Tips for Cleaning Solder Off of Circuit Boards for Re-use

SlunkBoy

Member
2007-01-08 8:39 pm
I have a number of used Radio Shack project boards that I would like to clean in bulk. I have removed all of the components, but stripping the solder with copper braid would be too tedious. I have a heat gun - would it be possible to hold the board with pliers, heat it with the gun, and wipe it with some sort of sponge? Would flux be necessary? Any ideas would be appreciated. I love these pre-printed boards and I don't think Radio Shack will be making any more of them.
 
This is the bit I use to clean off PCBs when I remove BGA chips to fit new ones. It is used with my OKI MFR 1300 work station.
 

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I have a number of used Radio Shack project boards that I would like to clean in bulk. I have removed all of the components, but stripping the solder with copper braid would be too tedious. I have a heat gun - would it be possible to hold the board with pliers, heat it with the gun, and wipe it with some sort of sponge? Would flux be necessary? Any ideas would be appreciated. I love these pre-printed boards and I don't think Radio Shack will be making any more of them.
I think old cotton towelling would be great for removing solder from a hot board, especially if lightly dusted with powdered rosin first to help stop solder sticking to the PCB surface. 100% cotton though, or it might melt!
 
Hold the board with your pliers, heat it up enough to melt the solder and give it a quick shake. Imagine shaking paint from a brush. One long stroke and quick!

Just lay some newspaper on the floor before you shake it. Do a few and you'll get the feel. Use solder wick to do the fine cleaning or use compressed air to clean the holes out. Apply heat and blow air from the component side when the solder melts.

Use common sense and don't burn the boards up. I've done this many times. Poor Hillbillies can't afford them fancy solder sucker gizmos.. ;)

Or, just heat the boards and quickly bump them edgewise on the bench while the solder is still melted. It'll come off. Just use a piece of cardboard to bump them on. Do a few.. You'll get the hang of it..

Or, if you're out in the garage and don't give a crap where the solder goes, mount them in a vise, heat them up and put the compressed air to them!
 
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