A contact cleaner is a product that is used to remove dirt, grease, metallic oxides and oil that result from moisture and corrosion on the surface of small electronic components, relays, ignition systems, electronic controls, thermostats, motors and other equipment where you need a cleaner that will leave no residue and evaporate quickly. There are several brands of contact cleaners that are available in hobby shops, hardware stores and electronic dealers, an example of which is the DeoxIT contact cleaner. It is a deoxidizing solution that acts fast, and is designed for general use on contacts, connectors and other surfaces made of metal. The product also claims to improve electrical connection through chemical means.
Major Features of A Contact Cleaner
- It not just cleans but also lubricates, improves conductivity and protects
- It reduces wear, abrasion, RFI, arcing and intermittent connections
- It is safe for use on all kinds of metal contacts and connectors and unlike other products, is safe to use in plastics
In your search for the right cleaner, you will come across an electrical contact cleaner, which might become a source of confusion. However, such contact cleaners are simply compressed air that has been added with a cleaning agent, which evaporates quickly like isopropyl alcohol. The product is useful if you are going to clean electrical parts that have oil, food or grease in them. Aside from cleaning the various parts, it can also remove foreign elements, which might be lodged in your electrical circuit board.
For electronic parts, you can use an electronic contact cleaner, which has been specially designed for sensitive electrical equipment and electronics. You can use this type of contact cleaner to remove dirt, flux residue, condensation and oil from controls, tape heads, precision instruments, switchers and printed circuit boards. The product is also useful for armatures, electric panels, generators, electric panels and electric motors.
Using Contact Cleaners Safely
Here are the steps in using a contact cleaner safely:
- Wear gloves and goggles to protect your eyes when you use contact cleaners. Breathing too much of the vapor from the spray can may be hazardous to your health so always ensure that the area where you are working has adequate ventilation.
- Shake the container of the product well before use
- Before spraying, make sure that all machinery or electric equipment are turned off
- Test the product on an inconspicuous spot before you spray the entire area to make sure that it is compatible with the area you are about to clean
- Hold the container around six or eight inches from the surface you are going to spray and ensure that it is in an upright position while you are using it
- Allow the product to dry and brush the surface clean or wipe it with lint free cloth. Make sure that the surface is thoroughly dry before turning the machine or equipment on
The product is extremely flammable so you should avoid using or storing it near heat, sparks or fire. You should also keep the contact cleaner away from your skin and eyes.