Cleaning audio components with 90% isopropyl alcohol

I am about to clean the cable tips and the component input jacks with 90% isopropyl alcohol. The question is, how long do I have to wait before I plug everything back in? Thanks everyone.

Post removed 

 I use a product called CRC QD Electronic Cleaner. The QD stands for Quick Drying. I like it better than alcohol because you can spray it right into RCA jacks etc. It comes with a small plastic tube so you don't spray it everywhere. I find it to be very effective.

CRC 11 oz. QD Electronic Cleaner-05103 - The Home Depot

Post removed 

I honestly find fewer and fewer discussions on this site to contribute to. Am I getting that old that the timing of isopropyl drying up holds zero interest to me? I mean what does dry out quicker than pure alcohol? Different generations I guess...

WD-40 Specialist Contact Cleaner for sensitive electrical parts specifically formulated for quick drying. 


Yes l also use CRC, works very well  I also use it sometime to clean the internals of my stereo equipment  I blow out all the dust first, of coarse 

I use99% pure from Amazon  then put a thin coat of  Stabilant which is a contact enhancer , NASA has been using this fr years ,my uncle is a master technician turned me on to this years ago if you don’t move cables around often this will keep cables from oxydation for over 12 years verywell proven can also buy on Amazon 

I buy the concentrate a little bottle last for years.

I just spit on them and wipe clean with 10ply toilet paper. I find it really enhances the sound. 

You really should get some CRC +1 @toddsyr if you can or Deoxit D5, for contacts and pots and the green F5 for faders plastics etc.


Use Deoxit D5 for initial cleaning, then apply PreservIT P5 to preserve the surfaces. This is an industry standard in recording studios world wide.  

Electronics alcohol is great...the 99% is best second.Mg chem contact cleaner,no residue.Alcohol has a wait time if spray.

Alcohol is NOT the best. I am not saying it is dangerous to use on your equipment but like one mention here that era legit contact cleaners out there. Even 90% leaves a residue which in theory can cause a less than perfect connection.

Contact cleaner is NOT expensive. Take the time to treat your expensive equipment with loving kindness. PLEASE.

Contact Cleaner AND Lubricant combo is best for moving parts. F type for plastic parts. IF there are thin felt or foam light blocking parts within, Audio Classics recommends NOT cleaning their innards UNLESS you know that part is problematic.

other contact cleaners do not have lubricant, like this one

alcohol does leave a residue, I blow dry parts I clean with a small compressor in my shop.

don’t forget to have some liquid bearing in the shop

and some rubber restorer

wear gloves if you use Goof Off or anything like this, I messed up my fingers permanently cleaning a large tape deck with years of tobacco residue with no gloves



I've been using MG Chemicals ElecroSolve for years now.

Prior to that I used Cramolin (sp?) which may have later developed into Deoxit by Caig and for a while I used Kontak cleaner from Europe.

I've been told that alcohol can damage the gold plating on tube pins, so I do not use it on anything gold plated.

I've also read (here) that high percentage isopropyl alcohol most likely contains carcinogens due to the manufacturing process so I switched to 91% to use in my DIY vinyl cleaning solution.

The MG cleaner is readily available on the WWW.

Sorry for more run-ons than usual, but I'm in a hurry and out the door.



For doing just a quick cleaning of connectors I use denatured alcohol. Any hardware store should carry it. Use it also for cleaning TT belts.

For general cleaning I use Caig products and then use the denatured alcohol to wipe clean. I don’t care to leave the Caig products on the connectors.

Joe Nies

One of the audio greats, Jonas Miller, who ran the ultra high end Jonas Miller Stereo in Beverley Hills, told me to NEVER use denatured alcohol, because there are many ways to denature alcohol.

He pointed out that there is only one way to make high purity ethyl alcohol, or failing that, premium high proof vodka. Either of these costs almost nothing in the quantities used for cleaning.

More important is the problem of contamination. ALWAYS pour out a tiny quantity and throw away the excess. NEVER dip a cleaning tool into the bottle of alcohol.

Thanks for the information @terry9 , I didn’t realize that. I was told the opposite from one of my audio gurus years ago.

Guess I need to do some research.

Joe Nies

Acetone dries even faster but you should use it only if there are no plastic parts involved. 

Acetone.    Stay away, like the plague.

No plastic parts, no epoxy, no finish, just for starters

Also, removes paint, dies, and decals.

Someone mentioned CRC. Great suggestion. Get the plastic-friendly type of contact cleaner, in the red and white can, if available.

Why not use a plain dry q-tip?

I have always used Kontak Audio Cleaning Fluid and it works wonders. Dries supper fast and no residue.