Cleaning the soldering iron - how do you do that?

Soldering irons and especially soldering tips must be cleaned occasionally. How to do it the right way, which means you can use, and which one you should not use, and how it works the easiest, is explained in detail in this article.

Cleaning the soldering tip after use

If you have taken in a little too much solder (which happens even to experienced DIYers again and again), you can simply wipe off the excess solder on a damp sponge. In a soldering station is in most cases also such a sponge in a stable bracket, you just need to moisten it before using the soldering station.

The same sponge can also be used to clean the soldering iron tip immediately after use. If you are thorough, you do not need to buy a new tip for a longer period of time because it wears off less quickly.

For coarser dirt, you can also use a copper sponge. He removes even stubborn residues usually good.

Tinning after cleaning

After cleaning the tip you should also tease them a bit. This significantly extends the life of the soldering tip. Tinning is easy with a small amount of solder applied evenly to the tip.

Tippy

One of many home improvement etit widespread tip is the "Tippy", a cleaner for soldering tips, which also tinned at the same time. It consists of lead-free solder powder (Sm97Cu3) and some additives.

There are no problems with the later use of lead-containing solder cinders. You get Tippy (manufacturer: Stannol) easily in many shops, the 12g can usually costs around 10 EUR.

Salmiaklötstein

A Salmiaklötstein melts under the hot soldering iron tip and also removes coarser dirt from the top. Then tin. A Salmiaklötstein you get in specialty stores from around 5 EUR.

Detergents - Overview

To keep the tip clean and usable for a long time you will need:

  • wet sponge
  • Tippy
  • Salmiak soldering stone (for very coarse dirt)

Coated soldering tips

Be aware that your soldering tip may be coated. Such a surface finish makes cleaning much easier, but it must not be used for cleaning sharp objects and scratching. Pay close attention to the manufacturer's instructions for care of the tip.

Tips & Tricks

Another insider tip is to clean the soldering tip occasionally only with your fingers or a cloth occasionally. That should work too. The effect could be based on maintaining a thin layer of tin on the soldering tip (similar to tinning after cleaning). Thus, the "scaling" of the soldering tip is also avoided.

Video Board: How to clean and re tin your soldering iron