I have no problem cleaning tube pins with chemicals. The main thing is the clean any residue off. That is it. I personally would NEVER use sandpaper! or emery cloth at all. never... never.
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@stevecham that's primarily why I asked - I too have fairly recently fitted NOS Telefunken tubes. I cleaned the slightly tarnished pins as good as I could (one tip I read was to use a very sharp craft nice & gently scrape the pins to expose a clean surface) wipe with a lint free cloth but not apply DeoxIT.
The general problem with using Caig Gold or any product(Stabilant-22) left on the pis... is the HEAT. The heat will gradually turn the stuff added to a hard, NON -CONDUCTING shield and reduce, rather than enhance the flow of electricity. Mainly due to using too much goo. Way too many folks think if a tiny amount is good, lots more is better... and thus the later crying that the sound has gone bad. Also the effect on the sockets is cumulative. So if you redo the pins a lot, the sooner the hidden socket sleeves will become messed up with the baked on goo. So in general, best to not use any at all.
IF (IMO anyway) one could resist the temptation to leave too much on.. I think it could be used But the amount would need to be microscopic at most. And done only ONCE in the life of the tube. (and for folks who do not tube roll only) So put the Caig Gold on. then wipe it off as well as you can with a cloth rubbing it off a lot. The tiny amount left is the right amount. and way less than one can leave on IC and power cord blades..
I agree that one should not use excessive amounts of any enhancer. Nor should one repeat the treatment over and over again. I have read warnings about using Walker SST on tube pins, because of the heat issue raised by Elizabeth. But is there real evidence that ProGold bakes on and forms a non-conductive goop? First of all, it seems to be a fairly dilute liquid. Just the act of installing the tube after a single treatment, even assuming one does not wipe off the excess liquid a priori, would tend to re-distribute the suspension (or the solution) such that there is mostly metal to metal contact between pin and socket.
Some basic contact cleaner that quickly evaporates without residue (unlike DeOxit) should be safe. I’d spray it on the Magic Eraser pad and then dip the pins. Note that you don’t need a near-mirror finish on the pins like you find with new-production tubes. Just clean them until they no longer appear dull. The further abrasion from installation in the tube sockets will make for a very sufficient contact.
Deoxit is more than a cleaner. It “conditions” the metal surfaces. The problem is folks sometimes don’t wipe it off sufficiently after applying. Or are too aggressive in the application. Also, these cleaners and conditioners are nice but real contact enhances are head and shoulders above them, you know, the silver bearing stuff and graphene. The best bang for the buck is clean all contacts in the house with alcohol. Put your backs into, boys!
for tube pins.. use Caig Gold Dx2/ different than the regular gold 100L The Dx2 is good up to 500C temperature!!! cost a lot more though. like $99.
I have only ever used a simple soft erarser to clean the pins. Simply push the pins into the eraser a couple times . You can see the black it leaves behind and inserting them back in snug sockets will finish a clean contact. Pencils with eraser tips work well on the smaller pins . No need for chemicals or especially risking sanding off, or through plating either. Seams more like seeking a problem or creating one than needing a solution.