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Old 25th January 2006, 06:00 PM   #1
2004ex is offline 2004ex  United States
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Default Cleaning tubes...

What is a good way to clean dirty (dust/grease-collecting) tubes without damaging the lettering/printing? I have tried water plus gentle wiping and that removes the lettering easily (at least for the tubes I am dealing with). Any tricks members would like to share? Thank you.
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Old 25th January 2006, 08:39 PM   #2
SHiFTY is offline SHiFTY  New Zealand
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I use a paper towel and methylated spirits (rubbing alcohol) to clean the glass.

Don't rub the logo, just clean every other part of the tube, and it should be ok.

There is no way to clean a logo, they will come off...
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Old 25th January 2006, 08:39 PM   #3
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You Could Maybe Try Compressed Air, on ones which are heavily coated in dust
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Old 25th January 2006, 08:45 PM   #4
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Hi,

Quote:
What is a good way to clean dirty (dust/grease-collecting) tubes without damaging the lettering/printing?
In general tubes with acid type marking are of US origin and have good durable printing on the glass.
It really won't come off easily with common domestic solvents.

European NOS tube however are much more fragile when it comes to the printed logos.
I often just wash them in a sink with some luke warm water and a couple of drops of detergent than I carefully wipe them dry with a kitchen towel.

Cheers,
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Old 26th January 2006, 01:44 AM   #5
2004ex is offline 2004ex  United States
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Thank you everyone for sharing your experience.

Quote:
Originally posted by fdegrove

European NOS tube however are much more fragile when it comes to the printed logos.
I often just wash them in a sink with some luke warm water and a couple of drops of detergent than I carefully wipe them dry with a kitchen towel.
Unfortunatelly this is the type of tube I have to deal with. Experimented with one by submerging it into water (forced, it floats), and let it dry in room air afterwards. It is visually much cleaner but a good portion of the marking went away, probably dissolved into the water. I was told that many of the older production European tubes come with either "powder-" or "oil-" lettering. Probably the ones I tried are "powder"-labelled.
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Old 26th January 2006, 02:02 AM   #6
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Hi,

Quote:
I was told that many of the older production European tubes come with either "powder-" or "oil-" lettering. Probably the ones I tried are "powder"-labelled.
Hmmmm.....Was afraid of that.
Those prints are terribly fragile so all I can suggest is using a moist cotton swab (any cleaining solvent should do) to work around the area where the log is.

Doing a couple like that is fine, having to do a couple of boxes is another matter entirely................

Cheers,
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Old 26th January 2006, 02:23 AM   #7
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Many of the older american tubes were marked with paint that wipes off real easy. The type number is etched and stays forever but the logo that is painted on comes off real easy. I have not found an easy solution either.

For rare tubes, I will gently hand clean the tube with a Q-tip cotton swab. For stubborn dirt, I put a SMALL amount of WD40 on the Q-tip. This takes off the paint, so don't use it on painted surfaces. I use WD40 to clean the dirt and corrosion off of the pins.

I have about 100,000 tubes that were stored loose in uncovered boxes since WWII in a pidgeon infested warehouse. For useful tubes that don't have any "cult" value, I clean the entire surface with a towel soaked in WD40. This takes off everything, including any trace of manufaturers logo. Stubborn bird crap requires soaking overnight.
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Old 26th January 2006, 04:02 AM   #8
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I've seen a clear hi-temp silicon based lacquer used (paint spray can from auto store for engines) to 'set' the logo masked-out on a tube.

No sure I can give this a glowing reccomendation not having tried it. But a fine light spray should certainly keep the logo intact. Mightn't help you if the logo section is also dirty, but you could then wash the rest of the tube with impunity.
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Old 26th January 2006, 04:08 AM   #9
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For tube pins I use Caigs' deOx-it or lighter fluid (naptha) and wooden cleaning sticks/Q-Tips.
Now for cleaning the glass with a painted on logo I just use a dry soft cloth and a little breath, but sometimes that's too rough!

Hey tubelab, ever try Liquid Wrench or Engine-Brite? Now if that don't take bird-doo off I don't now what will!
Florida, that's that bird sanctuary state, it'in it?

Wayne

Edit: Silicon spray works good on tube pins also, the kind that has acetone as a solvent.
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Old 26th January 2006, 04:12 AM   #10
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Hi,

Quote:
I've seen a clear hi-temp silicon based lacquer used (paint spray can from auto store for engines) to 'set' the logo masked-out on a tube.
I think what you mean is tropicalising spray as used to protect the soldering side of PCBs against moisture attacks.
If I'm not mistaken it's usually polyurethane based.

Should work fine. Never thought of using it that way so thanks for the tip.

Cheers,
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