noscriptCleaners | Contact Cleaner | Aerosol & Foam Cleaners | TED


Keep electrical equipment working at it's best with a high-performance contact cleaner. At Cromwell, we stock both water-based and solvent-based contact cleaners to suit your materials and environment.

Ideal for a range of electrical cleaning, we carefully select our range from well-known brands like Ambersil®, LPS® and our own brand Solent®.

What is contact cleaner?

Designed specifically for cleaning electrical contacts, a contact cleaner is an aerosol cleaner also known as an electrical cleaner.

Why contact cleaner?

The cleaning solution removes dirt, dust and oxidation from electrical contacts to ensure optimal performance.

The aerosol packaging sprays an area with force to remove any contaminants without the need for the wiping and scrubbing that may damage electrical equipment. For directed cleaning, contact cleaner is often provided with a straw-like attachment that fits into the spray nozzle for controlled spray.

When is contact cleaner used?

Used to remove dust, grease and debris build-up on contact points on electrical equipment, contact cleaner removes contamination to allow for the optimum flow of current between contacts. However, because of its compatibility with electrical components, contact cleaner is also used for cleaning other electrical components such as tape heads, relays, condensers and transistors to name but a few.

Contact cleaner types

There are two types of contact cleaner which differ in chemical properties and performance. Interestingly, water falls into a subcategory of solvent and so is the main solvent in a water-based solution. There is some debate over the environmental benefits of one over the other, however, the choice between the two often boils down to performance factors such as evaporation times and material compatibility.

• Solvent based   -   Particularly efficient in dissolving grease, this type of contact cleaner can contain one solvent solution or a combination for a stronger solution. Popular solvents used for this purpose are acetone, isopropanol and ethanol

• Water based   -   These cleaning solutions will contain a mix of other ingredients to improve their cleaning performance, such as emulsifiers and detergents. This allows a water-based contact solution to chemically alter any dirt so it can be dissolved

Considerations when choosing contact cleaner

Material compatibility - ensure that the cleaner you choose won't have adverse effects on rubber seals and plastic housing. This is something you should check if you have chosen a solvent based contact cleaner. It's also good practice to check an inconspicuous area first before spraying the cleaner onto expensive equipment.

Hazards - contact cleaners are supplied exclusively as pressurised aerosols which can explode if stored in the wrong conditions. Another hazard to look out for is flammability in solvent-based contact cleaners. Any sparks that come into contact with the treated area will ignite, so it's best to avoid a solvent-based product in areas of open flame or frequent sparking.

Toxicity - strong fumes can always be an issue from a pressurised spray, however, contact cleaners should always have a safety datasheet available to outline any and all toxic chemicals used to make them. This is often the case with non-flammable solutions, as some toxic chemicals are substituted for solvents to ensure adequate cleaning. As a rule of thumb, contact cleaners should always be used in well-ventilated conditions, with operators aware of the hazards and side-effects so they can immediately report if symptoms occur.

Dielectric strength - this is the insulating properties of the item you wish to clean. Items with low dielectric strength require the power to be off during cleaning and until the cleaner has dried to prevent a short-circuit or permanent damage.

Eco-credentials - try to avoid contact sprays that contain VOCs (volatile Organic Compounds), which can remain in the atmosphere and contribute to global warming.

Contact cleaner jargon buster

Cleaning chemicals bought from reputable suppliers should always have a Safety Data Sheet available for download, or on request. These data sheets help businesses to draw up a COSHH risk assessment required by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations, which helps to ensure the safe handling of chemicals in the workplace.

A requirement of the UK REACH Regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals), every chemical solution used on site must have a COSHH risk assessment available for audit purposes and for site first aiders should the worst happen. Even if the chemical only contains a hazardous substance, a COSHH risk assessment must be completed for it.

The governing body for REACH Regulations and the requirements of Safety Data Sheets is Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs). This government body is responsible for protecting marine life and biodiversity in the countryside and oceans, and supports the growth of a sustainable, Eco-friendly economy.


What is contact cleaner made of?

Contact cleaner is a combination of compressed air and cleaning solution which is either water-based or solvent based. Water-based solutions include chelating agents, detergents and sometimes solvent degreasers as well as many other ingredients. While solvent based contact cleaners can be made of one main solvent or a mix of solvents, such as alcohols and ketones. Always check the back of the pack for ingredients and refer to the Safety datasheet for more information.

When should I use contact cleaner?

If your electrical equipment demonstrates intermittent electrical issues, then further investigation could find contaminated contacts, either through dirt and grease accumulation over time, or the through oxidisation of the contacts. This is when a contact cleaner really comes in handy.

Is contact cleaner safe to use on electronics?

Contact cleaner is safe to use on electronics as long as you use it correctly. Some electronics will have low insulation properties and will need to be turned off during cleaning until the solution has dried. Also ensure that the cleaner you choose is compatible with any plastic housing and rubber seals to prevent damage and be aware of any flammable properties so you can use and store the cleaner correctly.