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Tips for Cleaning Solder Off of Circuit Boards for Re-use
Tips for Cleaning Solder Off of Circuit Boards for Re-use
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Old 30th December 2019, 05:15 PM   #1
SlunkBoy is offline SlunkBoy  United States
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Default Tips for Cleaning Solder Off of Circuit Boards for Re-use

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.
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Old 30th December 2019, 07:09 PM   #2
JonSnell Electronic is offline JonSnell Electronic  United Kingdom
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Use a large wide hot bit with plenty of flux.
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Old 30th December 2019, 07:24 PM   #3
Vovk Z is offline Vovk Z  Ukraine
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Originally Posted by SlunkBoy View Post
Would flux be necessary? Any ideas would be appreciated.
You can try both ways and tell us. I don't like to reuse boards, but when I do that, usually flux helps, because without flux it will be just a mess of solder on a board.
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Old 30th December 2019, 07:34 PM   #4
JonSnell Electronic is offline JonSnell Electronic  United Kingdom
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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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Old 31st December 2019, 12:41 PM   #5
Mark Tillotson is online now Mark Tillotson
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Originally Posted by SlunkBoy View Post
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!
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Old 16th January 2020, 07:58 AM   #6
Dajin1010 is offline Dajin1010
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I have the same problem
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Old 17th January 2020, 02:35 PM   #7
nigelwright7557 is offline nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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Most of the vid's I have seen use copper braid.
Just wiping the pcb just moves the solder around the braid actually wicks it off.
A damp sponge would just re-solidify the solder.
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Old 17th January 2020, 11:20 PM   #8
OffGridKindaGuy is offline OffGridKindaGuy  United States
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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!

Last edited by OffGridKindaGuy; 17th January 2020 at 11:35 PM. Reason: Add Another Appalachian Procedure..
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