Contact Cleaners, Protectors & Enhancers for Electronics

In search for the ultimate cleaners, cleaning methods, and protectors

Updated May 2008

Its HERE, the test!..THE TEST

Its Here! The second test!....The SECOND TEST

Some Usenet ramblings....

>Your problem is not electrical, it is mechancial -- the contacts in your
>volume control pot are dirty or corroded.
> >Replacing is foolproof. Deoxit is usually recommended, WD-40 is not. Of
>course, like most things that aren't recommended, it might work sometimes
>anyway. I'm not sure what the criteria are for rather or not WD-40 will
>work. Something about it eating parts of the pot.

(Never had any problems with WD-40 eating stuff. More at bottom of page. greg)

Just about any cleaner type will tend to give immediate improvement, but might not last.
Even a wet salivated finger, has been known to provide quick emergency help of poor contacts.

A contact cleaner, cleans away stuff, like loose particles, oils, sticky water
based juices, hard particles, and oxide, and it must also in many cases leave behind
a lubricant. Some cleaners do nothing to break up oxide. Some cleaners do little with water based
contaminents. In this case alcohol is probably best or some water-alcohol mix. Even if oxides are
on or left behind, having a lubricant enables metal surfaces to slide and more easily
break through the surface barrier. Lubrication also helps prevent further oxides from
building up. Not all switches require, or come, with lubricated contacts, but it
doesn't seem to hurt except open devices will collect debris.


There is a new set of contact cleaners that are becomming more available, and popular
These PPE Poly Phenol Ether products are said to provide more long term protection.
As I find some of these products I will point them out.Here is one example.......

PPE Contact Cleaner

CRC has some nice products stocked at The Home Depot. REALLY BARGAIN prices
Cleaner and separate lubricant.
TRY CRC 2-26

One of the most popular cleaners was Cramolin R-100, now sold as Cramolin Contaclean
and Caig now sells DeoxIT, along with many other products.
I feel there is a difference in all the basic "red" products.
I am attempting to compare all the "red" products from all sides of the coin.

By the way, I also have a vial of old Cramolin copper impregnated grease. Someone told me this was
one original product Cramolin made for rail tracks in factories??

Cramolin Products
My attempt to order Contaclean from Newark failed, reasons not given from
them, but I also was going to order it direct from Farnell,
and the cost of shipping two cans was $275. So I didn't order any. Still no distributor.

The liquids don't seem to be available undiluted in those little vials that are so handy except for Caig's line
which is very large indeed!

I have ordered Caig's web kit, with little tubes.

another one of Caig's products is Cailube (Faderlube), an oily blue liquid or spray said to be
designed for pots and stuff requiring lubrication. (Should allready be cleaned)(Smells like motor oil)

More info from Caig

Cramolin Home Page


It seems most of these new sprays are flammable. Many of the older sprays were not.
One of the new sprays thats nonflammable is Cramolin "Cleaner HFE". Not only
is it non-flammable, but can be used on energized equuipment. This Of course is one
of the non residue type sprays.


I'm going to mix up some cleaner concoctions of my own. I have to make solutions anyway
using alcohol mixtures, using Stabilant 22, and other stuff like D5 or R-100.
How about some plain medical mineral oil, couple drops of this, and a couple drops of that,
into some plain mineral spirits.
My latest findings indicate some of the cleaner products may contain some oleic acid.
Some people have made made 5% mixtures using naptha as a thinner. I might just try
some alcohol.
If you do a Google Groups advanced search, you can read some interesting
descriptions of chemistry, by some apparently informed people.
Speaking of mixes, always remember to shake the can before spraying mixes!
Some of these mixes don'rt really mix all that well, and you might not be putting out anywhere
near what its supposed to. Shake, spray a little throw away somewhere safe, then do your serious
contact cleaning.

Other "tweeks" & Stuff!!

Stabilant 22
To Stabilant 22....You have known formerly as TWEEK----
Claims to be able to actually enchance or provide a conduction path,
but not short out?? Otherwise highly regarded, and supplied by NAPA Parts as CE 1,
and available also through Volkwagen. Warning on their web site, about possible fakers
calling a Tweek replacement, but not a D.W. Chemicals product.
Don't know what the Napa parts consists of, full strength or diluted?
I think ALL the variations sold are accohol diluted. This ALSO makes it a CLEANER
having all that alcohol. The real stuff is only a fraction of the total solution.
Its my opinion that this stuff seems to stay a long time without aparent evaporation
in the undiluted form. In other words, provides a long term effectiveness. It has
been reported to possibly soften up certain materials after its been on a long while,
such as on painted panels. Also, read the instructions. Its use on metals of different composition
may be a problem. Use it on contacts!
I finally stopped again at NAPA autoparts. They happened to have a kit in stock. This is
the 22A 15ml. kit with the 80% isopropal alcohol solution for $56. I see Stabilant is available
through ordering with concentrate or ethanol or isopropal soultions, kits or plain bottles.
D. W. Electrochemicals Ltd.

WD-40 is probably the most widely available apray. Remember when the can had
pictures, among them included TV Tuners. The stuff does a good job of washing
out switches, and providing some tempoary light lubrication, but seems to leave
a dry film when all has evaporated. This film may not provide a good contact
area, but does help prevent corrosion. Pots and some switches need heavier lubricants
which WD-40 may wash away. You will probably need to keep reaplying it on a yearly
basis as I found. I used to try allot of WD-40 in pots and stuff in the 70's. Even in a
1970's Audio Magazine article, someone hereled WD-40 as a miracle cleaner.
Well, it does clean fairly well, allthough Cramolin seems to break up
oxides better. WD-40 contains mostly mineral spirits and light mineral oil. The only thing<
WD-40 company doesn't elaborate on is what the magical inhibitors are.
The company recomends not using it on clear polystyrene, and polycarbonate material.
One last thing, legend goes it took 40 tries to come up with a good W ater
D isplasment for the Navy, and it works very well.
Its not legend, read the history... WD-40 History

More on WD-40.
This was from a Email received..
As WD-40 contains small amounts of silicone, we advise against its use.
The problem with any product containing silicone it that when it is
exposed to salt, it can form 'waterglass', which ie an excellent
insulator and it is very difficult to remove! In 1962, the US navy
banned its use in sonar hydrophones for that reason. I have friends who
are commercial pilots who sprayed it on wing-flap hinges; the
consequence was that the skin of the flap developed hairline cracks. The
normal technique of 'Stop drilling' did not prevent the propagation of
the crack.

From another source, A fellow experianced what looks like varnish
after repeated applications of WD-40 to his rifle barrel.

If you examined the older Cramolin page, you used to find LPS division. Now also an ITW company. LPS-1 may be
a better product than WD-40 for certain electrical things, but is generaly
not as widely sold. LPS-2 is basically oil, and LPS-3 dries to a wax.
I bought some LPS contact cleaner. This is another residue free evaporative spray
The content seem unique. Contains mineral spirits and alcohol.

Radio Shack,
Radio Shack has a couple sprays, both containing mineral oil, like WD-40,
but has a different carrier. One spray, costing more, also has a fragrance
included. They also sell full evaporative cleaners. New to me is the Color TV spray.
Someone reported it to be Deoxit in disguise. Don't know.
(update) The ever changing Rado Shack inventory deleted a couple sprays.
I see only one of the cleaner/lube sprays, along with the catalog showing DeoxIT!!
They also started carrying Cortec vapor barrier/inhibitor. Cortec owns Bullfrog and Rawn
Cortec Site
Radio Shack . COM

There are alot more cleaners on the market, but are not widely sold.
I have seen many cleaners with silicone, but there is a reason for not using it.
I believe that on "wet" (arcing) contacts, silicone will leave a
nonconducting silica ash.

For cleaning copper, silver, and gold surfaces, Tarn-X will remove the crud
and make it look new and shiny. It says not to use on brass because of the zinc, but
I don't know why it should hurt a blackened set of binding posts.
Electro contact cleaners are no match for this stuff.
Its water, soap, and acid based, so don't splash it around.
After cleaning with some pure water, dry. You can then apply some "Protection", or "Top-Pin"
by Cramolin. "Contaclean" will also protect, as well as the Caig products.
Tarn-X might also be a possible solution for contacts that have been infiltrated
with Coke, Orange Juice, Pepsi, etc. Some purified water is best applied before and
after, along with A good drying OUT.


I will mention something about vapor deposition within cabinets. There are
products made to disperse anti-oxidizing vapors within an enclosure. May even
provide some lubrication, or at least keep lubes moist. These pads can also be used in drawers and
tool cabinets. Probably a very good thing, especially for on the go equipment in harsh environments.

I have looked at many old unused silver plated rotary switches packaged
for the military sitting for years with a sheet of paper looking material, stating this side out.
The paper contained some kind of emitter, which kept the silver looking much better
than the areas let slip past the paper protector.
In fact I just recently got a batch of rotary switches in by Electroswitch. They
are using papers around the new switches by Daubert
Bullfrog Site

Another important note about faders, sometimes circuit problems can
cause or intensify noise problems. DC leakage can cause this. The circuit
needs to be fixed!

When you get into harsh environments like saltwater marine or automotive, you have to take things
to the extreme. I've used greases of the silicone variety or sometimes vaseline, on
lamp sockets. I,ve sprayed lubricant cleaners into the fronts of toggle switches on the boat.
A little LPS-3 on those exposed connectors and connections is a good idea.

I and others have found a treatment of original Cramolin followed by
a treatment of Stabilant, to provide a good long lasting remidy for pots and switches.
Cramolin or Contaclean can either be left on, washed off and Protection(BLUE) applied,
or with supposidly new and shiny contacts, just Protection or Stabalant 22 applied.

One last comment regarding slider pots. The rail lubrication should be regarded
differently fron the inside resistive element treatment. Sometimes a spray of white
grease can lube the entire thing, including the element. Might not try this on expensive
consoles though. I have manually, and carefully applied very thick silicon damping
fluid on the slider rails. This has been the only way for me to achieve that very
smooth feel. Don't get that stuff on the resistive element.
CAIG Caillube "GREASE" might also do the trick!!!!

I have to try some of the red stuff sold for car battery terminals. Got to be heavy duty something??!!

Recommended For General Use--

Get some Bullfrog spray cleaner. MCM USED to carry it.
I found some here..................

ZAP Industries
West 7th Street

I would try to get some Contaclean
Get some Caig DeoxIt, the most widely distributed spray. Leaves a very slight film when dry.
Get a non residue cleaner or alcohol.
Get some Stabilant if you can afford it!
Get some CRC 2-26. Get some CRC 2-26 Get some CRC 2-26

Watch for updates!

Please send comments and suggestions!!
Email to : Greg Szekeres