I used to clean old computer sockets and terminals with citric acid solution in alcohol. It worked fine for long time, but for the tiny connectors of DIMM Ram sockets it works for a very short time before the disconnection problem appear again.

What solution do you have for this problem?

There should be a chemical that can clean oxide from metal and create a conductor protection layer.

after few time using it ended very bad, I accidentally fried HDD socket polypropylene working fine

  • \$\begingroup\$ when citric acid react with metal oxide, it create a kind of salt, because the large portion of it is organic it still soluble in alcohol, but this leave the metal exposed and rust will soon be formed. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hamed
    Jan 7, 2021 at 6:50
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ if using water is not a problem, silver nitrate solution will be a good solution, it erase the oxide layer and create silver layer \$\endgroup\$
    – Hamed
    Jan 7, 2021 at 7:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ And silver sulfide (tarnished silver) as well as silver oxide are both conductive. \$\endgroup\$
    – D Duck
    Aug 28, 2023 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


I’d be hesitant to use citric acid to clean any kind of electronics since it’s likely to cause corrosion. My first choice would be isopropyl alcohol, with mild abrasion if necessary such as a toothbrush. Acetone might be an option as a stronger solvent but that attacks many kinds of plastic.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Iso-propyl alcohol will not erase the insulator oxide layer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hamed
    Jan 7, 2021 at 7:28
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Then you might expect that a reducing agent would be preferable to an oxidising agent. But DINM connectors are typically gold flashed and so there should be no oxide layer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Frog
    Jan 7, 2021 at 7:55

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