Cleaning Pinball Switches

Cleaning switches and contacts on pinball machines is nessesary for regular maintenance but be sure to use the right process for the type of switch you are cleaning.

Cleaning Gold Contacts: Use isopropyl alcohol with a Q-tip for cleaning. Avoid abrasives and ensure the area is well-ventilated.

Silver Contact Maintenance: Clean with a Dremel 443 brush or a flexstone file. Do not use sandpaper or metal files as they may be too harsh.

Tungsten Contact Care: File with a standard metal file or consider replacement if worn or dirty. Avoid using a flexstone file as it may get damaged.

Leaf Switch Adjustment: Utilise a dedicated switch adjustment tool for bending near the base. Keep the leafs straight and avoid needle-nosed pliers to prevent twisting.

On most switches I use either a business card or preferably a strip of pencil eraser, I slice strips from a rectangle pencil eraser and pull that through the contacts.

Remember, never use WD40 or contact cleaners on switches due to flammability risks. Always follow safety precautions.


Below is a chart for EM Score Reel Switches supplied by Andrew Harris – Click the image for a larger view