What’s Cable Cleaner?

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Cable cleaners remove dirt and contaminants from wires and cables, extending their life and reducing replacement costs. They come in liquid, aerosol, or gel form and can be used on exposed wires or insulation. Choosing the right cleaner is important to avoid fire hazards, injury, or damage to the wire. Cleaners should effectively remove debris without impacting performance or durability, and some products can clean and lubricate cables in one process. Non-toxic cleaners are important for marine applications to avoid harming marine life.

A cable cleaner is a solvent-based product used to remove dirt or other contaminants from wires and cables. These products can be found in liquid, aerosol or gel form to suit a wide variety of cleaning applications. Regular use of a cable cleaner helps extend the life of wires and cables and reduces replacement costs over time. Properly maintained cables also offer a high level of performance and suffer fewer interruptions than cables that are not subject to regular cleaning.

Electricians and other maintenance personnel can use cable cleaner on exposed wires or on the dielectric insulation surrounding the wire. It is often necessary to clean the wire before applying new insulation or splicing two wires. Often, the outer insulation around these cables is subject to grease and grime from nearby equipment. Cleaning this insulation helps minimize corrosion that can eat away at the protective coating and damage the wire inside. A cable cleaner can also remove corrosion inhibitors and other protective products that could interfere with signal quality and performance.

The process of selecting a cable cleaner often poses a number of challenges for maintenance personnel. Some cables or wires are used in high temperature environments, so cleaning products should not pose a fire hazard in these applications. Many cables and wires inside walls or equipment are difficult to access and need to work in confined spaces to reach them. In this type of application, solvent-based cable cleaners can cause injury or illness due to lack of ventilation. Solvent-free cable cleaners may be needed to protect workers and minimize effects on air quality.

Cable cleaners should also be able to effectively remove debris without impacting signal or power transmission performance or durability. Cleaners that leave residue can interfere with conductivity or cause line breaks. Some residue may even be flammable once power has been supplied to the freshly cleaned cable. Cleaning products that damage the protective insulation around a wire can reduce energy efficiency and increase bills.

Products designed for marine and industrial applications can clean and lubricate cables in one process. This type of cable cleaner is often used for non-electrical cables, such as those used to lift an anchor or as part of an industrial machine. These dual-purpose cleaners remove grease and grime to extend cable life and add lubricant to maximize performance. In a marine application, it is also important to consider the effect the cleaning agent will have on water quality. Non-toxic cleaners can be used to keep cables properly maintained without posing a risk to fish and other marine life.

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