How to Clean an AM Radio Coil

Silver-plated coils have long been used for generations now because they are very reliable, dependable, and easy to maintain. However, after many years of use, they tend to change color and turn very black due to stains caused by silver oxide.  To get your coils to work well again, you need to do what technicians have been doing for generations; clean the coil. With proper cleaning, your AM radio cool can serve you for many more years. So before you throw away that AM coil of yours for poor performance, why not give it a thorough cleaning first?

How to eliminate oxide and other stains

For a perfect clean, you need a perfect cleaning solution, and there are many of them sold on the open market. A good solution is Muriatic Acid. This acid is toxic so if you must use it, make sure you do your cleaning outdoors. To clean your AM Coil with Muriatic Acid, do the following.

  1. Pour your Muriatic acid inside a plastic bucket of a deep bowl
  2. Remove the coiled ribbon from the chamber and place it inside the acid solution.  Make sure that the acid is at least 2 inches deep so when you place the cool inside the bowl, it will submerge well enough.
  3. Turn the coil from one side to another every 15 minutes. Do this at regular intervals for up to an hour for perfect stain removal.
  4. At this stage, your coil must have been in the bowl for an hour. Now is the stage of washing. The best solution is a mixture of water and baking soda. Both will neutralize the acid then you can rinse it perfectly.

Things to consider

When it comes to cleaning your AM coils, note that shiny doesn’t always mean cleaner, so avoid keeping the coil in the cleaning solution for longer than an hour. If it remains in the solution for too long, the plating might be damaged. Furthermore, it will be in your best interest to know a little about HAM Radio electricity basis. So you can know how best to clean your coils without compromising their functionality.

Also, some people argue that certain acids are not good for coils because the acid remains on them if you don’t rinse them off properly. And the leftover acids may damage the coil over time. This is why we advise that you take extra care when rinsing the coil to eliminate every trace of the acid you use.

Lastly, if you don’t want to risk coil damage because you think Muriatic acid is too harsh, you can use Isopropyl alcohol which works fine. Just make sure you rinse the coil with enough baking soda and water, wipe with a dry cloth, then air dry for some time before use.