I know it is highly advised to only use MAF sensor cleaner to clean the MAF sensor. I recently saw a video of someone cleaning it with Isopropyl alcohol and a Q tip. It seems reasonable as the alcohol will evaporate quickly. As long as the Qtip does not leave an strands of cotton behind it sounds reasonable…
It should be possible to clean the wire w/a QTip, but it seems considerably less risky if you don’t touch the wire at all, and just direct a spray of the correct cleaning solution. It’s your sensor though, so you can clean it however you like. If you try the QTip idea let us know the results. Isopropyl alcohol comes in different strengths, so be sure to use the strength (%) recommended.
Maybe not now. A can of MAF cleaner lasts a looong time. The first can I bought listed Isopropyl Alcohol as its main ingredient and it smelled like Isopropyl Alcohol. It does not really matter which strength you use, it all works but I use 91% and pour it into a small disposable cup and just soak it for awhile, then let it air dry.
17 years on the original MAF sensor is great. Cleaning first, then replacing if cleaning doesn’t work, is the order I’d use to make the repair. Start with the cheap fix and then go to the more expensive fixes later.