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Old 24th Sep 2023, 8:23 pm   #21
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

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Originally Posted by Bazz4CQJ View Post
A friend of mine worked in a company making fire alarms. They had run in to a problem with silicones. Subsequently, such materials were banned from the site to the extent that silicone furniture polish was banned for the admin building where no technical work of any kind was done.

The other issue with silicones is their ability to creep.

B
Interesting I have seen almost the exact opposite. Switch contacts that were pressed out with the process lubricated by mineral oil. It turns out that if you get said mineral oil hot (talking middle east ambient) and permanetly apply a fairly low DC voltage, it becomes conductive. Which is a really bad idea if the oil manages to bridge the contact gap, and the switch in question wakes a circuit that in turn wakes a whole system.
I've also seen Silicone bans, but where paint reworks might be required . Any Silicon based stuff makes paint rework a disaster.
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Old 24th Sep 2023, 8:39 pm   #22
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

I can remember in the early sixties when Electrolube switch cleaner became available.
This was necessary for cleaning dirty plastic switches as what had been used in my engineer's toolkit before would melt plastic.
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Old 24th Sep 2023, 9:11 pm   #23
duncanlowe
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

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I can remember in the early sixties when Electrolube switch cleaner became available.
This was necessary for cleaning dirty plastic switches as what had been used in my engineer's toolkit before would melt plastic.
I have experienced switch cleaner damaging plastics. Though I can't say which it was. Ferguson portable TV slider volume control. Was noisy but crumbled apart after cleaning with switch cleaner.
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Old 24th Sep 2023, 9:59 pm   #24
Doghouse Riley
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

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I can remember in the early sixties when Electrolube switch cleaner became available.
This was necessary for cleaning dirty plastic switches as what had been used in my engineer's toolkit before would melt plastic.
I have experienced switch cleaner damaging plastics. Though I can't say which it was. Ferguson portable TV slider volume control. Was noisy but crumbled apart after cleaning with switch cleaner.
Electrolube was ideal for cleaning the switches of those little transistor radios that young teenagers had. You could charge them a few bob for doing it ("Come back tomorrow," although it only took seconds), but I seem to remember it was quite expensive stuff.
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Old 24th Sep 2023, 10:32 pm   #25
m0cemdave
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

I have an unused can of this stuff, long forgotton at the back of a shelf and probably dating from the 1970s. I suspect it may have been the one that Duncan reports as dissolving some plastics. There's a warning on the can to test first.

At least it's not tetrachloromethane...
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 9:36 am   #26
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

I now use Deoxit D5 and Deoxit Gold.
The D5 is So much cheaper than the gold version and I notice no difference in cleaning.
The secret is to use it-- extremely-- sparingly. Too much can ruin a switch.
My favorites for over 50 years was Freon 12 Degreaser by Chemtronics and Shield lubricant. Unhappily the nannies at our EPA got into it and now neither is available anymore.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 10:30 am   #27
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

If it dissolves plastic it's probably one of the good ones!

It was an Electrolube product that (I got from Maplin years back) damaged the carbon tracks in a bunch of faders (v. costly). It was supposed to be safe for tracks and definitely not industrial switch cleaner. Since then I've only used Deoxit on resistive tracks, and very sparingly at that.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 11:41 am   #28
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

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Unhappily the nannies at our EPA got into it and now neither is available anymore.
Speaking as someone who grew up under an ozone hole in a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, I'm pleased they did.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 12:20 pm   #29
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

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Unhappily the nannies at our EPA got into it and now neither is available anymore.
Speaking as someone who grew up under an ozone hole in a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, I'm pleased they did.
Yes, just because something dangerous was commonplace and acceptable in the past, let's not get into knocking progress in the fields of health and safety and saving the planet. Luckily my skin cancer was diagnosed early enough to be effectively treated a couple of years ago.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 4:52 pm   #30
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

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Unhappily the nannies at our EPA got into it and now neither is available anymore.
Speaking as someone who grew up under an ozone hole in a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, I'm pleased they did.
Yes, just because something dangerous was commonplace and acceptable in the past, let's not get into knocking progress in the fields of health and safety and saving the planet. Luckily my skin cancer was diagnosed early enough to be effectively treated a couple of years ago.
Equally let’s not try and shut down someone after making a throwaway comment. There’s too much of that going on these days & that’s what the mods are for.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 5:46 pm   #31
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

It could be fake news, but I read somewhere that D5 has a substance in it that's linked to Parkinsons. I am not endorsing this info, simply repeating what I picked up. I use the stuff in a well ventilated area just to be sure, nor do I get it on skin.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 5:59 pm   #32
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

The problem with WD40 is people apply WAY too much of it. It's difficult not to when it comes out of the applicator nozzle like a fire hose...
At one time Tektronix used to recommend cleaning contacts with IPA and then apply a tiny amount of WD40, a single drop can be far too much. When I ran out of servisol once I diluted a drop of WD40 in a bottle top of IPA and then applied a single drop of the mixture after first cleaning well with just IPA and it works well used like this to help protect contacts from the environment and add a tiny bit of lubrication.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 7:11 pm   #33
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

Current cans of WD40 have a flip up trigger with the tube already attached so you can get a controlled application without first having to fiddle about trying to get the tube into the nozzle.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 7:19 pm   #34
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

I bought 3 of the largest size aerosols of WD40 maybe 7-8 years ago as there was a special offer and IIRC it was something like 3 for the price of one. I don't think I've used up even one in that time. I've seen the new version of the nozzle but not used one.
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 8:28 pm   #35
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

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When I ran out of servisol once I diluted a drop of WD40 in a bottle top of IPA and then applied a single drop of the mixture after first cleaning well with just IPA and it works well used like this to help protect contacts from the environment and add a tiny bit of lubrication.
That's a very interesting idea. Of course, it's essential to remember that "Classic" WD40 consists of two immiscible liquids inside the can, and needs shaking very well to get them emulsified. Once emulsified, I guess you'd get the two phases dissolving nicely in a large excess of IPA.

As for the WD40 specialist contact cleaner, I used that a couple of months ago, spraying lots of it inside the ~40 year old programmer of my Hotpoint washing machine (which had ceased to function) and it's worked perfectly well since then.

B
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Old 25th Sep 2023, 8:42 pm   #36
Jez1234
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

I can recommend a company called Hexeal for IPA BTW. Very cheap and fast delivery.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 7:39 am   #37
stevehertz
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

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Speaking as someone who grew up under an ozone hole in a country with one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, I'm pleased they did.
Yes, just because something dangerous was commonplace and acceptable in the past, let's not get into knocking progress in the fields of health and safety and saving the planet. Luckily my skin cancer was diagnosed early enough to be effectively treated a couple of years ago.
Equally let’s not try and shut down someone after making a throwaway comment. There’s too much of that going on these days & that’s what the mods are for.
There's bemoaning the loss of a product from a practical point of view, and there's suggesting that the loss of a product is the result of an unnecessary nanny state decision. I'm quite open to discuss the older, better paint strippers etc but at the end of the day dangerous chemicals have been banned for good reason.
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 2:26 pm   #38
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bazz4CQJ View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jez1234 View Post
When I ran out of servisol once I diluted a drop of WD40 in a bottle top of IPA and then applied a single drop of the mixture after first cleaning well with just IPA and it works well used like this to help protect contacts from the environment and add a tiny bit of lubrication.
That's a very interesting idea. Of course, it's essential to remember that "Classic" WD40 consists of two immiscible liquids inside the can, and needs shaking very well to get them emulsified. Once emulsified, I guess you'd get the two phases dissolving nicely in a large excess of IPA.

As for the WD40 specialist contact cleaner, I used that a couple of months ago, spraying lots of it inside the ~40 year old programmer of my Hotpoint washing machine (which had ceased to function) and it's worked perfectly well since then.

B
I also use WD-40 Specialist Contact Cleaner for a few years now, unless there are specific instructions on the maintenance procedures that tells me to use something else.

I never had problems with it, and always seemed to work well for connectors, switches, pots, etc.

Alex
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Old 26th Sep 2023, 5:58 pm   #39
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

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Originally Posted by m0cemdave View Post
I have an unused can of this stuff, long forgotton at the back of a shelf and probably dating from the 1970s. I suspect it may have been the one that Duncan reports as dissolving some plastics. There's a warning on the can to test first.

At least it's not tetrachloromethane...
Isn't tetrachloro methane carbon tetrachloride?

Trichloromethane, "trike", was the "go to" general degreaser back in the days.
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Old 27th Sep 2023, 11:20 am   #40
knobtwiddler
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Default Re: Switch cleaner.

Back in 1990, I worked for a computer firm who used Trike to remove flux traces (it's rubbish at that job and leaves a sticky residue). They used to go the chemist to buy new toothbrushes every morning, as they'd dissolve overnight... I ended up leaving the firm over it, walking out in disgust as staff were expected to scrub PCBs without even chemical gloves (I got berrated by the owner for running to the loo after getting trike on my hands...). I should have gone to a tribunal and grassed them to H+S TBH. The firm was sold for 18-mil. Horrible people!

edit - and when I went in to get my P45, the trike safety gear had magically appeared overnight!
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