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how should I clean the MAF so it doesn't get messed up
Electrical contact cleaner sprayed directly onto the MAF wires.
A careful application with a foam (not cotton) swab and a dichloroflouroethane solution. If your local Radio Shack still has it it's sold as video and audio head cleaning solution. Bad on the environment in aerosol form, good for cleaning metallic electrical parts with no residue.
Rubbing alcohol and a q tip works well if you are very careful. Done it many times when I had a K&N on the SHO.
Chainsaw . . . Definitely a chainsaw.
Seriously, Richard is right. You want to use a cleaner that leaves NO residue whatsoever. SOME electrical cleaners are like this, brake cleaners will all be pretty much residue free.