Cleaning Oxidation from Electrical Connections
Simple Solution for Oxidation on Electrical Connections
Green oxidation. You know what havoc it causes in an electrical connection. The problem is how to remove it once you discover it.
I've tried cleaning oxidation with many of the same methods used for battery terminal corrosion with no luck at all. Products found in parts stores that are labeled as "electrical parts cleaner" generally will not remove oxidation.
Not to say that all electrical cleaners are poor at removing oxidation. There are some excellent products on the market for cleaning electrical contacts. The one I know best is a product made by CAIG Labratories. It's called DeoxIT® While I've not seen this product stocked in any automotive parts houses, it is easy to find at most Radio Shack stores. Not only will it clean the connection, it will enhance the connection. If you can't find it locally or need larger quantities you can order direct from the manufacturer. Their online store has a small minimum order, but that shouldn't be a problem because they have so many products to choose from.
If you're in a pinch, what I found to work is a common household product that's both inexpensive and easy to source. It's plain white vinegar. Soak the oxidized connection in some vinegar for a few, and watch the oxidation disappear like magic. Just note... vinegar does not enhance the contacts or connection like the afore mentioned product. Vinegar may also damage some protective surfaces.
My vinegar tip is intended for use on low voltage automotive connections only.
To avoid electrical damage, always remove voltage and isolate the circuit before cleaning.
If you clean an oxidized electrical connection with vinegar, be sure to wash and protect the connection afterward. Vinegar can damage delicate electrical contacts.
Soak components in vinegar only long enough to remove oxidation.
According to the Vinegar Institute, I'm a vinegar Visionary. Are you?
Here are some other uses for vinegar around the auto.