Contact cleaner

Contact cleaner, also known as switch cleaner, is a term for a chemical, or a mixture of chemicals, intended to remove or prevent the build-up of oxides or other unwanted substances on the conductive surfaces of connectors, switches and other electronic components with moving surface contacts, and thus reduce the contact resistance encountered.[1][2][3] The use of contact cleaner can help to minimise the wetting current across a pair of contacts.[4]

An example of a simple contact cleaner is isopropyl alcohol.[5][2]

Some contact cleaners are designed to evaporate completely and rapidly, leaving no residue.[6][7] Others may contain lubricants.[8][9] Lubricants themselves should not necessarily be used as contact cleaners, especially if they are designed to leave an unsuitable residue.[10] However, appropriate lubricants may work well as contact cleaners.[11]

Contact cleaner brands include Scotch (3M),[12] Servisol,[13] CRC,[10][14] and Deoxit.[15][16][16][17] The function of contact cleaner can be understood by consideration of electrical contact theory.


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