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Thread: Contact cleaner shatters plastic

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    Contact cleaner shatters plastic

    Hi everyone! I used some contact cleaner on phone jacks, (plastic housings) on an old tape deck, and they broke into several pieces. Does anyone know what the best contact cleaner spray for jacks and pots would be? I know they usually claim “ safe on plastic,” but I’m skeptical. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    I use plain old kerosene.
    Cleans very well, carries away hardened grease, evaporates without residue, cheap and plentiful.

    Does not attack plastics at all.

    Only problem is youll have to load it yourself into some medical type syringe.

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    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    I use isopropyl alcohol Never had a problem. Years ago when I was using FreonTF It was excellent until one day I was working on a European radio, Telefunken I think.
    As you describe the plastic switch literally exploded. I heard somewhere that European plastic technology wasn't as advanced as the American at the time (1950s to 1960s)
    For pots I use something with silicone like Nu-Trol from MG Chemicals.

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    Master Destroyer nosaj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gtrrich View Post
    Hi everyone! I used some contact cleaner on phone jacks, (plastic housings) on an old tape deck, and they broke into several pieces. Does anyone know what the best contact cleaner spray for jacks and pots would be? I know they usually claim “ safe on plastic,” but I’m skeptical. Any ideas would be appreciated.
    i made that mistake ONCE, buying contact cleaner at the auto parts store. All electrical cleaners are not the same. You have to be careful.
    nosaj

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    Binkie McFartnuggets‏:If we really wanted to know the meaning of life we would have fed Stephen Hawking shrooms a long time ago.

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    I wonder if it is at least partly due to the temperature causing the plastic to become more brittle. I've seen heavy-duty electrical cleaner which seems similar to brake cleaner that sprays out really cold due to the very fast rate of evaporation.

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    Caig Deoxit... never had any trouble with it. Yeah TF solvents can shatter plastic if you still have it around. No to great on your health either... Sometimes I wonder if my autoimmune issues are do in part to constant exposure to such chemicals back in the VCR/Tape age..

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    It comes down to the combination of plastic, solvent and also how the part stresses - either from cooling during manufacturing or during use. I've seen this a lot with motorcycle tail light and indicator lenses when using water-washable solvent de-greaser. A tail light will instantly form hundreds of fracture lines along stress paths and when removed from the bike will easily pull apart.

    My electrical solvents are now all IPA-based and I haven't had problems with those.

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    Last edited by Mick Bailey; 09-11-2019 at 08:45 AM.

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    'My electrical solvents are now all IPA-based and I haven't had problems with those.'

    Isopropyl alcohol- that took me a minute. I guess I had beer on my mind.

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    Now wouldn't that be a fine product? A beer-based contact cleaner. One squirt for the amp, 10 for the guy dong the repair. In case anyone reading this isn't familiar, IPA = India Pale Ale.

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