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Can i clean my pots????

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassist6464, Nov 6, 2004.


  1. bassist6464

    bassist6464

    Jun 12, 2004
    how do i clean my pots in my bass...someone said with rubbing alchol i need to know how to do it right,,i dont know how its done?? or should send it to dells a music shop??
     
  2. go to radio shack. they have an contact cleaner i think..... you spray that in them and spin it around a few times. ought to clean them right up..
     
  3. White_Knuckles

    White_Knuckles

    Oct 6, 2004
    There are cleaning slots cut into the pot body usually large enough for a spray can straw to enter. They are serviceable by removing the pot, place it on a rag (all wires still attached). Spray a shot of contact cleaner, potentiometer cleaner, tuner cleaner and in a pinch WD-40. Rotate the pot sweep through lock to lock several times after a few cleaner shots. I've refurbed many-o-noisy pots this way and had 'em last for years. When they're really dirty they can cut total output and pop when rotated.
     
  4. The Beatles White album worked good. Frisbees had too much static and the broken leaves would stick to it. Large metal pans worked good, you could get the seeds to the bottom.

    Oh you mean pots as in potentiometers ....

    Never mind.
     
  5. I would'nt reccommend rubbing alcohol...there is a bit of water it,that could cause a short.
    And be careful with WD40...I have heard it can eat the plastic wrapping on the wires...just use contact cleaner from radioshack...it is expensive,but works very well without the risk .
     
  6. Houses Of The Holy worked best. Must've been the creases or something. Wheels of Fire was the worst.

    Just one of those things in the universe...

    I've never heard of using alcohol and although I've heard of WD-40 I wouldn't use it. Just a bit of warning- the contact cleaners can react badly with some plastics. I've got an amp I had to replace all the knobs because the contact cleaner disintegrated them like an Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator. Quite seriously.
     
  7. joeybcdt

    joeybcdt

    May 6, 2004
    SE Texas
    Contact cleaner works best. Then follow up with silcone lubricant.
     
  8. cbrophy

    cbrophy

    Nov 11, 2009
    Central MA.
    I'm getting a buzzing/humm at about a 1/2 to 3/4 turn of my Volume Pot. Buzzing/humm stops at full volume. This is on a 2008 MIA Fender P. Can anyone add to this thread about the proper product/method of cleaning Pots? Thanks.
     
  9. JTE

    JTE

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    Get a can of Caig's De-Oxit. It's available from a lot of sources including Stewart MacDonald, Fender, Peavey (with the unfortunate name "Funk Out"), and even Hosa, the people who market all those different adaptors to music stores.

    Open the control cavity up and look at the pot. Right where the three tabs for the wiper and resistance elements are, there's an open slot that allows you to put the tube from the spray in. I put the pot in the middle of its travel, spray a short burst in, and then rapidly sweep the pot all the way from one side to the other a few times. If it still makes a scratchy noise as you move the pot repeat it again. If a few times of doing this don't solve the problem, you probably have corrosion on the resistance element in the pot and the only real solution is to replace the pot.

    Replacing the pot is either really easy or pretty difficult depending on how the bass is made, what pots are in it, and your degree of confidence and skill in soldering.

    However "buzzing/humm" (sic) is not the same as the scratchy noises caused by dirty pots. That could be a ground problem or a bad pot. But having a can of contact cleaner handy is always good for anyone playing electric instruments and it's a quick fix. So, try to fix it with cleaner before you go to replacement.

    John
     
  10. cbrophy

    cbrophy

    Nov 11, 2009
    Central MA.
    However "buzzing/humm" (sic) is not the same as the scratchy noises caused by dirty pots. That could be a ground problem or a bad pot. But having a can of contact cleaner handy is always good for anyone playing electric instruments and it's a quick fix. So, try to fix it with cleaner before you go to replacement.

    John[/QUOTE]

    OK...what you describe here seems closer to what I'm experiencing. Just curious...what might be the cause of a sudden "grounding" issue. Control cavity never been opened and no electrical work ever done on bass. Seems odd (to me...an admitted novice) that this type of problem would just crop up...yes/no? Thanks for the info John!
     
  11. DeoxIT D5. $15.00 at GC, and works miracles - just spray (on the lightest setting) into the small slots, and turn back & forth untill no static sound.
     
  12. Muaguana

    Muaguana

    Jul 28, 2009
    There are many, many, many, many, many, many, (*HEAVE!*) many, many, many, many threads on finding and resolving grounding issues in basses. This would be a good time for a search query.

    To answer the question, though, a "sudden" grounding issue would probably entail a connection to ground/common in the control cavity being compromised. Again, the search feature is your friend.
     
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    alpha-music.com
    Oh god no. Keep that stuff away from your electronics.

    Also, alcohol will wreck many finishes, stay away from that, too.
     
  14. grendle

    grendle

    Mar 4, 2011
    Central FL
    Deoxit is the best. WD40 works good in pots and jacks too. Alcohol is ok. Never seen it wreck a finish, lots of finish products have alcohol in them . Ymmv.
     
  15. edwinhurwitz

    edwinhurwitz Supporting Member

    May 13, 2003
    Boulder, CO
    Endorsing Artist: DR Strings, SMS, D-TAR
    Do not use WD40. It attracts crud. CAIG products, like DeOxit are your best bet. Every bassist should have some.