Stereo equipment that was clean.

Buying vintage stereo equipment is a hobby that can quickly turn into a collection.The look, feel, and tone of vintage audio components are unique and can be compared to newer models in their quality.If you want to use vintage stereo equipment, you’ll need to learn how to clean it.The steps below will show you how to clean the interior of an audio component.

Step 1: Purchase a bottle of contact cleaner which is labeled as safe to use.

This is very important.Contact cleaner is a spray or liquid product that is designed to remove rust on metal electronic parts, the main cause of scratchy and popping sounds while moving volume controls or intermittent push-button switches.Most contact cleaners will destroy plastics and safe lubricants found inside and outside of almost every volume control potentiometer and switch.Choosing a contact cleaner which will restore and not harm your equipment is always a better choice than using a low-costcontact cleaner, as replacing your original part once the hidden internal plastics cracked or melted, or the metal shaft seized, are often impossible and tedious at best, so you are betterYou can purchase a safe bottle at a decent electronics store or over the internet though it is important to be certain that the product is approved by the shipping service and can be shipped to certain locations.

Step 2: You won’t be able to wipe many of the internal components dry, so look for a brand that offers quick-drying, no-residue application.

CAIG DeoxIt is a popular brand of contact cleaner and they have “D5″ specifically for cleaning vintage stereo equipment without harming the plastic components.They are an industry leader in contact cleaners and offer product support and suggestions for specific applications.”D5″ is an industry standard that removes oxidation from the metals while avoiding harm to the internal plastic pieces and lubricants that most audio potentiometers contain.”

Step 3: Don’t use products on your stereo equipment that are not intended for use on plastic.

It’s not a good idea to use a metal contact cleaner on plastic parts as it isn’t intended for use on most of them.If you want to save headaches and heartaches, use the online forums for advice before you try something that isn’t going to work.

Step 4: If you have doubts about the contact cleaner, don’t use it.

Damage can’t be undone.Equipment damaged or destroyed by contact cleaners which are not safe on plastics can sometimes end up on the internet with no reference to seized or cracked controls so be careful to ask sellers if the knobs still turn or slide freely without excessive force or have shaft.You can buy a few basic models of low-cost modern reproduction volume controls over the internet and test different contact cleaners on them to see what works and what doesn’t before putting your stereo equipment’s rare original pieces at risk.

Step 5: Plug your equipment in.

The audio equipment should be unplugged to make sure no electricity is flowing through the internal components.Remove the plug from the wall outlet if the power switch is turned off.Please note that a qualified technician should be at hand, and while many are unable to choose contact cleaners wisely, many can help you avoid a shock from a charged capacitor which can at least shock or burn your hand from skin to conductor contact even while the unit say unplugged for a long time.It is important to look-up electrolytic Capacitors for information.

Step 6: The stereo component’s cover needs to be removed.

The case of the component can be loosened.The screws are usually located on the sides, back, and bottom of the unit.Not all screws on a given surface are for the same thing.After removing them, set them aside or put them into numbered containers in order to match them up with the correct holes, taking pictures can help, and gently lift the case away from the chassis.

Step 7: If needed, spray the unit’s interior with compressed air.

If the interior components look dusty, you can use a spray can of compressed air.Dust cannot be wiped away using a cloth, as a clumsy hand can easily damage delicate electronic components, or scratch a shiny plastic faceplate.

Step 8: It’s a good idea to spray contact cleaner on parts.

If you want to clean contacts that cause problems beyond looks, you should use a contact cleaner.If a component is believed to be problematic due to oxidation, spray a fine, even coat of the contact cleaner on it.If batteries are eaten away by alkaline battery acid, spray jacks, plugs, any switches, and even battery contacts that are not soldered, may need to be replaced.You don’t need to wipe the contact cleaner if it air dries in a few hours.If they get a mist on them, good luck cleaning them off.Please don’t flood your high voltage power switches with contact cleaners, they almost never need to be cleaned, and are safer to replace if they would, as they may ignite at some point.

Step 9: Contact cleaner can be used to clean the potentiometers.

The components most likely to show rust are the pots.To clean them, look for a small hole in the back assembly of the pot or larger opening where the pins are soldered to the board.If you want to work the knobs back and forth, you need to spray a small amount of contact cleaner into the hole or openings of which there are two separate openings.The contact cleaner will be spread throughout the inside of the pot.

Step 10: As you did the pots, clean the buttons and faders.

If you can’t get into the unit from the inside, you’ll have to spray the contact cleaner behind the controls.After spraying the cleaner, you can either push the button or slide it back and forth.A microfiber scratch-resistant cloth can be used to wipe away excess cleaner from the unit.

Step 11: Allow the unit to leave for a while.

Allow the unit to sit with the case off for a few hours after applying contact cleaner to it.It helps to make sure that the contact cleaner has dried.

Step 12: The component’s case needs to be replaced.

To secure the case, screw it back together using the screws or bolts you removed, then use a screwdriver.This can strip the threading and make it easy to crack any plastic.Remember how much force was required to put the screws in place?After the case is back in place, you should plug the audio equipment back into it.Rechecking your assembly with any extra screws should be done because every screw is there for a reason, otherwise manufacturers would save time and money.Good luck!