Rubber Sweat

One of the oddities of living where we are, (and I have no idea why this happens, someone explain it to me) is that rubber behaves very oddly.

It sort of, melts. Rubber bands, left unused will melt in place. Earphones and headphone covers will disintegrate or flake apart. And remote controls, which have rubber insides, sweat.

see those little beads of sweat around the pieces?

So when you return from a year's absence, there are a few things you need to do.
First, hopefully you didn't leave batteries in anything, because they will have decayed and sweat, and corroded and ruined whatever they were in.

Assuming you had the foresight to disconnect the batteries, then you may have to clean the rubber sweat from your devices. Today I found two devices whose buttons were not working. Our cordless telephone and our TV remote. So what did I do?

Electronics repairmen please excuse me for not knowing the right vocabulary or even the right techniques.

I opened them up, carefully, then removed the rubber pieces, took a rag with a degreasing agent and removed the sweated/melted rubber from the contact points on the electronics. What happened is all that 'rubber sweat' caked over the contacts and then the buttons wouldn't make a good contact to the electronics and thus not work.

 So after degreasing or removing the decayed rubber, and then exposing metal again, the contacts worked, and my remote/phone was working again. It is one of the oddities of living here, I don't know if it is the elevation, the humidity, the ants, or what... I don't really know. But, it is one of those things no one taught me, I just figured it out on my own, and fixed it.

I probably didn't do it the proper way, but I did it none the less.