I have read conflicting advice on various sites about the appropriate methods for cleaning plastic and rubber items and would like to ask people who actually know what's going on what they would recommend.
I realize some of my assumptions may be false:
- I am (perhaps wrongly) assuming that most plastics would have similar properties as it relates to cleaning with alcohol or soaps/detergents and that you don't need me to give you the actual chemical structure of a specific polymer.
- I am (perhaps wrongly) assuming that most soaps and detergents would act similarly on either a plastic or a rubber item. If this is false please give your understanding of what an "average" soap or detergent would do.
I am not assuming that plastics and rubber will respond the same to either alcohol or soaps and detergents. If they are different, please note which will have what effect. I am not assuming that synthetic and real rubber will act the same. If they are different and you know the answer for both, please mention the difference.
I am hoping that it's okay to ask "applied" questions here. This seems like the best of all stackexchange.com sites, not just because none of the less theoretical sites are deal with this sort of question, but also because it really boils down to a matter of chemical reactions.
Update: by "alcohol" I mean rubbing alcohol, or isopropanol.