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Old 15th March 2007, 12:39 AM   #1
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Default WD40 Poll

Just want to get everyone's oppinion of WD-40 as a contact cleaner. It's an argument I am involved in elsewhere. It seems to be another "Definitely works" or "Are you a moron?" things. I hate that.
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Old 15th March 2007, 01:18 AM   #2
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Depends, of course, on ...

A college housemate once was going to bring his pioneer receiver in to have serviced because of terrible scratching in the left channel. I thought what the hell... let's just shoot a little wd40 (because it's so "junk drawer" ubiquitous after all, and i knew it would be somewhere in the house) into the switches/controls. I was the hero. Perfect (to our ears) and he never had another problem with it for years (it tends to leave some protection against further havoc).

Was it an "audiophile grade" restoration? Perhaps not. Would anyone do the same to a multi thousand dollar piece of gear? No. Would I use it on any of my own respectable audio gear? Certainly, though I've read that petrol solvents can be absorbed into certain caps, transistors, diodes, etc , to their eventual detriment, and that sounds plausible enough that I would caution against being too liberal with it.

I adore simple cheap and effective alternatives to fifty dollar per ounce snake oils - but that's what makes me feel good. I'd be really interested in seeing if any rigorously scientific objections have been mounted against wd40 for this purpose.

There are more specifically formulated sprays out there for cleansing oxidant from switches and contacts; almost certainly more effective by some margin. Are they worth the extra money? I don't know. In any case, it'd be only reasonable to spend the extra ten bucks if expensive equipment warranted the peace of mind.


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Old 15th March 2007, 01:44 AM   #3
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Agreed I am by no means calling the higher dollar stuff useless but i feel on the majority of consumer and low end pro stuff it's not worth the extra cash........I too would be interested in a nice study on this
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Old 15th March 2007, 04:19 AM   #4
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Old 15th March 2007, 05:02 AM   #5
TerryO is offline TerryO  United States
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I would never (well maybe, in an emergency) use WD-40 on any electronic equipment.

At work, the machinery creates a fair amount of paper dust. Sometimes the dust gets into bearings and causes drag, friction, etc. To counteract this, some of the younger, inexperienced (or lazy) people will "save" time by lubing the bearings with WD instead of disassembling the unit and either replacing it or cleaning it. The end result is that; for a time, friction is seemingly reduced, that is until the dust/WD combo sets-up and then only replacement will work.

The point is that the WD lubricant will combine with dust and eventually gum up whatever it is that you've used it on. For my gear, I use only contact cleaner to flush and clean my Hi Fi gear as it completely evaporates and doesn't mix with dust.

OTOH, works just fine on my car's ignition system.

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Old 15th March 2007, 08:19 AM   #6
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DON'T USE WD-40 ON ELECTRONICS!

That said, when I was a service tech I saw all kinds of musical gear utterly trashed by guys using WD-40 on the controls. Never did a lick of good that I could see, either.
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Old 17th March 2007, 10:45 PM   #7
MadMutt is offline MadMutt  Australia
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Used to repair car ecu's.
Once they had wd40 on them they were for the bin.
Very common for roadside service to spray wd40 over ecu's etc that had a drop of water on them.
wd40 would penetrate the ic's casing and destroy the actuall ic's internals.

Try caig labs, pro gold or deoxit.

We had a water damaged ecu come in (when dried out it ran rough, over fuelling etc).
boss decided to experiment on it, he sprayed it with deoxit (drowned more like it).
let the excess drain off.
car ran like new.
never saw that ecu again (years later heard that it was still going perfectly).
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Old 18th March 2007, 12:09 AM   #8
poynton is offline poynton  United Kingdom
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Default My contribution

I used to work with 20kWpep transmitters at 250MHz. WD40 worked fine for cleaning the connectors. (wish I'd kept some of the tubes - guess what we used ?)

Later, we changed transmitter types to 450MHz. WD40 became a NoNo as it was conductive at these frequencies and we used no-residue cleaners.

I have often used a little to clean vol/tone controls with no perceivable adverse effects.

I have doubts about whether it affects the internals of ICs or transistors - it's an easy experiment, though!

Andy
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Old 18th March 2007, 01:04 AM   #9
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I use synthetic "paintball gun oil" on scratchy controls. It's a clear odorless oil with just the right viscosity. I apply it with a syringe that came with an ink jet refill kit.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000LSG0NM/...M&linkCode=asn
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Old 18th March 2007, 01:15 AM   #10
v-bro is offline v-bro  Netherlands
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I used and sold WD40 in a bicycle shop where I worked as a mechanic for a couple of years. As a chain lube it's useless because it evaporates within about two weeks.. (on a mountainbike I had to apply once every 15KM, which sometimes was more than six times per ride )...

As a contact cleaner it's ok for metal to metal contacts, but not when there's graphite used as a contact material (like in a remote control, I tested this in mere stupidity in the past, there was no button functioning anymore at all...) Also plastics and sensitive elctronics can suffer from the agressive oils.

Every positive aspect of WD40 can be waaaayyy outperformed by many other brand sprays. WD40 is in other words IMO a mediocre choice solution for anything. They sure have good marketing technique...
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