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How to Remove Corrosion From Electronic Contacts

Updated February 21, 2017

Corrosion on electronic contacts can dramatically impact the performance of a device, which may become inoperable if the corrosion clogs the power contacts to the point the electrical circuit is broken. Oxidation of metal parts because of humidity and old, leaking batteries is a common cause of corrosion. Oxidation is evident from the distinctive pale green film that develops on contacts, whereas a leaking battery tends to produce powdery white corrosion. Inexpensive home remedies can be used to remove corrosion on contacts.

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  1. Remove the batteries if you need to remove corrosion on battery contacts. If cleaning other electronic contacts, disconnect power to the device to prevent a short circuit. Wipe as much of the corrosion away as possible with a clean cloth.

  2. Dip a cotton swab into white vinegar. Brush vinegar directly onto the corroded contacts. Vinegar is a weak acid that will dissolve and loosen corrosion.

  3. Wipe off the liquefied corrosion. Dry contacts completely before reinstalling fresh batteries.

  4. Remove persistent corrosion by making a paste of two parts baking soda to one part water. Brush the paste onto the contacts with a cotton swab. Let paste dry.

  5. Wipe away the paste. Spray compressed air on the contacts to dislodge any remaining corrosion. Wipe the contacts dry with paper towels.

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Things You'll Need

  • Clean cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Cotton swabs
  • Paper towels
  • Baking soda
  • Can of compressed air

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.

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