Contact Cleaners

Contact Cleaners

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Contact Cleaners

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Cleaning Power & Safety

A contact cleaner (also called electrical cleaner, switch cleaner, electrical contact cleaner, and specific for automotive repair, battery terminal cleaner) is a solvent cleaner designed to remove contamination from electrical contacts, the conductive surfaces of connectors, switches and other electrical and electronic components with moving surface contacts.

The goal is to quickly remove insulative contamination as quickly as possible, avoiding a lot of wiping and scrubbing if possible. Contact cleaning solvents are usually come in pressurized aerosol packaging for convenience and to provide a forceful spray that creates agitation and reaches into all the crevices of the connectors.

Chemtronics offers a large selection of aerosol electrical contact cleaners under the Pow-R-Wash™ brand, which range from economical heavy-industry cleaners to high precision solvents for sensitive components.

No Chemtronics contact cleaner contains toxic solvents like nPB, TCE, and Perc. While you still should pay attention to label warnings, SDS, and wear adequate personal protection equipment (PPE), the requirements will not be as over-the-top to stay within a safe range of exposure.

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Pow-R-Wash Delta
Our strongest, nonflammable contact cleaner formulation. Recommended for users seeking an aggressive cleaner for tough jobs.

Pow-R-Wash VZ
A general purpose, nonflammable electronic contact cleaner that is safe for use on some plastics.

Pow-R-Wash CZ
The safest contact cleaner formulation for plastics. Recommended for users working with applications that contain sensitive plastics.

Pow-R-Wash PR
Extra strength contact cleaner that is safe on some plastics.

DPL Deep Penetrating Lubricant
Deep penetrating lubricant to displace moisture and inhibit corrosion

Pow-R-Wash Cable Cleaner
Extra-strength, plastic safe cable and contact cleaner with a moderate evaporation time

FAQ's


Can you spray contact cleaner on a circuit board?

Most contact cleaners are safe to use on printed circuit boards (PCBs) in electronic devices. Make sure the contact cleaner solvent is compatible with all components, connectors, and packaging by testing on a scrap part or inconspicuous area.

How do you clean dirty electrical contacts?

Hold object to be cleaned in vertical position so the solvent and soil can run off. Spray 4 - 6 inches (10-15 cm) from surface. Wash from top to bottom, allowing the liquid to flush away contaminants. For precision application, use with extension tube. Allow solvent to fully evaporate and dry before turning on the power to the device.

How do you clean corroded contacts?

To improve the connection quality of an electrical contact or switch, you can remove oxidation or rust either mechanically and/or chemically. A brass or steel brush is the most common method of scrubbing off oxidation, although for sensitive contacts nylon is also used. With this method, take care to avoid damaging contacts and other components. It can be difficult to directly clean all the tight areas of electrical connectors and switches, so you may need to use some kind of chemical method. On the mild side, a mild acid like vinegar can be used, and other agents are offered for battery terminal cleaning, such as baking soda. Regardless of the cleaning material, care should be taken to rinse it off. A cleaner strong enough to remove rust could continue to work on unintended metal surfaces.

What is contact cleaner used for?

A contact cleaner (also called electrical cleaner, switch cleaner, electrical contact cleaner, and specific for automotive repair, battery terminal cleaner) is a solvent cleaner designed to remove contamination from electrical contacts, the conductive surfaces of connectors, switches and other electrical and electronic components with moving surface contacts. The goal is to quickly remove insulative contamination as quickly as possible, avoiding a lot of wiping and scrubbing if possible. Contact cleaning solvents are usually come in pressurized aerosol packaging for convenience and to provide a forceful spray that creates agitation and reaches into all the crevices of the connectors.

Is lubricant like WD-40 a good contact cleaner?

Generally, contact cleaners contain 100% solvent, which dissolves grease, carbon deposits, and other contamination, and allows it to run off. The solvent then evaporates, leaving a clean, conductive surface behind. Aerosol lubricants, like WD-40, have some cleaning ability, since the oil in the can has to be dissolved in a solvent. In this case, the solvent dissolves the contamination and a light oil is left behind. This oil can provide lubrication, allowing a connector to be inserted easily. It can also provide some hydrophobicity, preventing moisture from collecting in the connector and either causing a short circuit or corrosion. Chemtronics offers DPL (Deep Penetrating Lubricant) and CircuitWorks Gold Guard Pen for this type of application. One problem with adding oil to a connector is it can collect dust and other contamination from the air around it.

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