Dust had made it almost unable to stick itself solidly, until I washed it. Now no problem at all. I have a new one but why wouldnt I use it some extra time?

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