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Can You Use White Vinegar To Clean?


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#1 I have a computer...

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 05:47 AM

I was wondering if it is a bad idea to wipe inside computer parts with white vinegar?

Does it have a chemical reaction with the components?



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#2 hamluis

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 07:10 AM

Well...what made you think that doing so...is/was a good idea?

 

My take would be that liquid substances and electronic components...don't match up very well :).

 

What makes you think that the internals of your system...need cleaning with any liquid solution?

 

Louis



#3 I have a computer...

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 07:22 AM

Well, let's say you have a dusty fan or some sort of circuit board thing.

I've heard people say to use rubbing alcohol, but I don't have that, so I was wondering if I could use white vinegar instead?



#4 Platypus

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 07:37 AM

Vinegar is acidic, so its residue will cause corrosion. Definitely don't use it.

Isopropyl alcohol is the recommended cleaner, and the simplest access most people have to it is often rubbing alcohol. But it's not pure isopropyl, and may contain fragrant oils which could leave residue that will attract dust.

You can probably get IPA at a hardware store for cleaning purposes.

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#5 I have a computer...

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 07:57 AM

Okay then. What about if there was a plastic casing around some electrical stuff and I took out the electrical stuff and washed just the plastic with soap and water then let it dry out and put it back together? Would that be okay?

 

BTW I'm not specifically talking about computers, just electronic stuff in general.

What I I actually want to do is clean the case and buttons of a game controller.



#6 Havachat

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 08:22 AM

Dont Electrocute yourself.......if your not a Pro or have any % knowledge , because you may only do it once....." He`s Dead Jim "

 

For any General Cleaning .

 

1/ Isolate any Power 

2/ Remove Holding Power in Caps / PSU / etc.

3/ Use a small Brush { Makeup Type - Clean } and brush away / or use soft Dry Cloth on flat surfaces.

4/ Blow off with Air Type Compressed Cans / or Vacuume Up.

5/ Buy any Electrical Cleaners { Spray Type } suited to the Task { They Dry Out within Secs after Applying }.

6/ Ensure everything is then Clean and Dry , a Light Blow on Low Setting of Hair Dryer can assist if needed.

 

Then Connect Backup / Hit the Switch / Stand 3 Feet away , and hope you did everything right.

 

Electricity of any kind is Nobodys Friend - so always be Carefull , if in Doubt - Then Dont ! 



#7 I have a computer...

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 08:44 AM

I've never done anything like this before, but I feel fairly confident in opening up a game controller with the aid of video tutorials...

It is a rechargeable battery powered controller and all of the charge has drained out since I haven't used it in months. I don't know whether that makes it more or less safe...

The buttons of the controller are really dirty around the edges and I can't clean it from the outside so I wanted to take it apart to wash the plastic buttons and pads with soap and water.

I don't think dirt could've gotten on the actual electrical stuff of the controller so I wasn't going to clean stuff like circuit boards.

...Maybe I should have been more specific and posted in one of the 'Gaming' categories? :/



#8 britechguy

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Posted 22 May 2017 - 09:02 AM

If you are able to completely remove a plastic part from the electronics to which it attaches you can clean it pretty much any way you like that doesn't involve a substance that would damage the plastic.

 

I've run things like keyboards through the dishwasher in the past, on rinse cycle only (as the soap is corrosive), to get really filthy ones clean.  Provided you give them a few days in a warm place to dry out completely before you hook them up again they generally work just fine.

 

For something like a keypad that can be lifted off as a unit or the external case on something where you can do the same it's perfectly safe to wash these like you would any other plastic item.  Just make sure they're completely dry before you put them back into place.

 

The precautions you'd need to take with regard to electricity vary widely depending on what you're opening.  For something like you describe, a battery powered external game controller, the thing I'd be most worried about is static electricity (and being able to get the thing apart and back together again without making myself insane).


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

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#9 Platypus

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 12:04 AM

The buttons of the controller are really dirty around the edges and I can't clean it from the outside so I wanted to take it apart to wash the plastic buttons and pads with soap and water.

I don't think dirt could've gotten on the actual electrical stuff of the controller so I wasn't going to clean stuff like circuit boards.


Plastic casing/buttons and polymer contact sheets can be washed that way without problems. In the workshop we clean up remote controls using mild detergent and warm water, dry well.

Some liquid detergents like washing up liquid can contain salt - I like to use baby shampoo for remote control casings, button pads etc and microphone grilles and foam pop filters.

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#10 mjd420nova

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:07 PM

I've been doing computer service for 45 years and some others laugh at my use of BABY WIPES for clean ups inside of units and outside cases and keyboards.  And it cleans your hands too.  You can go for the scented type but I prefer the unscented.  Cheap and easy to use.



#11 GoofProg

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 09:24 PM

Yes, it is an acid. (I thought it was a base..)

I use rubbing alcohol and water, but I don't like it that much.  I would never touch electronics directly with it.



#12 I have a computer...

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:19 AM

Thank you everyone for your advice so far.

 

I've opened the controller and I've washed the buttons but I found that something sticky has gotten onto the thin plastic sheet thing that goes underneath the buttons and pads.

I'm not sure how to clean it without damaging it, although I haven't had any issues with the controller so I don't technically need to clean it, but I would like to.

To be more specific, it is a PS3 controller.



#13 britechguy

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 09:34 AM

I'm back to my original comment.

 

There is nothing at all sensitive about the plastic or "rubberized" (those thin sheets are usually a rubberized membrane of some sort, and they often "peel out" with the buttons attached, but may be fused to the hard plastic case) as far as soap and water goes.

 

If you can easily separate the top half of the controller that has all the buttons and that membrane from the electronics then plop it in warm, soapy water and give it a good swishing around to get the dried gunk out from under the membrane.  If it's clearly a "peel out - push back in" membrane arrangement then peel it out before you give everything a bath for the easiest cleaning experience.

 

Then do the same with warm rinse water and let the thing dry out completely before putting everything back together.

 

If you're talking about the membrane that covers the electronics and gives the buttons the "push feel" there's nothing wrong with wiping that off with a damp cloth.


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 


#14 I have a computer...

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 10:46 AM

No, I think this is something else.

Here's a picture that I found on the internet of it:

 

Ck4ImAj.jpg



#15 britechguy

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 04:25 PM

That's essentially a glorified ribbon cable and button pad where the pushes of the button complete the circuits.

 

You can very safely wipe this, gently, with a paper towel moistened with plain water, then wipe it dry.


Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134 

 

     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 





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