Best Electrical Cleaners in 2020



Hosa D5S-6 CAIG DeoxIT 5% Spray Contact Cleaner, 5 oz. Review:


I've used one form or another of this product since the mid '70s and it's fantastic.

I'd found out about it from a magazine back then called Audio Amateur and at that time, the similar product was called Cramolin. As with DeoxIT, it came in a red and a blue variety. The blue is/was a preservative for newly manufactured contacts and the red is/was a cleaner and preservative. Theoretically, the blue may provide longer/better protection while the red is better for cleaning and restoring contacts which are already oxidized.

You can clean contacts with the red, then remove it, then treat with the blue to get the best protection of already oxidized contacts, but in practice, the red alone works so well that it's extremely effective to simply clean and treat the contacts in one step using only the red. As a result, I use about one can of blue for every ten or more cans of the red. For most uses, most folks only need the red (D) variety. I don't want that to make it sound like I go through cans and cans of the stuff, but since I work in the electronics field, I do use a lot more than most people.

As has been mentioned in several other reviews, you need very little of it to do most jobs. A single can will last a very long time even for someone who is constantly working on a lot of equipment.

After finding out how well it worked on audio connections and potentiometers, I introduced the folks at the electronics company where I worked to it. All of the technicians and engineers were amazed and it soon became a staple. We designed, manufactured, installed, and serviced various telemetry and process control equipment. A lot of this gear as well as equipment made by others that we were called upon to service was in areas with corrosive atmospheres like oilfield, refinery, water/wastewater treatment, laboratory, and other locations where hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, hydrochloric acid fumes, etc., are present, leading to lots of contact-related problems.

It's been extremely effective over these many years, and although the name and formula has changed since the "Cramolin" days, the new stuff seems to still be very good.

I've also used it on very high voltage connectors and one of the amazing properties of it is that while it improves contact integrity and lowers contact resistance dramatically, it does not break down and cause leakage or flashover when used on high voltage systems. I've used it for years on photomultiplier tube and Geiger tube devices (radiation survey and monitoring equipment), and never had any problems with it. These systems usually operate with bias voltages between 900 and 1500 Volts, but sometimes run up to 2500V.

A fantastic example of how it works was something we did many years ago where we had a batch of very old thermal self-resetting circuit breaker devices in a system. The problem was that they had silver contacts. Silver itself is the best conductor of all elements, but it is very reactive and oxidizes (tarnishes) very easily. These devices were sealed and "non-repairable". But their contact resistance was unacceptably high.

I mixed a solution of Cramolin Red and a solvent (probably Freon TF back in those days), put it in a glass jar, and simply dropped these breakers into it and kept them submerged until the bubbles stopped coming out to make sure they were totally flooded with the solution. We then took them out, letting the fluid run back out of them, and then rapped them on a desk a dozen times or so to make the contacts inside "jiggle" a bit. That was enough to let the Cramolin work its way between the closed contacts.

Measuring a number of these breakers before and after the treatment, the resistances started out between 100 and 200 milliohms. After treating them, the typical resistance went down to around 6 milliohms! The high current and low voltage these devices needed to carry meant that the voltage drops across them had been unacceptably high, but post-treatment, they operated beautifully. And stayed that way for years.

Various other contacts which would heat up and cause other problems prior to treatment operated cool and with extremely low voltage drops after treatment.

I've personally "repaired" countless potentiometers, switches, and various connectors over the years with this stuff.

We call it "Technician in a Can", and it lives up to that name. I pre-treat a LOT of contacts prior to crimping them onto their wires, and it lowers the mating forces and improves the reliability of virtually any connector.

It truly is special stuff. It's indispensable for technicians, manufacturers, audiophiles, etc. If I had a 55 gallon drum of it, I could take entire pre-amps and other audio gear and dunk it to fix all of the bad switch contacts and pots in one quick operation. :)

The only thing that's a minor issue is that as with any contact cleaner that has (or is nothing but) a solvent, it will flush away the viscous goo that's often used to make a potentiometer have a "silky" feel to it when rotating. So when you're treating a pot, it's best to try not to allow any to get to the shaft/bushing part of the pot if you want to preserve the grease that's in that annulus.

But it often totally fixes a "scratchy" pot by simply getting it on the resistive pad and then running the pot back and forth a dozen times or so.

As with so many things, for some reason, manufacturers just love to make pot wipers with silver plating. Bad idea! But all too common. Once that wiper tarnishes, the pot will sound awful since silver oxide is an insulator. The DeoxIT usually allows that oxide layer to be removed by simply rotating the pot a dozen times or so, and then it coats the wiper and the resistive element, preventing future problems and leaving the pot working/sounding excellent.

Anyhow, all I can say is that this product has served me extremely well for nearly 40 years, and I highly recommend it.



Hosa D100S-2 CAIG DeoxIT 100% Spray Contact Cleaner, 2 oz. Review:




WD40 Company 300554 Specialist Contact Cleaner Spray - 11 oz. with Smart Straw Review:


I always have electrical contact cleaner on hand. It's so useful when some electronic device isn't working correctly because, say, invisible oxidation prevents the batteries from making electrical connection with the battery contacts inside. This solves the problem immediately. Also great, for example, when a charger isn't making contact with the device needing to be recharged, such as my cordless phone -- spraying this on resolves that issue at once. What makes the WD-40 superior to most other brands is that the "straw" for directing the spray to a small, specific area is built into the container with a hinge. If you leave it folded down, it sprays out of the nozzle in a wide spray, which I seldom if ever want. All I have to do to engage the "straw" is fold it up into position. Much better than a separate straw held onto the side of the can with a rubber band that needs to be inserted into the nozzle to use it. I note that while regular WD-40 lubricant can clean electrical contacts, it's a lubricant and leaves an oily residue which is not what you typically want when you need to clean electrical contacts. The WD-40 Electrical Contract Cleaner leaves no oily residue. Great product, one I use all the time. It keeps many an electronic device going and has many times restored one that has stopped working to full functionality. For example, I've had battery-operated quartz clocks that have stopped running and a new battery hasn't solved the problem, but once the battery contacts have been cleaned, the clock works again perfectly. How great is that? Tip: You can spray this product onto a cotton swab to clean a contact if you don't want the spray to get all over the inside of a device. One can lasts a long time, too.



WD-40 Specialist Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray - Electronic & Electrical Equipment Cleaner. 11 oz. (Pack of 6) Review:


I always have electrical contact cleaner on hand. It's so useful when some electronic device isn't working correctly because, say, invisible oxidation prevents the batteries from making electrical connection with the battery contacts inside. This solves the problem immediately. Also great, for example, when a charger isn't making contact with the device needing to be recharged, such as my cordless phone -- spraying this on resolves that issue at once. What makes the WD-40 superior to most other brands is that the "straw" for directing the spray to a small, specific area is built into the container with a hinge. If you leave it folded down, it sprays out of the nozzle in a wide spray, which I seldom if ever want. All I have to do to engage the "straw" is fold it up into position. Much better than a separate straw held onto the side of the can with a rubber band that needs to be inserted into the nozzle to use it. I note that while regular WD-40 lubricant can clean electrical contacts, it's a lubricant and leaves an oily residue which is not what you typically want when you need to clean electrical contacts. The WD-40 Electrical Contract Cleaner leaves no oily residue. Great product, one I use all the time. It keeps many an electronic device going and has many times restored one that has stopped working to full functionality. For example, I've had battery-operated quartz clocks that have stopped running and a new battery hasn't solved the problem, but once the battery contacts have been cleaned, the clock works again perfectly. How great is that? Tip: You can spray this product onto a cotton swab to clean a contact if you don't want the spray to get all over the inside of a device. One can lasts a long time, too.



BW-100 Nonflammable Electronic Contact Cleaner aerosol Spray HFOs Quick Dry Upsidedown usable (16oz.) Review:


I bought this to clean the memory slot of my 10-year-old motherboard. One of the memory slot stopped recently stopped working. So I wanted to give it a shot. Unfortunately, it couldn't revive my dead memory slot. But I don't think it's this this cleaner's failure. It actually cleaned the memory slot pretty well, as well as the memory itself. It dried very quickly, so no need to wait for the stuff drying.



CRC 05046 Battery Terminal Protector - 7.5 Wt Oz. Review:


I’m a Nissan master tech and this is what we use on customers cars (see before/after picture) when they come in and pay for a 30K, 60k, 90k, 120k etc. service package. It’s about $300.00 but we do a lot more than just visually inspect things. I take pride in making sure the battery terminals are perfectly clean with this product and I also clean the entire top of the battery so it looks brand new.



MG Chemicals 401B Nutrol Control Cleaner, 340g (12 oz) Aerosol Can Review:


This MG Chemicals "Nutrol" lubricant/cleaner is the best "all-in-one" product of its unique kind. I have been using this product regularly for nearly 20 years. Another reviewer, Oscar, analogously describes this product as a "more purified and electronics-oriented WD-40." Well said. I'll go a step further and say that Nutrol is far more useful than WD-40 on a much broader spectrum of surfaces and objects. WD-40 can weaken/damage certain plastics (WD-40 reportedly contains gasoline). In contrast, Nutrol is safe on all plastics (I can attest to that after 20 years). Oscar defines Nutrol as a metal-to-metal lubricant. He's right -- Nutrol's highly refined lubricant oils are superb. But there is more... Nutrol is also an excellent plastic lubricant. Nutrol's lubricants do not have the longevity/permanence or waterproofness of some of today's modern lubricants (like high-tech paraffin waxes); nevertheless, Nutrol's lubricant oils won't quickly dissipate or quit lubricating. Additionally, Nutrol provides superb flushing action (for electronics, armatures, motors, etc..). In fact, Nutrol's highly refined oils are non-staining and very light to the touch; nevertheless, this is indeed an oily product, at least initially. Importantly, Nutrol does not remain a wet oil-slick indefinitely to attract dust or cause grime; it dries fairly quickly without a significant loss of efficacy. However, because it is oily, excess Nutrol should wiped up. Finally, Nutrol is an excellent contact cleaner. Just keep in mind that Nutrol is not a quick-dry or non-drip cleaner like isopropyl alcohol, electrical contact cleaner, or DeoxIT D5. Instead, Nutrol is an oily contact cleaner spray, at least initially, and the spray can includes an adjustable spray head which is very useful. I use Nutrol for tons of tasks, such as cleaning, lubricating and restoring electrical fans, including computer cooling fans. I'm constantly amazed how clean, silent and efficient operating each fan becomes. I use Nutrol on my USB ports for super-smooth connections and disconnections.