How do you clean your vintage computers?

Thu Jan 19 11:45:00 CST 2017

hi speed airflow  from leaf blower could set static charge and    could  
knock out cmos?
Just a wild  though...  Ed#
In a message dated 1/19/2017 10:29:33 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time,  
billdegnan at writes:

On Thu,  Jan 19, 2017 at 12:18 PM, Andy Cloud <r3trohub at>  wrote:

> Hey all,
> So one of my recent acquisitions  is looking quite grubby, outside it just
> looks like surface dirt on  the plastic, inside seems dusty/basement 
> My question  comes in two parts:
> 1. What do you use to clean the exterior  plastic and/or metal if
> applicable? I'm always worried about staining  the plastic using strong
> solvent... could you also include what type  of cloth/sponge/anything you
> use :)
> 2. You guessed it!  What about internally? I've heard isopropyl is really
> good, but how do  you apply it? What do you use to apply it in order to 
> the board  shine as if it was just bought!? :D or if you use anything 
> than  isopropyl...
> I also have a bonus question, how do you ground  yourself to ensure you
> don't blow a component? Is an ESD wrist strap  good enough?
> I absolutely love this group, really enjoyed your  previous answers
> regarding rarest/unusual machines!!
>  -Andy

You really need a decision tree but there is my  process

1.  vacuum or blow out debris, outside.  I have used  a leaf blower before
for really nasty machines, or very delicate vacuuming,  all depends.  Goal -
remove all loose dust, particles, anything that  would gunk up a cleaning

2.   Soap and water,  inside and out.  There is nothing wrong with using
soap and water on a  computer board, hand dish soap.  Just dry well.  Use a
blow dryer  or fan, depends on how delicate

3.  Windex or glass cleaner for  glass surfaces only.

4.  Magic Eraser works great for plastic  covers after you've washed with
soap.  Or use that whitening compound  everyone uses for yellowed cases.
Forget the name.

5.  De-oxit  for connectors and pins and such

6.  Isopropyl alcohol for  finishing touches, with a q-tip cotton swab.

Use common sense.   Teletypes for example would not be the same cleaning
process as a surface  mount laptop  board.



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