Deoxit cleans dirty pots like new!

Dirty Kitchen IV
Creative Commons License photo credit: kbcanon

I aint talkin’ about doin’ the dishes. Caig’s Deoxit is a miracle worker for old electronics that start to glitch out. Older audio equipment like electric guitars, amplifiers, receivers and the like will inevitably start to exhibit some problems sooner or later. If you hear scratchy noises, channel imbalance or other distortions when you adjust the switches and knobs (potentiometers, AKA “pots”) it’s often just because the contact points have gotten dirty and/or oxidized. This may even cause the sound to cut out completely which is what happened to the tweeter an old Acoustic Research speaker I picked up off eBay.

implementation
Creative Commons License photo credit: conskeptical

Amazingly, there’s a quick fix for that. Just pop the top off, toggle the knob or switch in order to identify the metal contact point. Spray some deoxit in there making sure to target the contact point. Pots are often enclosed with small vents that you can spray in to get at the metal contact surface. Apply a short burst of Deoxit, then work it in for 30 seconds by operating the control across its full range of motion. This helps to break up oxides and contamination. Apply another short burst of Deoxit. Finally wait at least 2 minutes before turning the equipment back on and you’re good to go!  I fixed a vintage amplifier and a pair of AR-4x speakers from the late 60’s / early 70’s just like that.  At ~$25 a can, deoxit isn’t cheap but it will last most people a lifetime.

Radioshack brand Tuner Cleaner used to work but they recently changed the formula. Steer clear, big tuna. There, I fixed it.

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