[rescue] Cleaning dirty systems?

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Mon May 21 14:52:16 CDT 2007

Bill Bradford wrote:
> Anybody have suggestions on how to properly clean systems that have years
> and years of dust and crud on them?
> Even though I've brushed-and-airdusted as much off and out of the Amiga 
> systems as I can, I still feel *filthy* after working with them for a 
> while; it's like the dirt and dust are just embedded in the parts.

I just cleaned an Apple IIe that had 23 years of dust bonded to the motherboard.

It would not blow off, and had become more like a film than dust, it had been
there so long.

I took q-tips and camel-hair brushes soaked in isopropyl alcohol, and just
started coating the board and chips, and then rinsed the stuff off in a small
tub of alcohol.

This process was a little bit tiresome, but it has taken tons of the crap off
of the motherboard, and it is relatively easy.  Just be careful and don't use
pressure, let the alcohol do the work.

It needs further cleaning, but the improvement is drastic.

The motherboard started out brown, and is now matte green.  I couldn't read
the writing on any of the chips, and they are now clear.

A couple of places where I really cleaned it thoroughly are now bright green,
just like brand new.

An advantage of alcohol is that it dries in minutes, not days.  Just to be
sure, I give the machine two hours.

I haven't decided how to clean the expansion slots yet.  They are not corroded
enough to cause connection issues, but I'd like them to be shiny again, and
I'm not sure how to do that.

Chips are pretty easy to clean.  Most stuff on the Apple II machines are
socketed, and you can dip them in tarn-x.  It doesn't appear to hurt the
plastic or ceramic carrier material at all, and it makes the pins bright and
shiny.  At least, it has worked well enough for me so far.

shannon           | All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers turn to look
                  | at the stars.
                  |         -- Rush

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