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Windows 7: Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray

30 Jan 2012   #1

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray

Recently, when I was having a problem with crackling noise on my HTPC. I took the suggestion of one poster on the forum, who suggested using a spray such as this, because it sounded good to me. However after doing so, instead of crackling, there was no sound at all.

I've replaced the card, but now am wondering if I should ever use that cleaner on a computer component or not? Not sure if it matters, but it is the CRC brand. On inspection, it didn't appear to do any physical harm, and it dries so quickly, it doesn't seem likely, but yet I'm left wondering?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

This stuff?

Were you using it to try to quiet down a rotary knob or??

CRC Contact Cleaner Demo.mp4 - YouTube

CRC makes several products--heavy duty de-greaser type stuff and lighter duty products for cleaning switches and potentiometers.

Take a look here:

Anyone use CRC contact cleaner? [Archive] - Home Audio Stereo Discussion Forums

I've never used the stuff and would use it sparingly if at all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2012   #3

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE

I used the CRC QD Electronic Cleaner:

CRC QD Electrical Contact Cleaner Aerosol | eBay

Though I read one post in your link that mentioned it, I saw nothing that gave me a conclusive answer. Of course, conclusive answers are quite rare.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Feb 2012   #4

windows 7 home premium 64, and Windows 10 64 bit

That electrical cleaner is not supposed to leave residue but it does. We use it in the place I work everyday. I mainly use it to remove grease from gears as it does not hurt the bearings. I still have to reclean the bearings in an ultrasonic with acetone. I am by no means telling you to use acetone! DO NOT USE IT! I am just adding some information from experience.
When you use the contact cleaner you have to quickly move the contacts being cleaned. Like you would turn a dial when cleaning it. There is a product called 226 electrical lubricant that works pretty good. Just use it sparingly or it will be messy. Blow the remainder out with no more then 5 PSI to remove any left over.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2012   #5

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE

Hmm, there is no way to quickly move a sound card as you described, it simply slides into it's slot. I suppose that could be repeated several times, but doubt that would serve the purpose. Even blowing it out a the low pressure that you mentioned would be a bit difficult, unless one could measure their own blow pressure threw their own lips, because most air pressure sources I know of are higher than that. I think it comes down to the question of whether to use the CRC product or not? I used it successfully on an automotive battery cable, and just a bit ago to clean a fan in my external case, but those are totally different situations. As far as the residue that it does leave, is it conductive or not conductive?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #6

windows 7 home premium 64, and Windows 10 64 bit

Sorry, I thought you were talking about a stereo receiver that had a crackle sound in the volume know. I have my PC hooked up to my receiver and years back I had the problem with that, not a sound card. The crackling might just be distorion from being over driven. This is why I use a receiver to have sound.

We have regulated air pressure that I use to clean out my PC's and anything else.

The residue is not conductive but it is corrosive to the solder. Just clean the card with denatured alcohol. Not the drinking kind! LOL

LMAO Now I am wondering what the heck you were doing spraying anything on a sound card..........
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #7

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE


LMAO Now I am wondering what the heck you were doing spraying anything on a sound card.
Maybe it was the wrong thing to do, but since no one said so until now, I don't it feel was so terribly wrong, since that is what the spray is supposed to be least in a general sense.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #8
Kevin Ismail

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I also work with electrical contact cleaners. I usually use it to fix or maintain contact on potentiometers, electrical device, or some PCB sockets after blow the dust away from it. In order to get rid of any problem might be caused by its residue, I usually wipe the surface with clean clothes. Sure it wont work that way for parts with no flat surface. Cotton buds will do though not entirely.

Agree with Techymike. Spraying it to other electronic components like, resistor, transistor, or capasitor wont do any good.

If the part is totally dusty and you are not sure if the blower pressure is safe then just have a clean brush, and do it in front of working fan. And the cleaner has its turn.

Hope that helps a little.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64

Spraying any substance on the card other than compressed air is bad. Cleaning the contacts and then wiping them completely dry insert into pci slot then remove and re-apply and dry......over and over to clean all surfaces maybe. I was thinking that you shot the cleaner into the mini jacks in the back or the like. For cleaning the jacks you spray the cleaner on the jack wipe dry insert and wiggle then re-apply, wipe and wiggle. Remember less is always more with these cleaners and always wipe and let the surfaces completely dry before any power is applied. In my experience computers only require air and a light brushing on there pci slots or ram slots to clean. With all the fine copper connections the cleaner if over applied can actually be a conductant.....not good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2012   #10

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear, but the only part of the sound card that I sprayed was the fingers, although I may have gotten some overspray elsewhere, I also sprayed the PCI slot. I did wipe the fingers, but that wasn't possible for the PCI slot. Apparently it did not damage to the PCI slot, because the new sound card works plugged into it.

EDIT: Forgot, I did spray the back jacks also, and I may have been less careful there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Electrical Contact Cleaner Spray

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