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How do we clean potentiometers??

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Macher, Mar 16, 2008.


  1. Macher

    Macher

    Aug 29, 2006
    Montreal
    I tried to clean the pots of my Russian Big Muff wihitout opening it and it worked yesterday, but today looks like it is dirty again :eyebrow:

    I also opened my MOTU 828 sound card, sprayed almost everywhere, worked yesterday, but is dirty again today :eyebrow:

    I used Asalco Cleaner and Lubricant "cleans and lubricates electrical and Electronical components"

    How do we clean potentiometers??
     
  2. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    I suspect that if pots are dirty due to a worn out or damaged resistive element, cleaning is going to be temporary at best. There may come a point where pots have to be replaced.
     
  3. Macher

    Macher

    Aug 29, 2006
    Montreal
    Especially because it is the firts time i try cleaning pots, it would be surprising that both would be worn out.

    Is there a proper way to clean pots?
     
  4. "sprayed almost everywhere"?
    Sound card?

    What exactly are you spraying? Did you spray into the pots?

    Pots do wear out, it could be time to replace them.
     
  5. Ive been told the best stuff to clean pots with is dish soap, a green scrubby pad and some good ol' elbow grease......ok all bad jokes aside look for a cleaner/lubricant called DeOxit or something very similar to that name I can't quite remember at the moment.
     
  6. That's the stuff, DeOxit DN5 for the geeks among us. DON'T use WD40 for jebus' sake, it is NOT a contact cleaner no matter what you've been told.
     
  7. But it DOES burn well...:bag:
     
  8. Macher

    Macher

    Aug 29, 2006
    Montreal
    It is contact cleaner from an electronic/audio store. I am shure that this stuff is good, i even asked the guy if it was good for cleaning pots.

    i sprayed from the "top" of the pots, just by removing the plastic knob. It worked for 2 pots out of three with my Big Muff.

    AS you cannot only remove the plastic knob for the 828, i unscrewed the top, and sprayed everywhere on the pot, with the intention of getting the contact cleaner inside the pot!! ;)

    The purpose of this thread was do wkow, how do we spray inside the pots!!?? Do you have to open the pot itself? Is the contact cleaner supposed to get inside the pot from the "top", or you have to remove the pedal's cover to spray from the "inside" of the pedal?
     
  9. 343 Salty Beans

    343 Salty Beans

    Jan 24, 2006
    Technically, some brands of pots can be 'opened' (which requires opening up the pedal, bending back some tabs, and being VERY careful not to damage or upset the phenolic wafer inside). I know of at least a few people who have cleaned pots in this fashion.

    However, I suspect fdeck might be right with the Big Muff. Especially playing in smoky clubs or just having dust around, pots wear out on occasion. I, for instance, need to replace the pots in my Big Muff, because cleaner does nothing for them anymore. If enough dirt and grime and dust gets inside the pot, it will eventually either a) mess up the resistive element or b) just never come out, and no amount of cleaner will remove it all.
     
  10. livingstone

    livingstone

    Jun 15, 2007
    Oneonta NY
    You've got to find the little holes in the case of the pot into which to spray your cleaner/lube. You won't be able to do it without opening up the case of the effects pedal.
     
  11. So down into the shaft? If those knobs are what I'm thinking the spray would have just come shooting out the other end of the shaft inside the pedal - the shaft is just a tube.

    You've gotta get the spray onto the resistance track and wiper, which is inside the main body of the pot. Usually there's a little notch with just enough room to poke the tip of the spray can tube into and squirt some in there. However, some pots are all sealed up.
     

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