Chassie cleaning + , semi-long

Al Parker anchor at COASTALNET.COM
Tue Aug 18 14:08:25 EDT 1998

>       Here's one for the experienced chassis cleaners . How do you get the
>inside chassis clean without removing every part on it ? I have tried
>electronic cleaner / degreaser , but it evaporates too quickly. Any other
>cleaning agents that work well and won't damage electronic components ?
>Any and all comments welcome !!! Tnx ...
>73,Steve Hurst

Hi Steve, & others,
        Tnx to Art K5FNQ for copying a few previous posts on the subject.  I had a
lengthy bunch saved earlier in the yr, but dumputer glitch wiped out a lot.
 baswaplist is not a place for this discussion, that's where I found it,
but have not copied there. Did incl the 2 boatanchors lists, and I'll
probably not get on the nat'l & swan, as I'm not listed there.   The
following may be more than the question asked for, but --
        I've had thoughts on the subject this past week, as I've recently been
looking at a few I've cleaned in the past 6-12 mo.s, and one done just this
        I have used Ivory Concentrated Dishwashing Liquid (hand/sink type) soap,
with judicious application of water, and brushing with toothbrush-type &
bottle brushes for the crevices.  Small paint brush also very useful.  The
contents state "surfactants", ionic & non-ionic, no soap noted.  There's no
substitute for some hand labor (or is it just finger work?).  Forceps, or
medical "clamps", are very useful in getting a small cloth wad into tight
spots for rubbing.  They come with straight & curved tips.  (also great for
holding small components in preparation or placement for soldering in tight
        I have used Dow Scrubbing bubbles also, but prefer not, just doesn't seem
like strong chemicals can ever really be removed/rinsed.  This is partly so
with the "hand safe" soapy stuff, too.  A lot was  posted on the ionic
process a while back.
        I have rinsed with a hose, almost a requirement with the ScrubBub stuff,
but that requires much care to keep the spray out of transformers, IF cans,
etc.  I prefer using the brushes to rinse, with frequent rinsing of them.
Flow the water on, position the chassis to let it run off easily/quickly.
I just did an RBL rcvr, which was in good condx, but had some surface
corrosion on the chassis in one area.  I did the soap routine, got nice &
clean, with scrubbing.  Did get some distilled water to use as a rinse, as
suggested by many.  Seems to take a lot of rinsing, as I guess it acts like
soft water, & does make things that are soapy, still feel soapy.  But that
makes me think that when it is done, you've got the soap out of there much
        I find Murpy's Oil Soap, with vigorous brushing, does quite well on
nicotine/skin-oil accumulations around knobs,etc., particulary helpful on
wrinkle finish.  Made the RBL cabinet look good.
        Recent experiences which make me reconsider the situation-- Hallicrafters
SX-101, HT-32, HT-32A.  The 32A has the gold finish on the chassis, cleaned
nicely, but I understand that care needs to be taken to not "overdo" it. -
RBL, 1945 issue TRF regen.  I just got the 32A out of it's cabinet to get
to it electrically.  I had cleaned it abt 5 mo.s ago, it spent some time in
the garage in CA, low humidity, then across country to NC.  Been inside for
3 mo.s.  surprised to find it a little dusty inside, probably from the
garage stay.  Have noted on it, & others, including the RBL, which was only
done 2 wks ago, that there does appear a slight dry-ish buildup, like
slight oxidation, on the cleaned, unplated or un-coated surfaces.  It's
possible that this is oxidation of the steel, and aluminum, due to any oily
protection having been removed.  This turned up quickly on the RBL, which
had the distilled water rinse.  The SX-101, and HT-32, done 8-10 mo. ago,
have some indication of this.  They've been kept in the shack, used weekly.
        Some one recently asked if DeOxit should be sprayed on such cleaned
surfaces.  I think that's expensive, but might do a good job of protection.
 I have decided to rub a LIGHT coating of GC DE-OX-ID contact cleaner,
containing kerosene, refined mineral oil, & perchlorethylene, over
unprotected metal surfaces.  It stinks, but not like WD-40, which also
could be used (I know, some will stop reading here & trash all above
remarks).  Gummy Bear likes it, and I've met him, he's not suffering from
exposure.  Any such coating needs to be very light, to avoid dirt
        Good warming/drying methods after any water or liquid application must be
        Paste wax applied to knobs, after cleaning in the Ivory solution with
vigorous brushing, makes them approach new looking.  similar for panels.
        Whatever we use, just think - these beauts have survived 40-50 yrs or
more, sometimes very well,  are we doing something that will not allow them
to last another 50 yrs, by giving us instant gratification of beauty at the
risk of accelerated corrosion?
        Barry Ornitz and others covered the chemical aspects more than once in the
past 2 yrs.  Wish I hadn't lost my personal archives on the subject.  Maybe
this'll start another thread.

Al, W8UT
New Bern, NC
Boat Anchors appreciated here
anchor at

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