How do you know if Deoxit (Red) is safe to use on a switch or pot?

Hi, I am trying to repair a few problems on my old Fatar keyboard controller (SL-880).

It has an intermittent push button switch and also the mod wheel and pitch bend intermittently puts out control data when I am not touching it. Sometimes I can quiet it by exercising the controls but then later on it will start putting out midi data.

I thought I’d just spray some Deoxit Red in all 3 and exercise them but I’m not sure if it’s safe to do.

How do you determine if a switch or pot is safe to clean with Deoxit Red ?

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It can be pretty hard to know for sure. You can also try canned compressed air before Deoxit to see if that’s any help. Most of the time Deoxit works fine but there have been a few cases in my experience where it was the final catalyst in completely destroying the pot. These cases were in vintage Arp Odysseys where some pots handled the Deoxit just fine then with others the carbon layer in the pot wiped right off resulting in an open circuit. This may have more to do with what the pots were previously cleaned or lubricated with causing damage before the Deoxit.

It also might be preferable to use Deoxit F5 (green) because it contains a bit of lubricant to help pots maintain a smooth feeling.

If cleaning doesn’t help we might be able to find new replacement parts if you fill out our parts request form!

Deoxit D5 (I assume that is, what you mean with “Red”) is for switches and sockets only - not for potentiometers.
Deoxit F5 and F100 both are for potentiometers, but work for switches too.

Additionally to everything which @Travis wrote correctly:
In general scratchy potentiometers typically don’t suffer dirt on the resistance trace, but the oxidation on the center copper trace. And this oxidation will return again, if the potentiometer is not a sealed and closed type. The same is valid for switches

So I recommend to replace the potentiometers and switches with new sealed ones.

Thank you for the replies.

It says Deoxit F5 is also good for Carbon controls. Has anyone tried it on the pads and carbon contacts used in midi keyboard controllers?

If you mean the rubberized graphite type used as key contacts and numeric keypads, to my knowledge any spray cleaner will damage them.

I think “carbon controls” means carbon potentiometers. I would not use it for rubber key contacts or similar. There are dedicated repair kits for keypads (look for “Conductive Rubber Keypad Repair Kit”)

Regarding Deoxit F5 (Fader series) spray - I was actually asking about cleaning the carbon pads on rubber key contacts like used on Midi keyboard controllers.

The webpage for the product specifically says its good to use for “Carbon-based controls (potentiometers) and membrane switches (mouse pointers, touch keypads)” and safe for plastic - I assume rubber is OK too since membrane switches are typically made of rubber?

On other hand I keep hearing its bad for rubber (even though you are not putting it on the rubber it might travel there) and mineral spirits is supposedly bad for rubber so I don’t know why they list its safe for membrane switches.

Thank you for telling me about Conductive Rubber Keypad Repair Kits. I didn’t know about those.