Cleaning Dirty Pots

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by GODSENT, Feb 18, 2010.


  1. GODSENT

    GODSENT

    Mar 2, 2007
    Anyone have any idea of how to go about cleaning dirty pots on an amp head? If I could save me some money and do it myself, that'd be great. Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    You need to get to the hole on the side from the back of them, where the little wiper thingy is, usually means taking the knobs and the front panel off. Squirt just a little bit through the skinny tube it comes with, (caig de-oxit, radio shack tuner cleaner, WD-40 in a pinch, although some say that will surely cause world wide mayhem), twist the shaft of the pot through it's full range while you do it, and have a paper towel handy for the overspray.
     
  3. I use the Radio Shack contact cleaner and it works great. 10 bucks for a good sized spray can and much cheaper than Deoxit.
     
  4. RoboChrist

    RoboChrist Guest

    Jul 8, 2009
    Be careful about what you use to clean those pots. For one thing, WD-40 will corrode sensitive electronics, because it's a petrolium-based cleaner. You'll have better luck pouring coca-cola into your amp.

    Best bet is an alcohol aerosol specific to electronics, like a contact cleaner.
     
  5. ettsn

    ettsn

    Mar 29, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Caig Deoxit is by far the best I've used.
     
  6. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    I've used WD-40 with no ill effects whatsoever, but I wouldn't recommend Coca-Cola. If you think WD-40 is a poor contact cleaner, than by all means ignore my ignorant advice.
     
  7. DeoxIT® FaderLube (formerly CaiLube MCL) Not cheap, but far more affordable than replacing pots that have been damaged by have crap sprayed in them.
     
  8. Bluesbob

    Bluesbob

    Mar 13, 2000
    Springfield, TN
    I like the Radio Shack tuner cleaner (if they still sell it). It has a lubricant in it which straight contact cleaner doesn't. The Caig DeoxIT D5 is also good stuff, but more expensive and harder to find, depending on your locale.
    You can use WD40 in a pinch on some pots without melting anything inside, but it will gum up over time. Best not to use it on cheaper plastic ones, though.
    The RS tuner cleaner is the easiest to use and will give the best results. Just spray it in the hole and twist the knob back and forth a couple of times.
     
  9. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    +1

    I just cleaned some very dirty '71 P-bass pots with RS "Control/Contact Cleaner and Lubricant." Good stuff. It is available in a small 4.5 oz. spray can.
     
  10. GODSENT

    GODSENT

    Mar 2, 2007
    Radio shack contact cleaner work miracles!
     
  11. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    A lot of newer amps use conductive plastic instead of carbon or wire pots, WD40 WILL distroy them! WD40 also attracts dust and can cause voltage tracking. DO NOT USE WD40 unless you like to spend money at your amp tech. (enough have with me!). You are better off working the pot back and forth 15 to 20 times dry then spraying anything but contact cleaner in them. :)
     
  12. Eublet

    Eublet

    Jul 28, 2006
    As other's have said, don't use WD-40, even if you're in a pinch. It does gum up, and it will cause dust and other particles to stick to the contacts making your problem even worse.

    Radio Shack cleaner is what you use if you're in a pinch, but avoid it also if possible. Otherwise, Deoxit is way better and worth the extra money. You can buy very small containers of it at Amazon that will last you forever. Less is more with Deoxit.
     
  13. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Texas
  14. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    I agree about working the pots, even doing it for a minute or two, but why not use contact cleaner as a last resort?

    Obviously, pots wear out and contact cleaner will probably accelerate the replacement cycle, but it also can make dirty pots much more tolerable until they are replaced, IMHO. Can you enlighten me? :D :D :D
     
  15. Another vote here for the Radio Shack contact cleaner. Worked great on my old practice amp.
     
  16. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Texas
  17. RTL

    RTL Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Leander, TX
    Nothing gets dirty pots (and pans) cleaner than a good ol' SOS pad. :D
     
  18. GODSENT

    GODSENT

    Mar 2, 2007
    I just used the radio shack cleaner.. its great...
     
  19. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    A proper contact cleaner also carries a very fine lube, not as heavy as the R.S cleaner and is more resistant to dust accumulation. This extends the life of the pot. I advocate using a proper electronic contact cleaner ;).
     
  20. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147

    Cool! Can you recommend a brand you like? Thanks. :cool:
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 28, 2021

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