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Deoxit D5 vs. CRC QD Electronic Cleaner


Experienced Member
Feb 13, 2024
I wasn't familiar with Deoxit until recently and have always used CRC QD Electronic Cleaner. Most of the information I can find relates to audio gear rather than computers. Here's my understanding so far:

For something with old spill damage (for example) and corrosion, Deoxit would work better, for something with fresh spill damage, CRC might work better? Is that correct?

Can someone break down further the advantages and disadvantages of each on computers? I get the feeling I should be using Deoxit instead in most cases.
Deoxit is good for old damage and corrosion. It excels in cleaning and leaves a protective layer, but it can be more expensive. On the other hand, CRC QD Electronic Cleaner is suitable for quick cleaning and versatile use. It dries fast and is budget-friendly, but it may not provide as much long-term protection. For old damage, Deoxit is recommended, while CRC QD is practical for quick tasks like fresh spills. In routine care, Deoxit stands as a solid choice. Always follow product instructions and ensure compatibility with materials. Deoxit is excellent for critical components, while CRC QD offers a practical and affordable option for quick tasks.
"Deoxit is good for old damage and corrosion. It excels in cleaning and leaves a protective layer".... That sounds like marketing rhetoric.

It always makes me smile that nobody (product end users) appear to have conducted their own controlled experiments on various products, on various metal surfaces, to find out:

What happens 3 month down the line after you applied some product to a particular metal, vs what happened if you did not apply it. How long do any lubricating properties last, a week, a month, 6 months ?

Does the product, for the particular metal surface you are applying it to, afford any form of corrosion protection ?

Can it really remove oxidation ?

Will it make matters worse ?

It appears that most electronics enthusiasts can't be bothered finding out for themselves (no more than when a component fails, it is thrown in the bin and not subject to forensic examination to find out why and what its failure mode was)

We end up with all sorts of anecdotal reports about who prefers what product. Who recommends what and remarks like it "always works" for them. If medicine was like this we would still be treating Syphilis with Arsenic and Mercury. A very sage Doctor once wrote in a classical medical textbook : One night with Venus and a lifetime with Mercury.

One very definite thing I have discovered in this area, don't confuse three things: cleaning, de-oxidation and lubrication. As far as I have discovered no product exists that does all three properly, at the same time.

For cleaning I use a zero residue cleaner such as CRC's CO contact cleaner, and for lubrication after that I apply Inox's mx-3. I use these for connectors, IC sockets, potentiometers and switches. The reasons are outlined in this article:

But, unless other people decide to conduct similar experiments, with controls (and to help verify or discount my results), on ranges of different products and materials, , we will remain the victims of marketing rhetoric and personal opinions.
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I've been using Deoxit lately on an amplifier restoration, and I'm not sure it's actually making things better... I mean, it seems to clean and lube really well in the moment, but then when I come back to the project later I seem to need to do it all over again. I know cleaning out corrosion (especially in potentiometers) isn't a one-and-done process, and I'm most definitely NOT taking a methodical approach here, but between my experience on this project and some other projects, Deoxit doesn't seem to be the be-all-end-all the hype would suggest. I like @Hugo Holden 's approach, will be picking up some more zero residue contact cleaner and taking a layered approach.
Carbon tet mus surely be the answer. :)
Yes, it probably is. I have posted this before.

One of my favorite episodes of Lost in Space, Will Robinson went to a drug store, with the help of an Alien transport system and bought some Carbon Tet to help fix the Jupiter 2.

At the time I was using Carbon Tet for a number of things in the shed. It is a particularly good de-greaser, it is (was) good for cleaning aged rubber; if pinch rollers and rubber drive belts in tape decks are cleaned with it, it gives them a new lease on life.

But, because people got relentlessly exposed to it in the dry cleaning industry, it caused liver cancer and it got banned, but like all poisons and carcinogens, the effect of it depends on the dose, route of administration and in lower levels the chronicity of exposure. If you used Carbon Tet occasionally, in a ventilated area, there would be no worries with it.

I remember when I used up my last bottle of it and couldn't get any more. The replacement low residue cleaners never seemed to work quite as well.


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I've got a bottle of trike (trichloroethylene) as a substitute, but carbon tet, like Freon TF were the go-tos for cleaning. Apparently some segments of the aircraft industry can still get TF, but all I have are a couple of empty cans of it...
IBM used to specify sperm whale oil for lubrication for some of their oldest gear.
IBM used to specify sperm whale oil for lubrication for some of their oldest gear.

That is hilarious. I wonder what made that Whale oil so special. A good movie title "IBM and the Whale".

Most oils with varying length molecular chains can be synthesized in the lab.

There was that very interesting, yet very disturbing story about Lorenzo's oil. When the movie came out I was studying Stryer's Biochem textbook and understood some of the issues.