Aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners are dispensed as a fine-droplet spray. Contact cleaners are used widely in the mission-critical cleaning of electronic, electrical, and fiber optic connectors. Aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners include solvent and solvent-based, aqueous and water-based, and terpene and oil-based products. Terpenes are plant-derived hydrocarbons that are used in place of some solvents. Both oil-based and terpene-based cleaners are useful in removing grime, smoke, soot, carbon deposits, grease or oil smudge, diesel fuel, and cutting fluids. Aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners may contain phosphates and are specified according to use-temperature.   

Types of Aerosol Cleaners and Contact Cleaners

There are many different types of aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners. Choices include industrial cleaners, cleaning agents, and cleaning chemicals; defluxers or flux removers for use with brazed bonds and soldered joints; and various types of degreasers. Aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners include disinfectants and sanitizers, dusters and canned air products, detergents and surfactants, etchants and pickles, pretreatments and conditioners, rust and corrosion removers, and strippers for paints, coatings, photoresists, adhesives, sealants, and other resin materials. Specialty and proprietary aerosol and contact cleaners are also available.  


Aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners differ in terms of features. For example, anti-static or ESD-safe products contain anti-static agents or conductive compounds to reduce or eliminate the generation of electrostatic discharge (ESD). Biodegradable aerosol cleaners are designed to decompose into harmless components through a biological decay process. Cleaning agents for removing carbon deposits or soot are used with internal combustion engine components and the interior walls of hot oil heaters. Some aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners are foam-free or low-foaming, non-toxic by ingestion or skin contact, or VOC compliant. Typically, aqueous or water-based cleaners meet environmental standards and regulations for volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  


Application is an important consideration when selecting aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners. Products for critical cleaning or cleanroom applications must be lint-free to ensure that no residue remains on the surface after rinsing. Semiconductor, optics, pharmaceutical, medical, or biotech applications often require critical or residue-free cleaners, solvents, or cleaning agents. Aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners for electrical and electronic components are used in patterning printed circuit boards (PCBs), removing dust from keyboards, or cleaning the electrical contacts in circuit breakers or relays. Aerosol cleaners and contact cleaners with labels, labware, and stencils.