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Cleaning old computer equipment...

gateman

New Member
Joined
May 31, 2003
Messages
6
Location
Topeka, KS
Hi all,

I thought I'd pass this along as a tip... I've found it to be very useful in removing lots of stuff on old computers, gummy substances, dirt, even permanent marker (to some extent).

I use a Clorox product called "Soft Scrub", found in the kitchen/detergent areas of a grocery store.

Try it--it does wonders.

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MattCarp

Experienced Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2003
Messages
279
Location
Atlanta, Georgia (USA)
scouring powder is also good

scouring powder is also good

I like using Comet scouring powder. It contains bleach and is slightly abrasive, maybe less so than Soft Scrub. It's easy to control the amount I use.

In fact, with any new equipment I obtain, I give it the wipe down with Comet and/or a diluted Mr Clean. An old toothbrush helps clean out any louvers or small recesses.

Also, Q&E (I think) makes an electronic cleaner available at auto parts stores. This allows me to spray down particularly dusty boards.
 

Skyfrog

New Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
5
I like those "scrubbing bubbles" spray cleaners for cleaning computer cases and just about anything else. It really brings the dirt and grime out; just be careful about getting it on decals or logos. I found out it brings those out too, the paint that is. :lol:
 

T1000

Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Messages
26
joe sixpack said:
for me, if 90+% alcohol does'nt do it then it dont get done.
vinegar also works wonders.

I disagree; if the alcohol 90+% doesn't do it, first put acetone, and then put alcohol to clean it and dry it quicker. Does wonders.
 

Terry Yager

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Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
T1000 said:
joe sixpack said:
for me, if 90+% alcohol does'nt do it then it dont get done.
vinegar also works wonders.

I disagree; if the alcohol 90+% doesn't do it, first put acetone, and then put alcohol to clean it and dry it quicker. Does wonders.

Ummmmnnn...doesn't acetone attack some types of plasitc?

--T
 

joe sixpack

Experienced Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Messages
177
Location
Around Here... Somewhere
Terry Yager said:
joe sixpack said:
hmm i'll have to investigate some more the page i found on it
http://www.nsc.org/library/chemical/Acetone.htm

where do you buy said acetone
looks dangerus and fun!

Try an automotive supplier...ask for lacquer thinner, or mebbe parts cleaner...

--T

Whoa i know what lacquer thinner is that stuff will melt pastic right quick.
we use to throw scrap plastic from model's into a jar and watch it eat it.
 

Rick Ethridge

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
1,037
Location
Plattsmouth, Nebraska USA
I prefer using a Scotchbrite pad for cleaning. No scratches! Try using a household cleaner with it such as Formula 409 or Windex with it to really clean good. Whatever you do don't use solvents such as acetone, paint thinner or similar. Damage to the finish may result and ventilation is absolutely necessary to prevent health damage or create a fire hazard!
 

patscc

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 13, 2005
Messages
2,311
Location
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
Acetone <==> regular nail polish remover.
You can buy Acetone at Home Depot & Lowes ( at least up here, comes in the quart-sized metal bottles just like paint thinner or mineral spirits )

Aceetone dissolves a lot of plastic, in particular ABS, which is what a lot of old computer cases are made of.

Aside from the stuff mentioned, I've found that light-weight mineral oil, WD40, or vegetable oil can be helpful in removing sticky, unkown gunk, and it doesn't attack your case. You don't neccessarliy want to use it on the innards, though.

Water works quite well in dissolving gunk, sometimes you need to break down the surface tension first, which a couple of drops of detergent will do.
If you ever need to soak a circuit board in water, make sure you add a few drops of detergent, this will make it easier to drive the water out from underneath the components when you're done.

MCM Electronics carries a line called "Techspray" and "CHEMTRONICS" at http://www.mcmelectronics.com
(you can get them other places as well)
which are repair-shop grade cleansers and lubes.

You particularily want to have a can of tuner cleaner/lube around(even Rat Schack has this ) since this is probably the safest way to clean and lube switches, potentiometers ( volume, contrast, etc... ) and stuff like that.

Another, heavy duty cleanser available at the hardware store is called TSP, but that's kind of rough on the environment.

Sometimes, this has worked for me in the past, soaking the case in a tub of warm water & Tide works, particularily on "Nicotine grease", but this takes a day or longer.

There's other enzymatic-based detergents that might be good for plastic, haven't tried them yet.

Another tip someone passed on to me a while ago, but since I'm married, haven't been able to try out, is to clamp the case into the dishwasher, run it on the gentle cycle, use 1/4 the soap you'd normally use, use JetDry, and DO NOT USE THE BUIL-IN DRYER ! Take it out, and blow a fan at it or something. If anyone actually tries this last one, I'd like to here how it worked out.

patscc

patscc
 

Terry Yager

Veteran Member
Joined
May 1, 2003
Messages
8,763
Location
Saginaw, MI, USA 48601
I like to use a lot of the same products that are used to clean and maintain cars. These products are generally cheap, and readily available at any auto parts store and many department stores. Some examples:

Naval jelly removes light rust
Whitewall cleaner works well on a variety of materials, including rubber
For light scratches, (especially in paint) a fine rubbing compound & elbow grease
Bug & Tar Remover, for lots of stubborn unidentified gunk (won't harm the paint job)
Vinyl upholstery cleaner for plastics, etc
Etc, etc...use your imagination

And don't forget, after cleaning, use some ArmourAll to shine & protect the surface. (TurtleWax works well, too).

These type of substances are usually stronger than regular household cleaning products, so use with care. Always test on a small concealed area, just in case something reacts in a bad way.

--T
 

Jorg

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2003
Messages
1,322
Location
Switzerland
Terry Yager said:
T1000 said:
joe sixpack said:
for me, if 90+% alcohol does'nt do it then it dont get done.
vinegar also works wonders.

I disagree; if the alcohol 90+% doesn't do it, first put acetone, and then put alcohol to clean it and dry it quicker. Does wonders.

Ummmmnnn...doesn't acetone attack some types of plasitc?

--T
~

Yes. Better not use it. Try Isopropanol instead.
 
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