(first published in CX magazine – October, 2013)


In the spirit of maintenance, I thought I’d do a short but particularly relevant review of a product that’s been around years; one that has saved my arse on countless occasions. The product in question is the humble can of Electrolube EML200F.

Unlike many other products that perform a specific role in the maintenance of electronic equipment – like Caig’s Pro Gold or Red Deoxit etc – EML is relatively cheap (about $7.50), versatile and brilliantly effective at silencing noisy pots, taming scratchy or intermittent switches and restoring dodgy connectors back to life. It’s the best one-stop-solution cleaner I know for when things go south at gigs or in the studio.

Whether you’re a musician, a studio engineer, a producer or stage manager, if you only ever own one can of switch cleaner, this should be it.

EML200F is both a cleaner and a lubricant, so it doesn’t dry out switch mechanisms or reduce them to a sticky mess like other products.

Electrolube’s own definition of the product is as follows: “A solvent/lubricant blend designed to remove surface contamination and oxidation from all metallic contact surfaces. Reduces electrical resistance across the switch or connector by increasing the surface area of the contact.” According to my tech, Rob Squire: “EML is not the world’s best cleaner but it’s very good… and very versatile.”

Caig’s Red Deoxit on the other hand, for example, is brilliant at removing corrosion but needs to be rinsed off as it contains no lubrication, thus making it potentially disastrous on switches when used incorrectly.

I’ve repaired more noises in equipment with this can of magic spray than I can recollect. It’s one of those must-have products for any audio industry type who calls himself (or herself) professional.

WES Components in Sydney sell cans of EML for $7.50 last time I checked: a bargain, and a lifesaver.