Homemade solder flux remover – cleaner DIY (Isopropyl alcohol, Ethanol, Ethyl Acetate)

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The use of flux is essential when soldering electronic components. By removing impurities such as dirt, oils and oxidation, it helps to achieve a stronger solder joint. The contaminants could be removed by mechanical or chemical cleaning prior to soldering, however, high temperatures required during the soldering process would cause an element to re-oxidize and thus prevent a successful solder joint. There are essentially three types of flux – water soluble flux, no-clean flux and traditional rosin flux. Rosin flux is highly corrosive so it needs to be removed after soldering, still, why would you want to remove a no-clean flux residue?
There are a few reasons:

  • gummy residue prevents test accuracy when doing in-circuit testing
  • it prevents an adhesion of conformal coating
  • to improve the cosmetic appearance of the board
  • to prevent dirt buildup

The homemade flux remover is able to remove the rosin based, non-rosin based and no-clean flux. It works better than some commercially available products and it doesn’t leave any residue when used properly. It can be used on circuit boards and on most of the plastic parts (discoloration may occur on some plastics).

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