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I have a USB flash drive, and the male USB connector on it has gotten rather disgustingly sticky (lent it to colleague with small child, he let the child play with it (never again))

Can anyone advise on how to give it a throrough clean?

I've given it a wipe using dry cloth and gotten the worst off, but it is still tacky to the touch.

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Find (at, eg, an office supply place) something like "Cyber Clean". It's a gooey blob that you can mold around a piece, stick into the crevices (within reason), etc. But a plain old damp cloth should also work in this case. A damp cloth won't hurt the flash drive. In fact, you can get it quite wet so long as you don't submerge it and you let it dry thoroughly before using. – Daniel R Hicks Feb 18 '12 at 11:56
Thanks @DanH I was worried about about it would react to a damp cloth, I'll give it a go. – Kevin D Feb 18 '12 at 11:57
@DanH Please post it as an answer and I'll accept it, as it has worked for me. – Kevin D Feb 18 '12 at 12:07
There is a reason some people borrow stuff, they don't have one of their own because they Cannot take care of anything they own and it gets destroyed or lost, so they borrow yours! – Moab Feb 18 '12 at 22:14
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Isopropyl alcohol (aka: Rubbing alcohol). You may be able to buy some at a local pharmacy/chemist, but I usually have to get mine online. It's great for cleaning off cooked-on thermal paste - it shouldn't have an issue with some sticky finger stuff.

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Thanks for the answer. – Kevin D Feb 18 '12 at 12:07
Yep, and you can use a wipe of alcohol after cleaning with a damp rag, to promote rapid drying. – Daniel R Hicks Feb 18 '12 at 12:14
Anything like that should do - I find I get good results with cotton pads and swabs, which you should also find in the pharmacy/chemist. – Josh Feb 18 '12 at 13:12
It is rather old thread, but I want to add that if you over do the cleaning make sure to dry up the ports before using, otherwise it might break the connector pin. I do get my connector pin broken due to excessive use of it. It is still some form of liquid you see. – Sumit Gupta Jan 2 '15 at 8:22
Yup, this stuff is very good at cleaning an awful lot of stuff. Beware that some inks are alcohol soluble, though--I've seen it take the writing right off things before. – Loren Pechtel Sep 5 '15 at 3:25

Try using alcohol swabs. I have found them useful for cleaning keyboards, sd memory cards, data sticks, and they work great on cleaning laptop screens as well. After cleaning the laptop screen, buff the the screen with something non-abrasive (a kleenex or a cloth diaper).

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You'll get more clean for your buck with a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and a roll of paper towels. Swabs are for convenience. – Loren Pechtel Sep 5 '15 at 3:27

Use some compressed air? Or some Cyber Clean?

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Compressed air, wouldn't work as it is/was really sticky stuff. Thanks for the answer though, with a second mentionof Cyber Clean I may need to check it out for future cleaning needs. – Kevin D Feb 18 '12 at 12:08

DeoxIT is designed for this:

DeoxIT fast-acting deoxidizing solution that cleans, preserves, lubricates, and improves conductivity on metal connectors and contacts in 2 forms. ProGold preservative and lubricant for plated metal electrical connections in 2 forms.

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