Best practices - cleaning contacts!

Hello audiophiles-

I’ve had my existing equipment for about 3 years and have never cleaned contacts.  Should I do this?  I am wondering what best products and practices are for doing so?  What’s your method?  How often do you do this?  Also do I clean just the input jacks or am I also cleaning banana plugs and jacks on interconnects and metal prongs on power cords?

(And in the immediate, I am just blowing pressurized air, but wondering if something more serious would be a good idea at some point.)

Please advise!  Thanks-
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Thanks!  Elizabeth a few follow ups.  Lots of different Deoxit Golds—is this the one I want?

Could I use something like this on banana plugs etc?

I’m a bit confused by the difference between 5% and 100% solution.

Also what are you using to wipe off excess?  Q tip?  Would a pipe cleaner also work?



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The 7.4mL bottle of Deoxit Gold recommended by Elizabeth ($32.95 on Amazon, $29.95 from Michael Percy) is included in the company’s K-DG100L-2DB kit, available from Markertek for $25.99. In addition to the 7.4mL bottle of Gold, the kit includes a 7.4mL bottle of the Red cleaner, and a number of good cleaning utensils.

I, like Elizabeth, prefer the 100% strength liquid form of Deoxit; no over-spray mess or waste of the diluted strength aerosol version. By the way, the Red contains a higher percentage of the Deoxit cleaning chemical than does the Gold.

Thanks, everyone!  Super helpful.

Love the dental bits.  So smart. 

For cleaning off banana plugs, though, would these wipes be a good choice?
I'll get myself some VIVA paper towels and get started! 

Just two other questions:
Should I expect brightness in my system for a few hours or days after I do this?
You polish cds, Elizabeth?  What is that about???
Many thanks!!!

It probably goes without saying all contacts in the house should be cleaned and/or conditionied once in a while, i.e., all wall outlets and plugs for fridge, TVs, computer, lamps, air purifier, what have you. All circuits feed into the audio circuit.
It really depends on the material that your contacts are made of.

If your contacts are gold plated, than cleaning is very simple because gold is not reactive and does not oxidize or corrode. The major contaminant that coats a gold surface are hydrocarbons, although there may be some salts that are on the surface from hand contact. None of these are chemically bonded and are easily removed with any alcohol; methanol, ethanol, or isopropyl. More aggressive cleaners are not needed for gold plated contacts. 

If your contacts are copper, silver, brass or another metal than a more aggressive cleaner like Deoxit can be used.
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Wow!  I am amazed!

Sounds like a good winter project.
Thanks to all for all the good advice.