Cleaning AC plugs, receptacles and other contacts

I just remodeled my audio room which included stripping old wallpaper, sanding, painting, Wainscoting, etc., -- you know, the usual MESS!

While I have the room empty, I want to clean the inside of my AC outlet contact points, my AC cord plugs etc.

What have you found to be the best cleaner for this application? I plan to use Caig Pro Gold after I clean them. I thought I remembered a publication recommending some sort sanding or slightly abrasive sheet on AC plugs prior to applying any Caig type treatment but I cannot recall the name. Do any of you use such a thing?

Any opinions on now you clean the electrical contacts (and/or treat them afterwards) or insides of the AC or IEC receptacles or your RCA connections and the products you prefer will be appreciated.


I have used denatured alcohol on cotton swabs to clean the blades of AC plugs. The one thing I would encourage you most strongly to do is turn off the circuit breaker to the stereo outlets, unscrew the wire from their outlet screws and take very fine steel wool and buff the copper wire where it screws into the outlet shiny. Remove all of the copper oxide so when you reconnect the wires to the outlet, you are getting the highest quality of electric flow to the outlets.
Flitz Metal Polish has been recommended for cleaning power cord plugs. Alcohol is good, but use pharmaceutical grade, which is almost 100% pure.
AS cheap as outlets are,replacement would make more sense.I wouldn't spray any cleaners in them.Caig Gold might have little gold particles in it that could cause problems. New quality outlets from your local supply center should carry them.Skip the cheap less than a buck ones.Get commercial or hospital grade.They give better connections and last longer.Make sure whoever is doing it knows what they are
Thanks guys. I have 4 Wattgate oultets and 4 FIM outlets so I obviously won't be replacing them. I am mainly trying to ensure they are clean after the mess and, if it will help, treat them before I get my system back up and running.

Cleaning the inside contacts of the outlet makes the most sense due to the dust that was flying around the room during the remodel and I might as well clean the PC plugs at the same time.

In that case, the best thing would probalby be to blow them out. If you can get a compressor, hook a blow gun up to it and blast the dust out. I would be hesitant to use any abrasive / polish on the inside contacts, because it will leave its own residue that will be even more difficult to remove. Putting any liquid in there will remove some of the dust, but whatever it leaves behind will probably be stuck more tenaciously than before. I have used an airgun to blow the dust off of a car for autobody work, and it is amazing how much it can remove. If no compressor, maybe a can of clean compressed air?
yep. Blow 'em out or suck 'em out.

thereafter, if you want to do it, using some felt covered flat swizel sticks and DeOxit should prove out well. It's tedious work though as you have to keep putting on new cloth over the sticks... pushing them in and out to clean off the oxidation. use just enough to soak the cloth. Let it rest for 15 min. Then slip in & out the new clean dry cloth coverd sticks until they come out without residue on them.

Then... maybe... simpley ProGold or Walker SST the NEMA ends of the power cables. Not the innner contacts of the outlets. Let dry, and plug 'em in.

you'd think someone would have made a NEMA male end cleaner thingy, so you could just plug that into the outlet and withdraw it a few times and that would clean the insides of the outlet by now.

hey... I've got a good idea for a new product! lol. Anyone want to loan me the start up money? Last one to the patent office loses.
Sand paper, very fine grit would work best. Then clean them with alcohol spray and let dry, not wiping. Chemical contact enhancers do far more to regrade the contact, then providing any real benefit.
After you have cleaned the ac plugs.. be sure to put some teflon tape on at the base of the plug's prongs for even better sound!... Here's photos of this tweak... http://www.audioasylum/audio/tweaks/messages/16/165450.html
A bit off topic but how do you like your Fim outlets?
I've got one here but haven't installed it yet.
HiFiTime, ProGold (now Deoxit Gold G5) does not have metal particles, it is a proprietary deoxidant for plated contacts.Use it sparingly and clean any excess with cotton swabs or sponge-tipped makeup swabs.

Fmpnd, Deoxit Gold GN5 (notice the extra "N'' contains a quick drying, no drip solvent. It can be safely sprayed inside outlets, but a blast of compressed air before and after Deoxit treatment is a good idea.

I understand that Parts Express and other electronic vendors sell inexpensive compressed air aerosol cans (mostly to clean computer keyboards).

Eoxit/Progold is the pro-sound industry standard contact cleaner/deoxidant/protector.
Usual disclaimer....
Sanding a contact will cause more arcing between the contact points and could cause them to arc weld together. Contact point are smooth for a reason and should only be CLEANED with approved cleaners. A friend sanded his and at a later date went to clean them again and had to replace the outlets and the ICs because they would not come apart. Cost for error around $2,000.
Many of these kinds of contacts are 'self cleaning'

I unplug / plug annually.

As a side note, I went to turn on my RPTV and the power lamp blinked red 3x, pause and repeat. NOTE: this wasn't the lamp light.
Instructions said a lamp connect problem. Well, I took it apart, cleaning and vacuuming as I went. Confirmed the lamp at least looked good, put it back together, paying special attention to plugging in the lamp firmly. Problem solved.