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An artist used this Gateway FX6860 and now there are streaks of oil paint on the touchpad. What soap or solvent will effectively clean the paint without any harm to the touchpad or surrounding plastic? Cheap and common preferred, naturally.

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pictures might help here, just to work out the nature of the paint. In addition, google seems to think the computer in question is a desktop. – Journeyman Geek May 22 '12 at 3:24
up vote 1 down vote accepted

What do you have access to?

You want an alcohol: Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA / Rubbing Alcohol) should work wonderfully Strong Spirits (Ethanol) should work.

Do not use Acetone (It will damage the plastic)

Source for above: Personal Experience (lots of chemistry)

After a quick google search for a few more options, a few people suggest using another oil to mop it up (like dissolves like) (think cooking oils) I doubt this will work very well (might just smear it) but it would be your safest bet.

Also soap and water might work, its just that that usually requires more dampness than a bit of IPA and that itself could damage the electronics.

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Alcohol based soaps may work but Varsol® may be a better solvent then clean residue with alcohol. Just enough to reduce gum residue is adequate.

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