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What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:50 pm
by firemedic4
I have some mts radio that need some tlc. What does everyone use to clean the radio cases ?

Thanks Bob

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:19 pm
by Garyf629
I use dish soap and a tooth brush, with a wet cloth. Then dry. If they are real dirty I used an orange based cleaner, with the tooth brush.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:51 pm
by MT2000 man
X2 with the above.

About once a month I usually wipe my radios down with a damp, lint free cloth. It's great for getting dirt / smudges on the display / and just crap in general off the radio.


For scratches, and scrapes I think you are probably just better off getting a new housing (if deep scratches / scraps really bothers you).

With me, I always like to keep my radios looking MINT at all times. However, I do realize that when used in the field this is not possible. So, the radios that I use on a daily basis I usually keep them in a nylon case, and then I use the above method to clean them off once a month.

Sorry for the rambling on, I get very "in depth" with the cleaning of my radios subject lol

It's worked for me for MANY years (hell, my 10+ year old MTS2000 still looks almost new :) ).

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:07 pm
by Jay
I've used windex to clean up really beat up radios in the past.

I've also taken apart Maxtrac and Spectra heads, removed all electronics and soaked them in a bucket of soap and warm water. This has been helpful to get the soft drink effect out of some of them. Put a little armor all on them after they are dry and they turn out quite well.

Jay

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:58 pm
by Tom in D.C.
Q-Tips are handy with 409 for cleaning around antenna bases, knobs (if you don't want to take them off the radio), etc. Don't use anything like Goo-Gone because you run the risk of removing the color from the radio's case.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:42 pm
by tvsjr
409 and a toothbrush.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:11 pm
by kotaguchi
When I worked at a rental house in Hollywood,Ca we used rubbing alcohol which helped to sanitize the radios and help kill the smell of tobacco left by smokers who used the radios.

Our radios were used by folks in the film industry and also the adult film industry which were very active renters from our company so the need to use rubbing alcohol or simple green while I wore latex gloves the during the returned radio check-in and cleaning process and once the radio were cleaned,I used a light spray of Armor All on a towel and rubbed it on the radios to return that slight shine to the radios prior to being set back on the rental shelf. LOL.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 13, 2011 9:11 pm
by Spiffy50
I've cleaned radios with rubbing alcohol and Q-Tips. Follow that up with a wash using a tooth brush and TSP (works great for removing surface dirt, as well as the residue left behind by the alcohol).

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 12:03 am
by WB6DGN
"Follow that up with a wash using a tooth brush and TSP (works great for removing surface dirt, as well as the residue left behind by the alcohol)."

I assume by TSP you mean tri sodium phosphate. I thought that was no longer available because of environmentalists controlling the amount of phosphate in runoff water. There's nothing better for cleaning interior walls before repainting, etc. Where do you buy it? You've got my hopes up once again!.
Tom DGN

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:22 am
by Spiffy50
This is up here in Canukastan. I've never looked down south. Didn't even know they'd banned it down there to be honest. Its available up here at pretty much any decent hardware store:

http://www.homedepot.ca/product/trisodi ... 0-g/912197

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:07 am
by Bill_G
Soap and water, a toothbrush, a wet towel, a dry towel, and a spritz of WD40 to restore luster.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:20 am
by impalass427
We also use WD-40 sprayed on a rag to shine the case, works great!

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 1:11 pm
by rc50won
Honda Spray Cleaner/Polish with a clean lint free miscrofiber cloth removes all dirt and grime and leaves a nice shine.
You can get this at any Honda motocycle dealer or on line.
http://www.amazon.com/Honda-Spray-Clean ... B00383T62O
This will clean just about anything that is plastic based.

For those of you that like your screens to look perfect there is Plexus. Use a soft lint free microfiber cloth.
http://www.plexusplasticcleaner.com/plexus.html


Marshall

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:38 pm
by Jay
I will put in a second vote for Plexus on displays - it works wonders.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:10 am
by Satelite
Hello:
I read this post a day back and almost posted then but thought others might think my using WD-40 sprayed on a rag would be crazy.
But it sure works and takes off grease and most paint too as well as shines up the case back to a luster.
Satelite

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 10:08 am
by mruwave
I agree with using Plexus!! Just be aware that it is slightly abrasive, so wipe in horizontal or vertical direction only, and always go the same direction. If you wipe H one time and V the next it WILL eventually cloud a display screen.

- Jim

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 5:44 pm
by N4KVE
Satelite wrote:Hello:
I read this post a day back and almost posted then but thought others might think my using WD-40 sprayed on a rag would be crazy.
But it sure works and takes off grease and most paint too as well as shines up the case back to a luster.
Satelite
I remember seeing people spray their "M" radios, batteries, & chargers with WD-40 just before the local hamfest would open up. To me it made the radios look too shiny. It doesn't clean the radios, just made them look newer than new. I use Windex, or alcohol to clean stains, or residue from decals. GARY N4KVE

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:15 pm
by FireCpt809
Fantastic or 409, diluted simple green with a soft toothbrush. If there is paint, WD 40. Follow up with a nice coat of spray plexus plastic cleaner and a lint free cloth.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:41 am
by Satelite
Hello:
And theres exactly the reason i should have NOT posted about my using WD40 as a cleaner.
Somebody did not like it and im sitting here taking the excuse as why it shouldnt be used.
Well ill just sit back from now on.
Satelite

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:45 am
by N4KVE
Satelite wrote:Hello:
And theres exactly the reason i should have NOT posted about my using WD40 as a cleaner.
Somebody did not like it and im sitting here taking the excuse as why it shouldnt be used.
Well ill just sit back from now on.
Satelite
I am sorry if you felt my post was an attack on your post, but it wasn't. The OP asked what should be used to CLEAN a radio. When we purchase a used radio that could be 5-15 years old, does anyone think about how many cops or fireman have handled & sweated all over that radio, or where that radio has been, or if that radio was bled all over etc. That's why I recommended Windex, or alcohol, or any other cleaning product which would clean up 5-15 years of disgust off a used radio. All WD-40 would do would be to make a radio shiny, but I doubt it would clean anything, as it's a water displacing product. I have seen many who sell used radios for a living make old beat to crap radios look shiny new, but all that sweat & germs are still on the radio under the shine. But my comments were no way an attack on your opinion. In America we are allowed to voice our opinion, & I was voicing mine in a courteous way with no detrimental comments to you. When I worked at a car auction,many times I'd see a shiny new looking engine that actually was filthy, but sprayed with clear coat paint to make the engine look new. A few thousand miles later, & the clear cracks, & the engine looks worse than ever. Same with WD-40. After it evaporates, & the shine is gone, the filth & germs are still there. That's why all the cleaning products mentioned are much better to actually clean a radio, in my opinion. If the OP had asked what product should be used to make a radio shiny after it is cleaned, then yes WD-40 is the winner. GARY N4KVE

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:24 pm
by Norman
First I pull off all the knobs and go over the entire radio with a paper towel dampened with 409. I use Q-tips soaked in 409 to "scrub" stubborn grime. Then I use toothpicks wrapped with a thin layer of paper towel lightly dampened with 409 and "dig" into all the crevices including the mic, speaker grille, switches, and buttons. I draw clean paper towel across the toothpick as soon as it gets dirty. Most of the grime is from the speaker grille.

If you're comfortable doing it, carefully take the radio apart and remove the gasket and dig out the grime there. I also like to remove the DTMF keypad from the case and swirl a moist Q-tip around each button.

I apply tuner cleaner to the gold speaker-mic and battery contacts using a Q-tip. I think this helps protect the contacts.

I never touch the clear lens covering the display with anything other than a Q-tip slightly dampened with warm water.

I've tried Armor-All. To me it doesn't really make the radio look any better -- just makes it really slippery, so I don't use it.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:34 am
by firemedic4
Thanks for all the replys.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:45 am
by motorola_otaku
tvsjr wrote:409 and a toothbrush.

This. Works for everything except the <expletive> heat sink vanes in the back of a Spectra. Use the lemon-scented flavor and they'll smell nice too.

I enjoyed the comment about 15 years of cop sweat and blood going into a portable's case, but far and away the worst radios to clean are ex-refinery/plant portables. Those guys well and truly do not give a damn. I've had Saber and Jedi radios that took four or five complete scrub-downs before they stopped shedding grime and dirt, and a couple of speaker mics that got baptized in the porta-can.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:24 pm
by KE7JFF
I actually use a ShamWOW and some cleaner...usually its that Orange cleaner...

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:46 pm
by Bill_G
motorola_otaku wrote:
tvsjr wrote:409 and a toothbrush.

This. Works for everything except the <expletive> heat sink vanes in the back of a Spectra. Use the lemon-scented flavor and they'll smell nice too.

I enjoyed the comment about 15 years of cop sweat and blood going into a portable's case, but far and away the worst radios to clean are ex-refinery/plant portables. Those guys well and truly do not give a damn. I've had Saber and Jedi radios that took four or five complete scrub-downs before they stopped shedding grime and dirt, and a couple of speaker mics that got baptized in the porta-can.


I use a small paint brush loaded with soap and water to give the heat sink vanes a good scrub, and then run a folded bar towel between the vanes to really get the crud out. It is amazing how much filth can accumulate after years in a vehicle.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:33 pm
by Kingston
A toothbrush and dish soap are my favorite cleaners

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:17 am
by iamhere
WB6DGN wrote:"Follow that up with a wash using a tooth brush and TSP (works great for removing surface dirt, as well as the residue left behind by the alcohol)."

I assume by TSP you mean tri sodium phosphate. I thought that was no longer available because of environmentalists controlling the amount of phosphate in runoff water. There's nothing better for cleaning interior walls before repainting, etc. Where do you buy it? You've got my hopes up once again!.
Tom DGN


TSP is not used in common household cleaners anymore, as you mention because of the tree huggers. It is available however in powder form from most any hardware store, including the big chains. Mix with water and spray away.

Re: What to use to clean radios ?

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:18 pm
by desperado
I am not sure they are available any more but the shop I work for uses a thing called an eraser that is a small wire brush about the diameter of a pencil eraser that is in a holder the screws out.
They do a fine job on everything but clear parts of course.

Other than that, 409 and a toothbrush is what we used to refurb printers and typewriters (i am dating myself)