A water based cleaning composition suitable for use in tape drives including very small quantities of a surfactant preferably a tridecyl alcohol ether of polyoxyethylene and an ionic salt of ammonia is disclosed. The quantity of surfactant is such that it is totally water soluble and furthermore does not exist as a free solvent susceptible to evaporation into the environment. The combination of the surfactant and an ionic salt of ammonia preferably ammonium carbonate enhances detergency and the suspension of debris without leaving a residue. In addition the ionic salt of ammonia is provided in a quantity which maintains a neutral pH thereby minimizing the corrosiveness of the cleaning composition and eliminating static.
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