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Contact Cleaner - Sprayed Directly INTO Components?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by Royal Tele, Nov 8, 2018.

  1. Royal Tele

    Royal Tele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    31
    907
    Jul 13, 2009
    Lone Star State
    One of my amps has been making some intermittent crackling noises here and there when I play. After doing some reading online, it seems a good first thing to try is using aerosol contact cleaner to clean tube pins, tube sockets, pots, and even input jacks (yes?)...

    I've used contact cleaner to spray inside a noisy volume/tone pot on an electric guitar before, and I've also sprayed it on tube pins before putting new tubes in an amp...

    If I want to do a thorough cleaning of these contacts in the amp, what are my limitations?

    - Can I spray it directly into the tube sockets as well as the tube pins, work the tubes in and out, to clean all those contacts?
    - Can I spray it inside all the pots on my control panel the same way I would spray it in a noisy guitar pot?
    - Can I spray it into the input jacks and speaker jacks and work a 1/4" plug in and out a few times to clean those out?

    Any other suggestions or cautions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2015
    Idaho
    "contact cleaner" works great for sockets, jacks, etc. For pots you want "contact cleaner plus lubricant", so you don't end up with a dry pot that destroys itself later. If you're uncertain which you have, a good way to find out is to Google the Safety Data Sheet for your product. The latter product will list something like white mineral oil as an ingredient.
     
    Donelson, Shuster, John Owen and 2 others like this.
  3. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    I'll just add you can spray a Q tip and insert it in and out of a jack and it will clean the contacting surfaces better. Often comes out black.
     
  4. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine
    For pots, I recommend a 3-part process: First, flush it with contact cleaner, with no lubricant, to clean it. Second give it a small shot of lubricated spray, then work it back and forth a few times. Then, a quick rinse to flush any excess lubricant.

    Leaving a lot of oily gunk in a pot attracts dust, which is abrasive and holds moisture that will promote corrosion.
     
    Commodore 64 and Shuster like this.
  5. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    64
    Mar 23, 2003
    Netherlands
    I use a gun-cleaning brush for this. It is a stiff bristle, I think .25 caliber. I have had it for 30 years, it works great.
     
  6. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    You can spray contact cleaner right onto/into a tube socket.
    IME, any that gets inside the amp will evaporate...I've not seen anything in an amp that is harmed by contact cleaner.
    I don't do it, though.
    I don't know if it's the case with contact cleaner, but many liquids conduct electricity(!).
    I spray contact cleaner on tube pins and work them in and out a few times.
    It's worked so far.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    Yeah, did that for a while. I also have a small rotating brass wire brush that fits in the dremel tool.
     
  8. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    Yep dont use the lubricated stuff on anything but pots. It stays oily and will actually collect debris making things worse over time. I dont use it on pots anymore either. If a cleaning doesnt fix a pot long term I replace it.
     
  9. Festus_Hagen

    Festus_Hagen Tele-Meister

    Age:
    52
    317
    Jul 6, 2016
    Jeff City, Mo.
    .45 here. I use brass bristles.
     
  10. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    Once the plating is worn off the + it rusts pretty fast.
    If I don't play certain guitars for months, it's a habit to put the plug in and out several times.
     
  11. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Holic

    858
    Oct 17, 2008
    Tujunga California
    +1
    By the way, I looked at my old can of D5 and the main ingredient (the only one, I believe) is naphtha. So it's basically naphtha in a spray can.
    Al
     
    schmee likes this.
  12. DaveKS

    DaveKS Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2013
    KS
    Dental proxy brushes work great for hitting tube sockets, small for preamp/el84, larger for power tube etc with bigger pins.

    [​IMG]

    Deoxit makes a nice vacuum tube cleaning kit, D25 for cleaner and a high temp Gold formula for final coat/corrosion inhibitor.

    [​IMG]

    As far as pots, as stated above, I clean/flush with D100 spray and then give a final light shot of Fader Lube to re-lube the pot.
     
    mgreene likes this.
  13. Dennyf

    Dennyf Tele-Holic

    955
    Feb 9, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah, I was gonna say, if by "contact cleaner" you mean "DeoxIt," then as long as you don't spray or rub it directly onto tube glass (especially when they're hot), then go nuts. Except you don't need to, 'cuz a small amount of DeoxIt is very effective. If it's electrical and it plugs, slides, rotates, is a gazinta or a comzatta, DeoxIt can go on it. I've used it (with good results) on everything from computer memory to power window switches and motorcycle ignition switches.
     
    Floyd Eye likes this.
  14. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Holic

    858
    Oct 17, 2008
    Tujunga California
    As I said, D5 is basically just naphtha in a spray can, so anywhere you can safely use naphtha, you can use D5.
    Al
     
  15. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    777
    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    For pots - I usually chase the spray cleaner / lube with air - to actually try to remove gunk from inside the pot itself - its amazing how much gunk will come out sometimes (I've caught the gunk in a paper towel, just out of curiosity).

    Also a good idea to chase cleaner in tube sockets with air - as above, dental brushes for dentures are great for tube sockets - as are wooden toothpicks because once wet they actually can remove oxidation as evidenced by discoloration on the toothpick.

    I was always bothered by the idea of people spraying some alcohol cleaner on a component and not actually physically scrubbing away the (presumably) loosened contamination.

    I also save old toothbrushes for electronics cleaning of various kinds - especially tube pins.
     
  16. alathIN

    alathIN Tele-Meister

    Age:
    53
    328
    Oct 25, 2017
    Indiana
    .25 Cal = 1/4" so that would make sense. Great idea. Does all your gear smell like Hoppes?
     
    jhundt likes this.
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