WD-40 for electronics

I forgot who said it, but Im sure it was said. So I will ask the question... for "OLD" screechy volume pots and connections is there a miracle grease, solvent, or lubricant? Or did I read or hear this in my dreams??? If not Lets create a snake oil of "Snake Oil's" and get filthy like Mike at My Pillow. To his credit its a great product. Much better than the 60 dollar "Audiophile 12 inch Inner-tube" I bought to go under my 5 disk carousel Carver CD Player.With My Denon 270 receiver and if Im not mistaken DCM Time Window Speakers along with the first pair of rosenut HSU 30 somthing inch tall by around 14 inches wide cardboard tube subwoofers with a black knit around them. God did I think I was all that... Haha I can laugh at myself I hope you guys can too!

But seriously if there is a spray or grease to help... Please chime in... I need it.
WD-40 for electronics

No it’s just Kerosene in a spay can and will dry things out even more and make those pots even more noisy once it’s dried out.

You want a proper electronics spray cleaner with lube properties for potentiometers.

Don’t get sucked into $$$$$ audio snake oil cleaners.

This one for volume pots

This one for plugs and sockets, rca’s ect ect ect

Cheers George

After cleaning with Caig($$ mineral spirits) and waiting for it to evaporate,would powdered graphite be a good lubricant?It won't attract dust like something oily.
Graphite is a great lubricant.       It’s also a wonderful conductor of electricity, being a form of Carbon.       NOT an attribute one wants, for a powder inside their electronics.
He recommended this for volume pots

" This one for volume pots

Am I missing something or getting "Nubbed" That is what my Grand son calls Newbies on Fortnight video game.
You just need an electronics contact cleaner. Spray it into the pot and turn the pot fully back and forth several times to work it in. Do this with the power disconnected.
The ’WD’ in WD-40 stands for water displacement. That’s what it’s designed for, primarily to prevent rust. It’s not a very effective lubricant and only a moderately effective solvent.

Spent half an hour or so last weekend treating every pot and switch inside a McIntosh C26 preamp with Caig Deoxit D5 because of a lower volume in one channel and a slight crackle when the balance knob was turned back and forth. Everything sounded great afterward.
wd-40 = no.

silicone added cleaners and lubricants = no.

zero residue contact cleaners = yes.

Aftermarket lubricants and cleaners combo fluids or sprays... with no silicone... used after the zero residue cleaner has been used to clean up the pot or switch = sometimes yes.

that pairing is the best long term solution, IMO and IME.

(based on my experience in handling and working on the range of a thousand older audio items)
The trick, IMO and IME... is to clean and rinse out with a fairly aggressive zero residue cleaner, and then use a cleaner that is advertised as a lubricant/cleaner, in the now dry but clean contact point.

If it is done with just the lubricant cleaner, a single shot cleaning, not a two stage one.....in my experience, too much of the detritus/crap remains, on a set of contacts that did not get a proper cleaning in the first place. What I mean, is the problem that was attempted to be fixed,  comes back again, far sooner, if it is just a one stage lubricant/cleaner that is used. And never anything with silicone in it. It makes for an impossible mess down the road.
DeoxIT has always worked on my PrimaLuna's knobs when they've gotten noisy.  The stuff has also always improved fidelity.
+1 for De-Oxit. Why would anyone use a product that is not intended for the application in the first place? I am anti WD40 except for its intended purpose, but usually don't even try to persuade others that believe it is good for just about anything.
 Way back when, I remember a spray expressly made for TV tuners, and it stated its purpose up front that it was Only good for that use for whatever reason.
 I guess it should go without saying about many products out there such as glues, lubricants, paints etc. There usually is a best choice for a given application. 
Just in case there was confusion, WD40 IS NOT SNAKE OIL.  There, I feel much better.  Oh, and DEOXIT!!

Deoxit has solved many an issue for me.  I've used the D2, D5(more concentrated), Faderlube(for conductive plastic- some pots) and the Gold series.  Caig makes great stuff and Deoxit is the real deal.
WD40 etches the metal as it is cleaning, not a great idea for electronics.  +1 for Deoxit D and G series.
The best thing by far is Stabilant-22 
not only is it a super conductor but works great for all audio contacts and vacuum tube pins ,first clean with
isopropyl alcohol. Put a few drops ina volume pot, it protects from
oxydation for a minimum of 12 years 
used by Nasa and many other high tech 
companies with Many awards.

  NO, NO, AMD HELL no!

never use we 40.

 But a bottle of Mobile 1 FULL SYNTHETIC (quart)
buy a small dropper bottle, your oil reserves will be good for several years!

theres,no petroleum, and it is great oil. Slick and it stays put.
 Get the thick oil. 15w40 or close.

the best oil is either :....
Shell Rotella
or Delo 

great suff.
Stabilator 22 was marketed to consumers as Tweek contact enhancer, which turned out to be a colossal bomb, as it turned into a greenish black goop and has to be entirely cleaned out. One of the feeblest attempts to appeal to naive and gullible audiophiles in the history of audio.
WD-40 for electronics 

No it’s just Kerosene in a spay can and will dry things out even more and make those pots even more noisy once it’s dried out. 

😝 WD-40’s primary ingredient is fish oil...not kerosene.
It was originally sperm whale oil, and that was a masterpiece of organic chemistry.

As you can imagine, we can’t get any of it anymore. For all the right reasons.

To give you an idea..I just pulled this off a gun forum, via a quick search for the wd-40 connection:


Whale oil is actually a better lubricant than most petroleum products. It was used in gear lubes until the whale industry was reduced and the whales put on the endangered list.

It is very effective in limited slip differentials. Those clutches will chatter and cause a "walking" sensation when turning a corner without the whale oil in it. There are other higher tech alternatives.

As a matter of fact, the lubricant made by the human body to lubricate the shoulder and hip sockets is easily 6 times more effective than the best stuff mankind manufactures. Just a little FYI

(I don't agree or disagree with this clipped and posted bit, I'm just conveying a bit that is out there on the complex issue of lubes vs cleaners, etc) 

And that is also why getting the dog spit off the plate that you put down on the floor, for the dog to clean off, is such a total PITA. There isn’t anything better for the job than what the dog has naturally, no matter what a lab can concoct for millions in research and effort. (I just got a dog again after about 12 years without one. Hint, use a vinegar/water spray, soap will never work--wrong pH)

I use two products I picked up at Home Depot that have worked well.  Both products are formulated for electrical use.

CRC QD Contact Cleaner
CRC 2-26 Multi-Purpose Precision Lubricant

If you look up "CRC Contact Cleaner" on Amazon you will find a huge range of products. I'm no expert on this stuff but my guess is that whatever you are trying to do there is a product formulated for that purpose.

The other reason not to use WD-40 for this purpose is that WD-40 attacks rubber and plastic. I'm a big fan of WD-40 but not for electronics.
Radio Shack assuming they’re still in business sells a contact cleaner for volume control pots and similar things.
geoffkait: "One of the feeblest attempts to appeal to naive and gullible audiophiles in the history of audio."

Tracks do wear out that no amount of cleaning or lube will fix. Wear is not usually a problem in HiFi, but can be in heavily use industrial components.

One problem is ’migration’ where an old piece has sat untouched for many years and corrosion has taken place at the wiper/track interface.

Another problem can be caused by DC through the pot, it will scratch when moved, but is not an issue when the pot is static. DC through a pot that is never moved can result in physical track damage as the track/wiper is EDM’d. Any time this point is traversed, noise occurs.

There is an old lubrication adage: If it rolls, oil it. If it slides, grease it. WD-40 is neither oil nor grease.
Huh? Stabilant 22 was not ever suggested for cleaning volume pots, it was a general purpose contact enhancer. That’s why I attacked it so vociferously. As I just mentioned just minutes ago Radio Shack has always had a product for cleaning volume pots. It’s not rocket science. 🚀
It is really something when I have re-read posts sometimes to determine if they are a joke or being written seriously. As always, there is an abundance of talk about a product that has been richly advertised over the decades (yes the often misunderstood WD40), yet has no real audio application. Then there are a few posts concerning other unintended products for use in audio to get recommended, when in fact a product such as De-Oxit and some others have specific uses for audio applications. Just because something is synthetic, or used by the Aerospace industry, or surgical teams, etc doesn't necessarily make it an automatic recommendation, though yes, some of these products could easily be used for alternate applications. 
 This product is used by Navy SEALS.... BS
I should clarify when I said that WD40 is not snake oil, I was meaning if you use it for its intending purpose, which is not electronics uses.  

I've tried Stabilant 22A and it didn't turn into green goop, maybe the "A" was a refinement of the formula?  Anyway it is not a cleaner which is what we're generally talking about.  You need to clean the oxidization off various contact points occasionally.  Even RCA's on the back of your gear.  You won't be able to see the oxidization unless it's really bad, but cleaning at least once a year is good.

The Stabilant 22A is a product that puts a very thin coating on the RCA jacks, for instance.  When you then connect the cable and use, as electricity passes through the stabilant, it becomes some sort of super conductive material that enhances the connection point.  

For me the jury was out as I'm not sure it works well if you are frequently unplugging and replugging RCA's or speaker cables.  No green goop for me though.

Oddly enough, the deoxit Gold products did produce a green film over time.  Not sure if i was using too much...
wd40, NO.  But I had used it to free it up a frozen volume control on an old  (antique?) table radio.  But later  flushed it out with a regular contact cleaner.   I have had very good results using Radio Shack's Tuner Cleaner.

I think wd40 was used in my used ebay preamp volume control. Sure smelt like it. Scratchy, dirty, hard turning gunked up.   Radio Shack being no more, I used this cleaner that the mechanics use on our helicopters. I think it was the GC that was mentioned.  Pilferage but they won't miss a few squirts.  And not being in the repair business anymore, I didn't want to spend $12.00 for one use.  
I hesitated on using De-Oxit in potentiometers.  It might mistake the carbon film as oxidation and deox it.  External connections, great.
 When you then connect the cable and use, as electricity passes through the stabilant, it becomes some sort of super conductive material that enhances the connection point.

Unless it hardens, it will migrate. How does it insulate across the plastic and conduct across the metal?

The alcohol evaporates and leaves a thin film coating.  Let it dry, don’t let it migrate.
WD40 is a bomb in a can. It's highly flammable. I have never liked it. If you are after something along those lines look at LPS products. They actually make a dry film lubricant for electrical use that insulates from moisture. I am not advocating the use in electronic components until you have researched specific products.

My tiny vial of Tweek is now at least a decade old and it is still half full.  Green slime?  Huh?  Wha?  Maybe I should do a scientific experiment and put some on a handkerchief. 
Uh, Tweek turns into green slime on the contacts, not in the bottle. Better check your contacts pronto!
I forgot about LPS. As always, reading the label on the can or going to the website may shed light on the particular use of a product.

I have several De Oxit products.... they are the best !!!   I service medical instruments and can't tell you how many have been damaged or ruined because someone sprayed WD 40 where they shouldn't have.   That stuff is the worst....  
I just don't understand why WD40 can't get no love.
Especially when its main active ingredient is perfume.
millercarbon"I just don't understand why WD40 can't get no love. Especially when its main active ingredient is perfume."

Perfume is not an active ingredient.
Bought the De Oxit from Amazon... No more left channel attenuate nasty "Golum from the Lord of the Rings Scracthy/Screechy/Nastiness!!! THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP!

I think it is worth noting in this thread that WD-40 besides being a product, it is also a brand name. They have a "Specialist" series of products and their Contact Cleaner is a good product that is inexpensive and readily available. I only wish they hadn't labeled it WD-40, they could have said something like "from the makers WD-40". It is really quite good, and available at major retailers, and seems to fill the supply chain with what would otherwise be a huge gap of product. It's nothing special, but it works very well, as do most cleaners of this type. Don't use deOxit for everything!  See the end of this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ADYRx2jQSE