hey guys! heres a potential sticky thread.. pun intended! i just picked up a subzero, and the earsocks were old and had gone sticky.. i have had this problem before, but didnt know what to do. now, thanks to some experimenting and hunches, i think ive cracked it! this should be a saviour for collectors of vintage zeros, m frames etc.. basically 1990's unobtainium was prone to this. now, it is well know in the Xmetal world that unobtainium earsocks, especially for the juliet, will absorb oils, and after awhile either gets spoilt and starts degrading, sweating oils, cracking, and tearing. a method of restoring it (before it got nasty and torn up) was to place it in boiling water for about 5-10 minutes. this appears to release the trapped oils and sweat in the unobtainium and restore its properties. I wondered if it could, at least to an extent, help with my subzero's earsocks. no harm in trying, as i knew boiling water doesnt harm it (aka melt into a puddle). so first, i use my fingernail to scrape out the buildup of black gunk from the grooves in the earsocks. once that was out, i chuck them in a mug and pour some hot boiling water on it (and make a cuppa as well for the wait). i used a soup spoon to hold them down under the water (they float otherwise). i was extremely surprised how well it worked. there was some slight remaining tackyness, which i got rid of with a repeat of the boiling water treatment. I would say its almost as good as new! a note, do not replace the earsocks onto the frame until completely dry. Old subzero and zero frame patterns (ie burn brush) are hydroprinted on but not clearcoated, an exposure to sweat and oils will degrade it rapidly. hot water actually starts to soak the hydroprint off. i recommend earsocks be removed before treatment. frames can be washed seperately with lukewarm/cold water and mild soap, and left to dry completely before reassembly. and as with common sense, only gently rub the frame, dont scratch at it. try it out, let me know how it goes!