How do you clean your vintage computers?

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Thu Jan 19 12:13:44 CST 2017

> On Jan 19, 2017, at 1:12 PM, Alan Hightower <alan at> wrote:
> One caution about isopropanol. I keep a lot of 99% around for
> post-cleaning electronics assemblies, soldering, etc. I used to use it
> as a general cleaning and de-greasing agent for most vintage computer
> things until several plastic and a couple painted surfaces showed
> changes not in color but specular reflection. It's like a change in flat
> vs gloss where you could see my swirl marks, etc I made while cleaning.
> I was able to mostly smooth it out later with more diluted solution, but
> it surprised me. 
> If using isopropanol to clean, I recommend starting with a 70% or less
> (dilute with water) drug-store type solution first until you know your
> surface is safe. 

Starting with higher grade (90% or more) diluted with distilled water might be worth doing, at least for sensitive cases.

> Also when cleaning anything electronic, especially in dry winter, make
> sure you are well grounded. If your house is built on a slab and you
> have an exposed concrete floor in the lower level, consider moving your
> work-shop or work-area there! 

I bought an anti-static desk mat and wrist strap some years ago.  They aren't all that expensive and very much worth having.


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