Author Topic: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts  (Read 4620 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline nikonoid

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 224
  • Country: us
Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« on: October 20, 2017, 05:25:17 am »
I am repairing an old device that is covered with oily substance, binding posts and all. Looks relatively fresh and smells like WD-40. I am trying to clean it with IPA and q-tips.

Is there something better to clean copper/plastic binding posts? Potential things that come to mind are Deoxit and Acetone. Thank you.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Offline Jeroen3

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 3403
  • Country: nl
  • Embedded Engineer
    • jeroen3.nl
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2017, 05:27:50 am »
Regular PCB cleaning solvent, isopropylalcohol.
 

Offline texaspyro

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1343
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 06:16:02 am »
Ahh,  good ole Wanton Destruction 40.  It is NOT a contact cleaner.  Not a lubricant.  It is basically a liquid wax.  It has no business being around electronics... unless you want to mess them up.  I've seen more than one piece of quality test equipment totally buggered by that stuff... including a GenRad resistance decade... GenRad actually said to use WD40 to clean their rotary switches... good grief...
 

Offline DTJ

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 894
  • Country: au
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 06:42:19 am »
Flood it with methylated spirits / denatured alcohol (because its cheap) and finish off with isopropyl.
 

Offline Zucca

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 2480
  • Country: it
  • EE meid in Itali
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 09:45:39 am »
Ahh,  good ole Wanton Destruction 40.  It is NOT a contact cleaner.

When you have metal touching metal, WD40 is the best for cleaning messy dirty sticky stuff. It is horrible on plastic, because it corrodes it. Once you got the metal surface clean then use the right product like contact deox, lubricat or whatever. So My .02$: use it only on metal for cleaning purpose and then use another product to finalize the job.

WD40 is not terrible, but some people use it in a terrible way.
Can't know what you don't love. St. Augustine
Can't love what you don't know. Zucca
 

Offline Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8726
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2017, 10:20:46 am »
Ahh,  good ole Wanton Destruction 40.  It is NOT a contact cleaner.  Not a lubricant.  It is basically a liquid wax.  It has no business being around electronics... unless you want to mess them up.  I've seen more than one piece of quality test equipment totally buggered by that stuff... including a GenRad resistance decade... GenRad actually said to use WD40 to clean their rotary switches... good grief...
It's in Dave's decade resistance video too. That's a metrology grade decade resistance box and the manual says contacts are supposed to be cleaned with WD-40.
 

Online bd139

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 13618
  • Country: gb
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2017, 11:12:45 am »
Standard WD40 works on contacts fine, but only in the short term. It can make plastics brittle over time, dissolves adhesives, all the shite sticks to it and ruins switches and it smells bloody awful.

Back when there was nothing better, it got recommended. No we have decent contact cleaners which leave no residue.

As people have said, flush it with IPA and scrub it off.
 

Online Ian.M

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8255
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2017, 12:21:32 pm »
IPA isn't very good at removing oily contamination.  See http://blog.gotopac.com/2010/11/18/ipa-as-a-universal-cleaner-advantages-disadvantages-2/

Acetone would be a very bad idea unless you are 100% certain that all plastic parts, paint and panel markings are compatible with it as it attacks many plastics.

Probably the best bet for a solvent to remove oils would be Naptha (liquid lighter fuel), though you should test carefully for compatibility in a small inconspicuous area first.  Alternatively, is it possible to strip it down and use hot water + detergent on the parts?

At least your suspected WD40 hasn't dried and oxidised to a gluey varnish . . . .
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 12:23:10 pm by Ian.M »
 

Offline texaspyro

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1343
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2017, 05:46:33 pm »
One of my favorite solvents, cleaners, flux removers is Everclear... 190 proof grain alcohol.  It's non-toxic (in moderation).  Plus it makes a good screwdriver.
 

Offline David Hess

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 10665
  • Country: us
  • DavidH
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2017, 03:56:36 am »
Naphtha (lighter fluid) is a common ingredient in plastic safe contact cleaner.
 

Offline Lightages

  • Supporter
  • ****
  • Posts: 4295
  • Country: ca
  • Canadian po
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2017, 06:27:18 pm »
David Hess has it right. And others have it right with WD40 too. Keep it away from anything you care about.
 

Offline kalel

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 880
  • Country: 00
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2017, 07:01:05 pm »
I saw someone on YouTube use naphta lighter fluid to lubricate a netbook fan. Is it then usable on potentiometers and such things?
 

Offline David Hess

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 10665
  • Country: us
  • DavidH
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2017, 07:42:41 pm »
I saw someone on YouTube use naphta lighter fluid to lubricate a netbook fan. Is it then usable on potentiometers and such things?

Naphtha is for cleaning and not lubrication.  Potentiometers and any switch with sliding contacts needs to be lubricated after cleaning.  The MG Super Contact Cleaner that I like uses the naphtha for cleaning and includes an oil including poly phenyl ether for lubrication.  Silicon oil is commonly used also.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8726
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2017, 07:54:29 pm »
I saw someone on YouTube use naphta lighter fluid to lubricate a netbook fan. Is it then usable on potentiometers and such things?
Be wary of people misunderstanding the mechanics of what they do on Youtube. It may very well have been a stuck fan becoming unstuck thanks to the naphta, with this person thinking it must be a lubricant.

 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2017, 07:57:03 pm »
Denatured alcohol.. or "methylated spirits" seems to work to remove oils from contacts. After you're done use some "Deoxit" on them. Just a very tiny bit.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline nikonoid

  • Regular Contributor
  • *
  • Posts: 224
  • Country: us
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2017, 08:16:53 pm »
Thank you guys. I already stocked up on Naphtha and Denatured Alcohol. Time to put it to good use.

Even though I was not the one drenching device in WD40, I do use it sometimes. When I have extra stubborn sticker residue on the outside of a device, I would spray small amount of WD40 into paper towel and then wipe repeatedly sticky residue until it is gone, then clean the spot multiple times with alcohol to remove WD40. Is there a better way to remove stickers from old devices?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Offline kalel

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 880
  • Country: 00
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2017, 08:29:36 pm »
I saw someone on YouTube use naphta lighter fluid to lubricate a netbook fan. Is it then usable on potentiometers and such things?
Be wary of people misunderstanding the mechanics of what they do on Youtube. It may very well have been a stuck fan becoming unstuck thanks to the naphta, with this person thinking it must be a lubricant.

Perhaps it was to clean, not lubricate. Probably my bad, it's hard to clearly recollect each video. I'm just curious to what this fluid is good or bad for in electronics.
 

Online Ian.M

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8255
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2017, 08:55:30 pm »
Denatured alcohol.. or "methylated spirits" seems to work to remove oils from contacts. After you're done use some "Deoxit" on them. Just a very tiny bit.
Put a little light mineral oil in a very clean tiny glass jar with a tight fitting metal lid (e.g. fish paste jar, or miniature jam pot), add some denatured alcohol and shake it.  Let it settle and you will see the oil and alcohol separate into layers. Leave it long enough and the separation will be near complete, maybe with the remains of a homogenised layer of tiny oil droplets in alcohol between the other two layers.  That shows you oil is not miscible with short chain alcohols.  Shake it again, tip the contents out, rinse with a little more alcohol and let the jar dry and run your finger round the inside. It will still be very oily.  That shows you alcohol is poor at removing oils.

It does have SOME cleaning effect combined with vigorous scrubbing or wiping as oil cant stick to a surface wet with alcohol, so it can be used to float the oil contamination away from surfaces that cannot withstand more suitable non-polar solvents (assuming the alcohol is safe for the surface), and if pure Ethanol is used, the intoxicating fumes will be less harmful than those of any alternative organic solvent which can be important for safety when working in confined spaces, but its far from being first choice for oil removal.

....
Potentiometers and any switch with sliding contacts needs to be lubricated after cleaning. 
....
Silicon oil is commonly used also.

One needs to be extremely careful to avoid contaminating moving contacts with silicone greases and oils.  Any sparking or arcing will cause the silicone to break down into nanoparticles of silicon dioxide (insulating glass) and silicon carbide (a poor semiconductor and a harsh abrasive) which can cause accelerated wear and an unreliable connection.  However its excellent for protecting fixed contact surfaces that are never connected or disconnected or moved under load. 

See The Use of Silicone Materials in Close Proximity of Electrical Motors and Mechanical Relays by Frederic Gubbels / D. Varin / M. Onishi, Dow Corning Corporation
and Contact Contamination and Arc Interactions - slides by G. J. Witter.

Its also a total PITA to remove silicone contamination from a surface (may be impossible on adsorbent surfaces or without total disassembly), it tends to spread to exactly where you don't want it and trace contamination causes glue bond failures and paint adhesion problems so always think twice before resorting to using any silicone containing product on any valuable equipment.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 08:59:16 pm by Ian.M »
 

Offline cdev

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5082
  • Country: 00
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2017, 09:07:23 pm »
Ian, what about lithium grease.. "lubriplate" I think it is.. in the form of "Genie screw drive garage door lubricant part#  GLU-R"

After doing a lot of research on ham groups, that and a bit of deoxit is what I ended up using on the bearings of my roller inductor (no transmitting yet, though, only receive)  So far though, it seems to have worked well.

Without lubrication, it screeched really loudly when I turned it and also the contract wasn't smooth.. that translated into interruption of the circuit.

There are still some issues.. the thing really needs to be completely taken apart, ball bearings and all.. but its much improved.

What's weird is, even when no black gunk is visible, black gunk still keeps showing up..  working its way out of the hidden cavities..

(the graphite and motor oil "lube" that MFJ is known for, or rather infamous for)

I may need to buy an ultrasonic cleaner to do it well..
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 09:09:17 pm by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Online Ian.M

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8255
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2017, 09:34:50 pm »
As long as the bearings aren't relied on for electrical contact, a good brand of lithium grease is hard to beat for slow-moving bearings.

For the moving contacts, its hard to make a recommendation. Read https://www.w8ji.com/dielectric_grease_vs_conductive_grease.htm.  Its worth noting that the early use of silicone lubricants in turret tuners was mitigated by typically high contact forces, infrequent operation and mostly extremely low voltages and currents (apart from switching power to VHF or UHF sections).

Your roller inductor topics:
https://www.eevblog.com/forum/rf-microwave/how-to-cleanlubricate-old-variable-caps-and-(especially)-roller-inductor/

https://www.eevblog.com/forum/chat/would-you-do-this-weighing-possibly-dumb-idea/
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 09:36:38 pm by Ian.M »
 

Offline David Hess

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 10665
  • Country: us
  • DavidH
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2017, 09:51:41 pm »
Its also a total PITA to remove silicone contamination from a surface (may be impossible on adsorbent surfaces or without total disassembly), it tends to spread to exactly where you don't want it and trace contamination causes glue bond failures and paint adhesion problems so always think twice before resorting to using any silicone containing product on any valuable equipment.

I do not like silicon oils for the reasons you identify including creepage which is why I use poly phenyl ether lubricant instead of silicon lubricant for switches and around electronics.
 

Online Specmaster

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 8578
  • Country: gb
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2017, 10:28:44 am »
 :wtf: There is a WD40 product that is a dedicated switch and contact cleaner but it is important to read beyond the brand name and see what the actual product is called, perhaps the photo prepared by bd139 might help to clear up the confusion surrounding this good product. This is what happens when a company promotes its company name first and foremost, especially when for years it has been the maker of predominantly 1 thing, penetrating fluid that has other uses as well.

They should take a leaf out the soap manufacturers book and market the brand name first, i.e., most of the washing powders are made one of the big 2 names, Unilever or Proctor and Gamble, names that you have to hunt for, but Persil, Daz, Aerial, Dreft etc are well known and people understand what that product does.  :-+

Who let Murphy in?
 

Offline sphinx

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: se
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2017, 02:03:10 pm »
to clean oil residues i use technical petrol where i need to be careful of plastics, where plastics or other stuff are not an issue i use acetone to
clean. if technical petrol is not available i use brake cleaner instead i just test the can to see if it does not leave any oily residues on a shiny
surface or glass to see something is left.

if i need for something to be a bit cleaner i use isopropanol alcohol after the petrol
 

Online Cyberdragon

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2232
  • Country: us
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2017, 03:16:38 pm »
Quote
technical petrol

 :o Um...what?! I don't think you mean gasoline do you? I though that ruins plastic.
*BZZZZZZAAAAAP*
Voltamort strikes again!
Explodingus - someone who frequently causes accidental explosions
 

Offline sphinx

  • Contributor
  • Posts: 16
  • Country: se
Re: Cleaning WD-40 of contacts
« Reply #24 on: October 22, 2017, 03:59:09 pm »
technical petrol is not gasoline, its sort of similar to what you put in a zippo lighter i dont know if it is the same or not but it does not smell same.
i also se it is called medical petrol and you can get it in the "apotek" in sweden similar to wahlgreens in us

this is a pdf of what i mean sadly only in swedish language http://gertab.se/shop/810/art66/24966-aa1611-4085.pdf
i am not familiar with chemistry but in text they mention "nafta" in the text it's all i can find so far maybe someone can help
the chemical or perhaps a brand name o of it.

i am careful with plastics even using this but it is not so harsh as gasoline but allways be careful with plastics when using solvents
of any kind.

i read on a forum and some calls it "Bensin av heptantyp" in swedish
« Last Edit: October 22, 2017, 04:03:10 pm by sphinx »
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf