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Safe to use WD40 as switch or potentiometer cleaner?

W

Watson A.Name - \Watt Sun, the Dark Remover\

Jan 1, 1970
0
Art Leonard said:
WD40 is a mixture of kerosene and light spindle oil, not much good for
cleaning since it doesn't evaporate at any rate that would leave a dry
surface in your life time.

And oil turns to varnish over a longer period of time.
 
S

Svend Cr

Jan 1, 1970
0
gothika said:
The water displacement properties came about some years back
with the formula of WD40.
Up until then it was really just a light duty oil. And as
anyone versed in corrosion control knows light oils can
actually promote rust by holding water onto a metal surface.
This was WD40's major failing, it might loosen a stuck part up
but if left on would result in rust.
If you want a good lubricant AND corrosion control material
then you go with LPS.
It comes in different grades from very light (LPS1) to very
heavy(LPS4 or even 5)
It displaces moisture/water and provides reduction in surface
friction.
You can use LPS 1 or 2 for electromechanical lubrication and
it does have some cleaning properties.
I used it for many years in industrial electronics in relays
and solenoids etc...
Even with the formulation change most professionals still
consider WD40 to be crap.

Which formulation change of WD40 are you referring to?
 
G

Graham W

Jan 1, 1970
0
Art said:
WD40 is a mixture of kerosene and light spindle oil, not much good
for cleaning since it doesn't evaporate at any rate that would leave
a dry surface in your life time.

Except if you use WD40 to free-up and lubricate some mechanism
it'll all be gone in a fortnight!
 
A

Alan Douglas

Jan 1, 1970
0
Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
And oil turns to varnish over a longer period of time.


Referring to the Material Safety Data Sheet and other sources:

WD40 is 70% Stoddard solvent, a controlled-flash-point kerosene.
WD40 also contains 20% petroleum-base (paraffinic) oil, and less than
10% proprietary corrosion inhibitor, wetting agent, and fragrance.
The aerosol cans add 25% isobutane/propane propellant.

Over time, the paraffinic oil will react with atmospheric oxygen
and polymerize, creating what is technically termed a "gummy mess."

If you want a solvent, use a straight solvent. If you want
lubrication, use a good oil (they do vary in resistance to oxidation).
If you need to clean and maintain electrical contacts, use a product
made for that purpose.

Regards, Alan
 
P

ptaylor

Jan 1, 1970
0
Franky said:
Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?

I tried to use it one to clean a dirty volume pot in an older TV.
It worked great,for about 3 minutes,then the volume control was
stiff,and sticky.The carbon resistance trace and become "goo" and the
pot was completely destroyed. WD40 sux for pots. Use DeOxit or something
similar.
 
R

Ray L. Volts

Jan 1, 1970
0
Franky said:
Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I know that you can get the proper aerosol spray cans of switch
cleaner but if I find myself without one of those then can I use
WD40?

Personally I would guess it is not OK as I figure there is always a
thin layer of oil but several people I have spoken to say that they
use WD40 all the time.

Any views on this?

As some have suggested, you can temporarily restore a scratchy/dirty pot or
switch by just moving it thru its range 5-10 or so times. But, as I said,
this is only a temporary fix. I've tried this on hundreds of different
kinds of pots and switches over the years and this method just doesn't last
long at all for controls that aren't in practically constant use afterward.
If you don't use the control often, you'll find the next time you try to use
it, it will once again be scratchy.

To clean scratchy pots and switches that have a case hole, I flush them with
tuner (or contact) cleaner sprays using a plastic extender tube. I've found
these cleaners work very well on the pot wipers and switch contacts over
time. These contact restorers all basically do the same thing, which is to
clean, lubricate and protect without having to disassemble the control. Of
course, if the pot or switch shaft originally had grease on it and the spray
removed it, you'll need to replace it -- GC's Lubriplate is thin and easily
worked down into the shaft housing.

Some pots are designed to offer heavier resistance to movement in order to
appear "smoother" (read high-quality) to the operator. These may employ a
special high-viscosity "damping" lube. This is similar to the lube that's
used on a record player's cue arm to allow it to lower the needle onto the
vinyl slowly and softly. It's also used in cassette decks, et al, to make
the door operation smoother. It is very thick and should be applied
sparingly. This is not readily available; you'll likely have to mail order
it.

Pots and switches in high frequency applications may be better served by
cleaning with a non-residue cleaner and then lubed with special high-freq.
grease (I use GC's Tunerlub).

WD-40 may not be great for pots, but it does last a good while on garage
door wheels and the like. Slick 50 spray is a good alternative for
garden-variety needs.

WD-40 is superb for removing dried contact cement! I use it to clean up DAP
cement after applying laminate (Formica, Wilsonart, etc.). It works better
than many other solvents I've tried. I wouldn't recommend it on porous
surfaces where it can soak in and cause probs, but on non-porous surfaces
such as these laminates it works wonders and it can be cleaned off easily
enough.
WD-40 also dissolves the gum backing from price stickers and the like, but I
prefer to use Chemtronics Label Adhesive Remover because it foams up and
stays in place (handy on vertical surfaces). It also smells a lot better
than WD-40.

But I digress...
Use products designed specifically for electronics use and you'll be happier
with your repairs in the long run.
 
F

Franc Zabkar

Jan 1, 1970
0
WD40 is a mixture of kerosene ...

See http://www.wd40.com/Brands/wd40_faqs.html

What does WD-40 contain?

While the ingredients in WD-40 are secret, we can tell you what WD-40
does NOT contain. WD-40 does not contain silicone, kerosene, water,
wax, graphite, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or any known cancer-causing
agents.
... and light spindle oil, not much good for
cleaning since it doesn't evaporate at any rate that would leave a dry
surface in your life time.

Art Leonard


- Franc Zabkar
 
R

Richard Henry

Jan 1, 1970
0
Franc Zabkar said:
See http://www.wd40.com/Brands/wd40_faqs.html

What does WD-40 contain?

While the ingredients in WD-40 are secret, we can tell you what WD-40
does NOT contain. WD-40 does not contain silicone, kerosene, water,
wax, graphite, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or any known cancer-causing
agents.

Just this week I used WD-40 to lubricate the garden gate hinges and sprayed
some on the cutters after pruning some shrubs.

Years ago in youthful ignorance I tried to clean a coffee spill out of a
computer keyboard with it. I eventually just got a new keyboard.
 
R

Ross Herbert

Jan 1, 1970
0
On Sat, 21 Aug 2004 18:43:52 -0400, "Michael A. Covington"

|> While the ingredients in WD-40 are secret,
|
|Actually, they have to disclose quite a bit in the MSDS:
|http://www.wd40.com/Brands/msds_usa.html
|

And there is even more info in the Australian MSDS
http://www.wd40.com.au/msds/ChemWatch MSDS WD-40_Aerosol.pdf

The most significant ingredient (CAS 64742-88-7) is a white naptha
mineral spirit. You can read the full toxicology report on this
chemical here
http://ntp-server.niehs.nih.gov/htdocs/LT-studies/tr519.html where it
also gives the main uses in the 1st para. This ingredient is obviously
the solvent/cleanser in WD40.

Note the 2nd most significant ingredient (CAS 64742-65-0) is the same
as that which makes up 100% of FisherBrand 19 Mechanical Pump Oil.
https://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/11406.htm This is obviously the
lubricant/protectant (along with the unidentified corrosion inhibitor)
in WD40 which is left behind after the solvent has evaporated.

Ross H
 
M

mitch perkins

Jan 1, 1970
0
Richard Henry said:
Just this week I used WD-40 to lubricate the garden gate hinges and sprayed
some on the cutters after pruning some shrubs.

Years ago in youthful ignorance I tried to clean a coffee spill out of a
computer keyboard with it. I eventually just got a new keyboard.

If you can manage to sneak a squirt of WD40 into your slot-car motor
just before a race, victory will be yours! Not, however, if the track
is full-living-room sized and the race is more than 15 laps. Also the
resulting aroma, while exceedingly pleasant, will give you away.
Make sure not to spill any on the rear wheels, or you're *done*.

Mitch
 
K

Keith Willcocks

Jan 1, 1970
0
You reminded me that you can drastically extend the life of a worn out
ribbon on a dot matrix printer by opening the cassette and spraying the
ribbon with WD40. Sounds daft but works extremely well, a friend has
ribbons that have been sprayed 3 or 4 times and are years old and still
working.
 
M

mitch perkins

Jan 1, 1970
0
You reminded me that you can drastically extend the life of a worn out
ribbon on a dot matrix printer by opening the cassette and spraying the
ribbon with WD40. Sounds daft but works extremely well, a friend has
ribbons that have been sprayed 3 or 4 times and are years old and still
working.

Really? Me? I had an old VCR that had an audio-dub feature. We would
tape Star Trek and The X Files and then dub in the most ridiculous
dialogue. Always something to do with hats or cheese or the captains
Bovril stash. Those two shows were perfect because the actors are so
*serious*.
Anyway, when it began to die, (the thing had a fake wood finish!), I
somehow got the idea to open the tape slot and - *spray everything
inside with alcohol*.
Punchline: it added at least a year to the life of a dear old
friend. (I think the alcohol "re-stickied" the belts.)
Moral: they don't make 'em like they used to.

Mitch
 
D

Double-A

Jan 1, 1970
0
Really? Me? I had an old VCR that had an audio-dub feature. We would
tape Star Trek and The X Files and then dub in the most ridiculous
dialogue. Always something to do with hats or cheese or the captains
Bovril stash. Those two shows were perfect because the actors are so
*serious*.
Anyway, when it began to die, (the thing had a fake wood finish!), I
somehow got the idea to open the tape slot and - *spray everything
inside with alcohol*.
Punchline: it added at least a year to the life of a dear old
friend. (I think the alcohol "re-stickied" the belts.)
Moral: they don't make 'em like they used to.

Mitch


I had a track-drive garage door opener that was sticking. I sprayed
it with WD40 and it worked like a charm to keep the thing operating
trouble free for a couple more months.

The plastic links in the track-drive suffered catastrophic failure,
probably due to exposure of the plastic to the solvent in WD40! Had
to replace the whole thing.

Some people use WD40 on their arthritic knees (well if it works on
hinges...). Fact is that the solvent in WD40 is DMSO, the same
substance once touted for its miraculous healing qualities. So yes,
WD40 can give at least temporary relief for the arthritic knee. But
one must consider the toxins in WD40 that are being absorbed into the
body along with the medicating solvent.

Not recommended. Your body might suffer a catastrophic failure just
like my garage door opener!

Double-A
 
D

Dave Platt

Jan 1, 1970
0
Double-A said:
I had a track-drive garage door opener that was sticking. I sprayed
it with WD40 and it worked like a charm to keep the thing operating
trouble free for a couple more months.

The plastic links in the track-drive suffered catastrophic failure,
probably due to exposure of the plastic to the solvent in WD40! Had
to replace the whole thing.

Some people use WD40 on their arthritic knees (well if it works on
hinges...). Fact is that the solvent in WD40 is DMSO, the same
substance once touted for its miraculous healing qualities.

The Material Safety Data Sheet for WD-40 aerosol makes no mention of
DMSO. The hazardous ingredients listed are "aliphatic petroleum
distillates", "petroleum base oil", "LVP hydrocarbon fluid", and
carbon dioxide. Each of these ingredients is identified by a specific
CAS registry number, and none of the numbers match the CAS for
dimethyl sulfoxide (67-68-5).

I suspect that the idea that WD-40 contains DMSO is simply an urban
legend.
 
T

Tadeusz Jerzy Korsak

Jan 1, 1970
0
Is it safe to use WD40 as a switch (or potentiometer) cleaner on
circuit boards and in electronic equipment?

I have used WD40 to clean residue of silicone sealant from acrylic shower
tub in my bathroom!
Spray it on, wait 30 seconds and clean it with wooden spatula or figernails
and paper towel.
Repeat on thicker patches.
Kind regards!
Tadeusz
 
J

jakdedert

Jan 1, 1970
0
Tadeusz Jerzy Korsak said:
I have used WD40 to clean residue of silicone sealant from acrylic shower
tub in my bathroom!
Spray it on, wait 30 seconds and clean it with wooden spatula or figernails
and paper towel.
Repeat on thicker patches.
Kind regards!
Tadeusz
Another thin that WD is good for is removing tape and label adhesive
residue. I don't know why, but it works almost as well as stuff actually
made for the purpose.

jak
 
S

Spehro Pefhany

Jan 1, 1970
0
Another thin that WD is good for is removing tape and label adhesive
residue. I don't know why, but it works almost as well as stuff actually
made for the purpose.

jak

It's got a lot of solvent in it. I've got some strange orange oil
natural stuff that works fairly well and is allegedly less toxic. I
like the smell of WD40 better.

Best regards,
Spehro Pefhany
 
G

gothika

Jan 1, 1970
0
Another thin that WD is good for is removing tape and label adhesive
residue. I don't know why, but it works almost as well as stuff actually
made for the purpose.

jak
Could be all that kerosene.(petroleum distillates.)
 
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