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Wild_Bill Wild_Bill is offline
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Default poor man's pot track cleaner ?

I've worked on some large pieces of equipment and never needed to empty a
can of any product by cleaning various controls, switches and connectors.

While Nigel may have been exaggerating for emphasis, using 2 cans of
anything doesn't suggest a consciencious effort by an experienced

What has been suggested is a spray n'pray method of the adage: if a little
bit is good, lots more must be better.

Other than DeoxIt products, there have been an enormous number of washes,
degreasers (non-naptha), cleaners and lubrication/protection/preserver
products from petroleum products to silicones marketed as instant
gratification problem solvers.
I've discovered pots that have been sprayed with some of the weird products
over the years, and I've replaced the controls rather than try to get all of
the old crap cleaned out.

I haven't looked at the chemistry of DeoxIt liquids in quite a while, but I
believe the 2% and 5% relate to their proprietary product (formerly referred
to as Cramolin), and that besides the solvent there are other pH specific
deoxidizers for removing tarnish/oxidation and also lubricants that remain
after the application (after the solvent flashes off).
The solvent is likely in lower concentrations in non-aerosol products, but
since I spray the aerosol into the small bottles, some of the solvent is
released anyway.

Naptha is also widely used as a tar/bug, wax and grease remover.. I used
lots of it wiping down car and truck bodies before beginning any refinishing
work.. and it's fairly easy to use quarts of naptha to clean all the grime
off of an old semi tractor body.
It's a great degreaser, but not what I'd consider close to being a good
choice for applying at a rate of 2 cans worth, to a circuit board or
components in electronic gear.

When I apply a few drops of something I have a good idea of how far it can
spread.. but carelessly flooding controls will wet a lot of nearby
components which may not be solvent-proof.
Naptha isn't a safe-on-plastics solvent like some non-petroleum electrical
degreaser products are.. naptha will burn/lift uncured paint and attack some

I'm not sure if naptha will soften the bond under circuit board traces, but
that wouldn't be a good thing to find out.
I've flooded populated boards with alcohols followed by hot water and forced
drying with no apparent damage (actually SOP by an instrument manufacturer I
worked for), but that's about as extreme as I'd go for cleaning.. and
wouldn't consider that action to be good for the reliability of pots or
other controls.

As to the common sense comment.. seen much of that in use lately?
Better referred to as uncommon sense, so folks will know what you're talking

And yet, people burn down their homes every day.. sometimes because they
wanted to get something real clean and had some gasoline handy, or they've
just refinished a piece of furniture or a hobby project.

The ones that make me shake my head are the ones that refuse to hire a
professional to refinish their floors/etc, and burn the place to the ground.


"Winston" wrote in message
Wild_Bill wrote:
Naptha is a very thin solvent and probably still the main ingrediant in
cigarette lighter fluid (and possibly charcoal
lighter fluid).

Naptha and other cheap substitute solvents won't provide the same
cleaning qualities or lasting lubrication on pot

In relation to...?

I agree that naphtha is an excellent solvent and provides no lubrication.
Doubtlessly there are better products available for lubrication after
gunk is liberated from working parts. Naphtha *is* the main
ingredient in DeOxit, only 5% of which appears to be a lubricant.

Naptha isn't the sort of product I'd want used on any of my equipment. It
will most likely be absorbed by nearby
materials, and if something goes wrong (during or after application) I
suspect that the combustibility ratings of the
various otherwise safe materials will be significantly increased.

Naphtha is extremely volatile and flammable.
Common sense dictates *lots* of ventilation and
separation from sparks and open flame.

In most instances, it dries within minutes and presents no more serious a
hazard than the equipment itself.

I've used it safely for years.

I'm no stranger to flammable solvents.. I spent many years working with
them every day and never had a fire incident.
There are safety precautions which must be obeyed to minimize the risk of
fires.. and careless storage, disposal or
handling of solvents is asking for trouble.

That's common sense. There is nothing careless about the safe use of
solvent though.

In the past, I've recommended against the not use of other solvents in
electronic equipment (WD40 is stoddard solvent)
for any anecdotal "werks great for this" problems.

Yes. WD-40 is awful for most purposes.

Improvising with a product just because it's cheaper or more conveniently
available isn't rational logic, IMO.
If the electronic gear isn't worth servicing properly, then it would be
better to just sell it for parts.

For many cleaning tasks, naphtha is the fastest, most effective, least
expensive option.

I've encountered cheap customers that have wanted something
repaired/serviced for almost free since they only paid $2
for it at a flea market.. and they believe they're being sensible.
I've let them know that they aren't going to waste any more of my time.

Good on ya.