Potentiometer cleaning - sometimes only temporary

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by txflood, Dec 27, 2018.

  1. txflood

    txflood Squier-Meister

    Dec 10, 2014
    North Carolina
    I was wondering if you guys had ever run into this. I have a few guitars that have pots that when I first spray them with contact cleaner and give a few rotations, then seem good to go and no more noise. Then in a couple of days I find I'm back to square one and the scratchy noise returns when being rotated.

    Usually I just replace the pot and move on, but was wondering what others experience might be.
  2. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Squier-holic

    Feb 16, 2018
    North Central NC
    If that happened to me I'd feel as you do... it's time to change the pot.

    But I wonder what cleaner you use. For the last 15 years or so I've used DeoxIT D5 with much better results that others I've used previously. I also recently bought a small bottle of DeoxIT D100, which is a concentrated version with an applicator brush. It works better when you want to put a minute amount somewhere without spraying a big mess of cleaner all around.

    The spray works better for pots though, since you can just stick the tube in an opening in the pot and pull the trigger.
    wildelectric, txflood and Rey08 like this.
  3. fattboyzz

    fattboyzz Squier-Nut

    Nov 29, 2017
    Newnan ,Ga.
    Pots are just to cheap to spend time messing with an ailing one.
  4. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Squier-holic

    Sep 2, 2015
    Yes, but only when I used a contact cleaner that had no lubricant in it. Since I switched to CRC 2-26, which is sold dirt-cheap at Home Depot, I haven't experienced it.
    txflood and so1om like this.
  5. Papa Joe

    Papa Joe Squier-Axpert

    Dec 12, 2009
    Swanton Ohio
    On my own gear I'd try the cleaning first. And that usually worked out..
    For other people I'd try the cleaning and inform them that the pot might be needing replaced in the near future at an additional cost..They would often instruct me to replace it now..
    I kept a wide variety of them on hand..
    wildelectric likes this.
  6. so1om

    so1om Dr. Squier

    Feb 10, 2010
    Depending on the age and use, condition, blow them out with a can of compressed air first. That gets a lot out of the pot completely. Then the CRC that @Ralph124C41 uses.

    Without the blast of air, you could be making a goopy micro mess!
  7. ScoobySnacker

    ScoobySnacker Squier Talker

    Dec 4, 2018
    Never-reach, NY
    Seems to me there might be a joke there somewhere, but it's late.
    wildelectric and Afrika61 like this.
  8. txflood

    txflood Squier-Meister

    Dec 10, 2014
    North Carolina
    I have used DeoxIT in the past but currently I have a can of CRC QD Electronic Cleaner that usually works except of these few stubborn pots I have run across.

    I will definitely check out the CRC 2-26 as I wasn't aware of this product. At the low Home Depot price might as well see what it does. I will also try blowing them out with air as well. Thanks guys!
  9. txflood

    txflood Squier-Meister

    Dec 10, 2014
    North Carolina
    I wanted to follow up now and say how great I have found CRC 2-26 to be over the past couple of weeks.

    I had a few pots in guitars and amps that electrically were doing just fine, but were stiff and difficult to turn mechanically. CRC 2-26 has done wonders with most of them. It's really nice particularly on guitars to have knobs that can be turned with ease for doing volume swells and wah-like tone manipulations.

    Thanks again for the suggestion!
    so1om likes this.