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I daily get rubber bands, I collect them and store it in one of shelves so that I could use them later. At certain times, when I require it for use, they would have changed their form to a sticky- type band which makes me throw the entire collection to waste pit. When widened, they will break up. Ultimately, I will have to go for other means. Is there any hack to prevent this so that I can start stocking it again? Office purpose rubber band I mentioned is this one: office purpose rubber bands

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Rubber-band get sticky because they oxidize. A similar question was asked on physics:

Is there any way to increase a rubber-bands lifetime?

It has a very good answer, but to summarize it: "Keep them in a dark and cool place (away from light and oxygen as much as possible)".

  • Would it help to put them in plastic bags as well, to limit oxygen? And what about vacuum-sealed bags? (There are consumer vacuum-seal systems available for storing food and for storing clothes.) – BrettFromLA Dec 29 '16 at 17:26
  • Never tried yet – Ankit Sharma Dec 29 '16 at 17:28
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    I'll mention that exercise bands often say - keep in a zip lock bag, out of direct light (drawer), press much of the air out and dust with baby powder to reduce stickiness. – Blackbeagle Jan 7 '17 at 2:30
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Rubber bands become brittle with age due not so much because of oxidation but rather due to evaporation of volatiles in the rubber/plastic material. These volatiles are parts of the plastic/rubber material that keep them soft and flexible, and the loss of them cause them to become stiff and break.

Keeping rubber bands in unopened or otherwise airtight packaging and then storing the package in cool locations will prevent aging/brittleness. This is why rubber bands don't normally go bad in their original package but do when stored loose after opening. You see the same behavior in the rubber pickup rollers in laserprinters which become less flexible and 'sticky' over time due to the heat inside the printer, but stay 'fresh' while stored inside their original sealed packaging.

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Keep them under water in a sealed container.

Water will retard the outgassing of volatile solvents in the rubber and help keep them supple for a longer period of time.

  • Could you add some more detail to this answer? It's been automatically flagged as low-quality. – Rand al'Thor Jan 5 '17 at 1:26

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