Best practices - cleaning contacts!


Hello audiophiles-

I’ve had my existing equipment for about 3 years and have never cleaned contacts.  Should I do this?  I am wondering what best products and practices are for doing so?  What’s your method?  How often do you do this?  Also do I clean just the input jacks or am I also cleaning banana plugs and jacks on interconnects and metal prongs on power cords?

(And in the immediate, I am just blowing pressurized air, but wondering if something more serious would be a good idea at some point.)

Please advise!  Thanks-
Margot
mcanaday
Really once before you assemble your rig is enough.

A lot use Craig Deoxit
Should also clean AC plugs. Inside IEC AC plug..For the lazy, but willing, just the fat of unplugging and replugging helps a lot. SO for the lazy, but willing, this is a good idea maybe once a year.
For those with more interest and willing to do a little work...
Cleaning interconnects with alcohol using cotton wipes, Q-Tips.. (for inside the RCA barrel, pluck most of the cotton off, crush the paper stick with a pliers to work best. Then apply Caig "Gold’ (Deoxit usually is the 'Red Caig. the Gold is good, more for actual Gold or Rhodium plated, the Red is for bare copper) with the applicator brush and WIPE IT OFF. the ideal amount left is a few molecules thick... so if you can feel it, you left too much on’ Bare copper AC plugs can be cleaned better with a copper cleaner first. then use the Caif GOld.(I use an automotive product to clean AC plugs, Meguiare’s "Scratch X" Takes tarnish off copper great, and polishes it. Then I use Caig Pro gold. I do the INSIDE of the IEC plugs too. (even if plated) usually they are really dirty inside! For the IEC I again use Q-Tips, flattened with a pliers half the cotton removed.. Some Scratch X, then Gold.
If your speaker spades or bananas are bare copper. same treatment.
Once a year. maybe if lazy once every two years...
Thanks!  Elizabeth a few follow ups.  Lots of different Deoxit Golds—is this the one I want?

https://caig.com/product/deoxit-gold-g5s-6/

Could I use something like this on banana plugs etc?

https://caig.com/product/deoxit-gold-k-g1w-25/

I’m a bit confused by the difference between 5% and 100% solution.

Also what are you using to wipe off excess?  Q tip?  Would a pipe cleaner also work?

Thanks!

Margot


NO.. You want the little bottle of 100%https://www.amazon.com/DeoxIT-G100L-Brush-Applicator-7-4mL/dp/B01FFV8MEO/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=caig+go...This bottle will last you ten years.. (if you do not spill it)I am still using the last of a bottle I bought at least twelve years ago...Only the 100% will last like that. it does not evaporate or go bad.The red, which is stronger cleaning power.. more for unplated copper, silver.Is: https://www.amazon.com/CAIG-Laboratories-D100L-2DB-Electric-Cleaner/dp/B0002BBVN2/ref=pd_day0_hl_469...Usually after I clean with the red, I apply the Gold. (and wipe it mostly off. as mentioned. You do NOT need the Red unless you want to clean bare copper or bare silver. The Gold is all you need for Gold or Rhodium plated connectors.
I wipe it off with a paper towel. But I use Viva Paper towels, which really are way more like cotton than like paper. Only the full sheet type rolls, not pattern, nor color design! not half sheets... All those have been altered from the original. Only the full sheet plain is still really good.I polish CDs with Viva, I wax my car with Viva. (try polishing a CD with any other paper towel Yikes no way.)For tight spaces yeah a Q-Tip (like inside a male chassis mount IEC. or the inside of a Male RCA. I never try to do the inside of the female RCA.. But other folks use Dentist Root Canal bits The ’Black, and the ’Red are the best sizes. I have never tried to buy them. Other folks claim they work well for female RCA and tube sockets.I was just reading about them today, but I lost the spot I saw it. Found it link to A.A. post https://www.audioasylum.com/audio/general/messages/74/743531.html

The 7.4mL bottle of Deoxit Gold recommended by Elizabeth ($32.95 on Amazon, $29.95 from Michael Percy) is included in the company’s K-DG100L-2DB kit, available from Markertek for $25.99. In addition to the 7.4mL bottle of Gold, the kit includes a 7.4mL bottle of the Red cleaner, and a number of good cleaning utensils.

I, like Elizabeth, prefer the 100% strength liquid form of Deoxit; no over-spray mess or waste of the diluted strength aerosol version. By the way, the Red contains a higher percentage of the Deoxit cleaning chemical than does the Gold.

Thanks, everyone!  Super helpful.

Love the dental bits.  So smart. 

For cleaning off banana plugs, though, would these wipes be a good choice?

https://caig.com/product/deoxit-gold-k-g1w-25/
I'll get myself some VIVA paper towels and get started! 

Just two other questions:
Should I expect brightness in my system for a few hours or days after I do this?
You polish cds, Elizabeth?  What is that about???
Many thanks!!!
Margot


It probably goes without saying all contacts in the house should be cleaned and/or conditionied once in a while, i.e., all wall outlets and plugs for fridge, TVs, computer, lamps, air purifier, what have you. All circuits feed into the audio circuit.
It really depends on the material that your contacts are made of.

If your contacts are gold plated, than cleaning is very simple because gold is not reactive and does not oxidize or corrode. The major contaminant that coats a gold surface are hydrocarbons, although there may be some salts that are on the surface from hand contact. None of these are chemically bonded and are easily removed with any alcohol; methanol, ethanol, or isopropyl. More aggressive cleaners are not needed for gold plated contacts. 

If your contacts are copper, silver, brass or another metal than a more aggressive cleaner like Deoxit can be used.
Sorry for the aside. Yes When I first get a CD. I polish the surface with the plain Viva. Two sorts of CDs. 'Dry" and "slippery. New come in two sorts. The dry have a great deal of stiction. rubbing them reduces it. Then I use a silicone slippery stuff to make them super slippery. It is a very old AudioQuest product I bought a box of.100 packets. I dump one packet into a cotton cloth and it is good for about a year. The already slippery I rub anyway, and use the cloth.          
I also polish damaged CDs using Meguiar's Scratch X and the Viva paper towels. Works for small tiny scratches very well. Larger too, if I work at it for a half hour!      
I also paint the outer edge
Back to the regular program..... 
Wow!  I am amazed!

Sounds like a good winter project.
Thanks to all for all the good advice.

cheers,Margot