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Unread 01-30-2004, 09:10 PM   #16
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Cool. I'll remember that.
I've been using isopropyl alcohol for years to clean electrical contacts and pots. It works pretty good, is innocuous to anything in a guitar or amp, and is cheap. It is the standard cleaning solution for tape heads, both audio and VCR. I also have been using it for about 20 years or more to clean guitar strings - at home with a bottle and cloth, at gigs and church with prepackaged alcohol swabs that are sold at the drug store (for people who give themselves shots). I have a syringe that I use to drip the alcohol into pots, easier to control than pouring it in.

Another good way of cleaning contacts in an open frame switch like a strat's, or the contacts in a 1/4 open-circuit jack is a small piece of clean dry paper, like what you would use in your ink jet printer. Just insert a precut narrow width of paper between the contact surfaces, gently add a little pressure if necessary and slide the paper out. Not so much pressure that the paper rips. Usually you will see a dark streak on the paper that was the oxidation on the contacts. The paper is abrasive enough to remove dirt and oxidation, but not the metal, like fine sandpaper would.

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Unread 01-30-2004, 09:20 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Major Tom
I've been using isopropyl alcohol for years to clean electrical contacts and pots. It works pretty good, is innocuous to anything in a guitar or amp, and is cheap. It is the standard cleaning solution for tape heads, both audio and VCR. I also have been using it for about 20 years or more to clean guitar strings - at home with a bottle and cloth, at gigs and church with prepackaged alcohol swabs that are sold at the drug store (for people who give themselves shots). I have a syringe that I use to drip the alcohol into pots, easier to control than pouring it in.

Another good way of cleaning contacts in an open frame switch like a strat's, or the contacts in a 1/4 open-circuit jack is a small piece of clean dry paper, like what you would use in your ink jet printer. Just insert a precut narrow width of paper between the contact surfaces, gently add a little pressure if necessary and slide the paper out. Not so much pressure that the paper rips. Usually you will see a dark streak on the paper that was the oxidation on the contacts. The paper is abrasive enough to remove dirt and oxidation, but not the metal, like fine sandpaper would.
OK, while I'm on the subject, if you have a scratchy pot that just won't clear up all the way after a few attempts at cleaning, you can lift the tabs of the back/case, remove it, and carefully clean the wiper and resistance element with a cotton swab and then reassemble, bending the holding tabs back in place. Don't use anything even as abrasive as paper on the element, it may remove some of it and change the pot's value; carbon comp. elements are very soft.
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