How long any tools you use serve you is dependent on how well you take care of them. A soldering iron is no different. If you are lucky, the manufacturer’s catalog will come with a guide on how to take care of your tool. So how should you keep the soldering tip clean? This article will try and break the process down for you. Read the whole article to know how to keep the soldering iron tip clean.
So what should you NOT do?
Before we get to the practical guide of caring for the soldering iron tip, there are some things you should not do. These include;
- Avoid cracking the plating of the tip which is caused by putting too much pressure
- Ensure the soldering iron is not put through intense temperature shock
- Avoid too much scratching of the tip because it will wear down fast
- Avoid de-wetting and corrosion
How can you avoid the above from happening?
- From the onset, ensure you have chosen the correct tip measurements for the appropriate job. If possible, go for the largest tip available which can apply for any job needed. The “chisel” tip is more recommended instead of the “cone” shaped tip.
- Always ensure that the tip is tinned which keeps it functioning for longer. You do this by using the solder to assist close the gap between the joint and tip. It significantly boosts the surface area where the heat is transferred and decreases the pressure to press hard.
- The soldering iron support should always be the correct one for the intended iron and it should always have a functional funnel. A damaged funnel can cause the iron to bang against the funnel spring where it is being supported.
- When it comes to the cleaning sponge, ensure it is only moist and not completely wet. When you bring a hot tip in contact with a very wet sponge it can cause intense temperature shock which can result into tiny cracks in the iron plating layer.
- To prevent wear and scratches, always ensure you tin your tip before soldering the joint which spreads the contact area. Also, always use the proper size tip as needed.
- Always use the proper cleaning sponge for the tip. Use an unadulterated cellulose sponge which should be used correctly upwards, that is, the fiber layer being on top. This is because the fiber is less harsh than the sponge on the tip.
- To avoid de-wetting and corrosion, ensure you do not expose the iron layer tip to oxygen so as to prevent it from oxidizing. When the iron is not being used, always keep the tip tinned. Also, after cleaning the tip, give it time to dry before returning it to the support. These are the best steps on how to keep the soldering iron tip clean.
It is actually not that difficult to take care of your iron tip. If you have noticed, the guide includes regular instructions and really nothing out of the ordinary. All you have to do is follow simple instructions and your soldering iron will give you long service. That is it, now you know how to keep the soldering iron tip clean.