The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-04-2009, 05:17 PM
emmaliminal emmaliminal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Help! My casters are immobilized in my hair!

Fortunately the hair in question's not attached to me anymore. But I'm at a loss about how to free the wheels up again.

I have a chair kind of like this, with casters very much like this. The "tire" of the wheel is a sphere of some hard rubber-like stuff. The metal hood is attached to the axis of the tire using some kind of tool-proof fastener: flush and button-like on one side, as shown in the caster close-up, with a perfectly round indentation on the other side, like a rivet. Nothing for a screwdriver or Allen wrench, or even a pliers really, to bite.

The wheels don't go 'round anymore because there's too much of my own shed hair (and probably cat fur too) wound tightly around the axis between the hood and the tire. I've tried tweezing; pulling with needle-nose pliers; cutting with tiny sharp embroidery scissors and fresh X-Acto knife blades. I didn't get much accomplished.

Is there a secret way to take these casters apart for cleaning, or a secret technique for getting the hair off in situ? Or should I give up and replace the damn things? I have read advice to use Nair, but... well, Nair stinks. I'd rather find a physical, rather than chemical, solution.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 05-04-2009, 05:34 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Nair wouldn't work anyway, because it doesn't work by dissolving the hair, it loosens the follicle so the hair falls out. A strong hydrogen peroxide solution, such as used for hair bleaching, will do the trick and it's odorless. Sit each caster in turn in a shallow glass or ceramic container and fill just high enough to cover the hair-bound axle and give it a few hours.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-04-2009, 05:44 PM
emmaliminal emmaliminal is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Huh. I did not know that about Nair, and I even used to use the crap, back in the day.

Any idea whether peroxide is potentially a danger to the rubbery stuff of the sphere-wheels?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-05-2009, 06:44 AM
spayced spayced is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
My first thought was to soak it in drano. If it can conquer the hair in my drain, certainly it can conquer the hair in your chair.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-05-2009, 09:50 AM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmaliminal View Post
Any idea whether peroxide is potentially a danger to the rubbery stuff of the sphere-wheels?
I shouldn't think so, but it may cause some surface oxidation of any metal parts it contacts. Probably a wise idea to run a spot test first, however, just to be sure. I wouldn't use Drano since its principle ingredient is lye--sodium hydroxide--and is highly caustic and corrosive. Liquid bleach would also work, but it's somewhat more corrosive than peroxide.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-05-2009, 09:54 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
A Bic lighter will do the trick. I use this approach when I get hair wrapped around a necklace chain. You might want to drag it outside so you don't stink up the house.

Last edited by Kalhoun; 05-05-2009 at 09:54 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-05-2009, 10:22 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
The Wizard's Guild will not be happy.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-05-2009, 12:18 PM
UncleRojelio UncleRojelio is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: ATX
Posts: 5,459
You could just go to Home Depot and get some new casters.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-05-2009, 01:45 PM
bink bink is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
I used X-Acto knife, tweezers, needlenose pliers, and an hour or so of elbow grease to get this out of my chair's casters:
hairball
Satisfying! And no stinky smells.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-05-2009, 03:07 PM
GaryM GaryM is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: St. Louis, MO 50mi. West
Posts: 3,446
If appearance is not critical, you could remove the rivet and replace it with an appropriately sized bolt. Of as already suggested, get new casters. $6 bucks a pair at Lowes

Last edited by GaryM; 05-05-2009 at 03:09 PM.. Reason: Change quantity per price
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.