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Thread: How Do You Clean The Corrosion From Bulb Sockets?

  1. #1
    Flashaholic*
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    Default How Do You Clean The Corrosion From Bulb Sockets?

    I was looking at a light socket this weekend and it is a bit corroded. Someone suggested soaking it in a vinegar water solution and then using an emery board. Is that a viable solution?

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: How Do You Clean The Corrosion From Bulb Sockets?

    Quote Originally Posted by JAS View Post
    Someone suggested soaking it in a vinegar water solution and then using an emery board.
    The vinegar solution (or just full-strength white vinegar) and a soft toothbrush would work. Be careful to rinse it fully with water afterwards and then with isopropyl alcohol to dry it out (because some of the vinegar may creep into the wiring pigtail. The emery board may scrape up the contacts too much making it more likely to corrode again later.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How Do You Clean The Corrosion From Bulb Sockets?

    Deoxit which is available at Guitar Center is purpose made for this. Also a battery terminal brush will clean up sockets for 1157 and similar bulbs nicely. Protect with a smear of silicone grease like Sil-Glyde.

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  4. #4

    Default Re: How Do You Clean The Corrosion From Bulb Sockets?

    Depending on how corroded it is and where is it emery paper for the socket and pink eraser for the contacts and then use light bulb grease on the bulb sides and contacts to protect from more corrosion.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: How Do You Clean The Corrosion From Bulb Sockets?

    I use dielectric grease to keep the moisture out.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How Do You Clean The Corrosion From Bulb Sockets?

    fine sandpaper will work, but there is usually more than rust there, old grease, dust, dirt, problem with sanding it, it will work great, right after, but later it will give you issues again, when contacts rusts, the rust eats metal, and makes it thinner, and not as flexible\ springy anymore, sometimes tabs just break off during cleaning, we usually replace sockets, they aren't expensive, for older models, a brand "help" makes replacement sockets. wire clip splicers make the whole procedure a 30 sec thing. for more recent cars, you need to see a dealer, but i have not seem many newer cars that needed sockets cleaned\replaced, mostly after collision.
    Last edited by alpg88; 02-18-2020 at 12:06 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How Do You Clean The Corrosion From Bulb Sockets?

    You have to be especially careful replacing sockets on older vehicles, because in a lot of cases many different sockets will physically fit the lamp's hole correctly, but only a socket with the correct focal length will allow the lamp to work properly/safely/effectively. Focal length in this context refers to how far into the lamp the bulb protrudes. There used to be many different focal lengths of a variety of fitting types (push-in, twist-lock, etc) but most of them have been discontinued for the older applications. That makes it easy to fall for a picture and mistakenly think "Yup, it fits right in, so we're good to go".

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