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How to Clean a Toslink Cable

Updated February 21, 2017

Toslink is the brand name for a type of fibre-optic audio cable invented by Toshiba. The cable transmits light pulses from components such as a high-definition satellite receiver to a surround sound receiver that decodes the signals for multichannel audio. Dust and dirt on the connection ends of a Toslink cable can partially or completely block the signal, so you may need to clean the cables occasionally if you are having audio problems with your equipment.

Turn off power to all equipment connected by Toslink cables before cleaning the cables. The bright light transmitted through the cable can cause serious eye injury.

Disconnect the Toslink cable from the socket on each end by pulling firmly on the cable plug, not the cable itself.

Spray compressed air onto and into the tip of each cable end to remove dust and dirt.

Reconnect the cable, lining up each plug with the outline of the audio port, to test the connections. If you still have problems, disconnect the cable and continue cleaning.

Dip a cotton swap in Isopropyl alcohol, available at pharmacies and grocery stores, then rub the swab around the tip of each connector on the Toslink cable. This helps dissolve and remove stubborn dust specks and even dirt that may have got into the connector. Let the alcohol evaporate completely, approximately 10 minutes, before reconnecting the Toslink cable to test the audio connection.

Things You'll Need

  • Can of compressed air
  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Cotton swabs
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.