How to Clean Oxidized Contacts on Stereo Equipment

Written by blaze johnson Google
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How to Clean Oxidized Contacts on Stereo Equipment
It is possible to remove oxidation present on your RCA cables. (phono plugs 2 image by PeteG from

Maintaining your home stereo or car audio system will ensure proper operation and good sound quality. Oxidation present on cables and connections will inhibit signal transfer between audio devices, causing unwanted distortion, crackling and possible malfunctions. The presence of high humidity, dust particles, liquids and oils increase the chances of oxidation, regardless of the connection's material type. Cleaning cable connections and speaker wire terminals for your home or car audio systems is an easy task, provided you have the appropriate cleaning materials on hand.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Electrical contact cleaning solution
  • Cotton swabs
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Emory cloth

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  1. 1

    Check the tightness of all RCA connections within your audio system. Compress the outer ring of male RCA cables, using needle-nose pliers, to promote a tighter connection.

  2. 2

    Saturate a clean cotton swab with electrical contact cleaning solution. Clean off any oxidation present on the outer portions of male and female RCA connections used by your audio system.

  3. 3

    Remove the cotton attached to one end of a clean cotton swab and dip the remaining paper tube in the cleaning solution. Use the saturated paper tube to thoroughly clean the inside portions of the RCA connections.

  4. 4

    Soak one end of a pipe cleaner with cleaning solution. Insert the pipe cleaner into the middle conductor found on female RCA connections, using a twirling motion.

  5. 5

    Repeat the cleaning process for all the RCA connections used by your audio system, until all connections are visibly clean.

  6. 6

    Clean speaker connections thoroughly, using a cotton swab soaked with cleaning solution. Clean off heavily oxidised speaker connections using a fine Emory cloth, followed by a soaked cotton swab.

  7. 7

    Reconnect all of the RCA cables and speaker connections for your audio system. Repeat the cleaning process as needed, or every few months.

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