How to Remove Oxidation from a Soldering Iron Tip

How to Remove Oxidation from a Soldering Iron Tip

If you’re experiencing poor soldering performance or notice that your soldering iron tip is discolored, it may be due to oxidation buildup. Oxidation can reduce heat transfer efficiency and challenge creating a good solder joint. This guide will show you how to easily remove oxidation from your soldering iron tip and keep it in good condition for better soldering results.

The soldering iron has been used for so many years for soldering purposes. First, it was access to the professionals who use the soldering iron in their professional practices. Still, with the emergence of electrical dependency, people are now more involved in performing their maintenance tasks at home without any professional help.

In this way, the use of soldering iron increases. But this increase in use leads to misuse because still, the layman needs to know the exact way of using the soldering irons and which tool gets damaged earlier than its guaranteed date.

Oxidation in soldering iron tipOxidation in soldering iron tip

When we talk about the damage to the soldering iron tip, we are dealing with the matter of oxidation of the soldering iron tip. In early times, the tips of the soldering iron were made up of copper, and while performing the soldering task, this copper started getting dissolved because of the heat produced in the process.

This eventually affects the performance of the soldering iron tip whenever the next time the soldering task is performed. To cope with this situation, the soldering tips start getting plated with the iron layer so that the copper does not dissolve whenever the soldering task is performed.

Covering the copper of the soldering iron tips with the iron prevents it from dissolving, but the next issue with this solution is the oxidation of the iron tip. The tips start oxidizing when the soldering task is performed using the iron-plated tips. Because of this, the tips’ capacity and performance get highly affected.

So the people who suffered problems while performing their soldering task are because they are using the oxidized soldering iron tips. So to make this soldering iron again able to complete the perfect job, you have to remove the oxidation from the soldering iron because, in this situation, it will not solder two joints together in an ideal way. In the end, you will fail in your task.

Signs of oxidized tip

Sometimes, no considerable damage is present on the tip of the soldering iron. However, it still needs to perform the task better, which means it has oxidized, and you cannot do the soldering task properly by using it.

To check whether oxidation is present, you should inspect the tip. Look for any hole in the tip, and if a ball-like appearance starts emerging from the tip while soldering, then it is clear evidence of oxidation on the tip of your soldering iron.

How to remove oxidation from a soldering iron tip?How to remove oxidation from a soldering iron tip

The accumulation of the oxidation layer on the tip of the soldered iron is a natural process as it will happen whenever you perform the soldering task while using the soldering iron, so after using your soldering iron, it is beneficial to clean it properly and make it oxidation free before restoring it for the future use.

So, in this case, you should know how to remove the oxidation from your soldering iron tip.

Tools required:

Below is a list of the materials and tools you will need to perform this task.

  • Soldering iron
  • Electrical switch
  • Flux cored solder
  • Brass wool
  • Protection gloves

Preventive measures:

Wear protective gloves not to harm your hand with the heated soldering iron. Moreover, it is good so that the tips are not contaminated anymore. Avoid keeping the soldering iron close to your face while cleaning.

How to remove oxidation from a soldering iron tip (quick guide)

  • Turn the soldering iron ON
  • Adjust the temperature of the soldering iron to 300 degrees Centigrade.
  • Cover the soldering iron tip with flux-cored solder
  • Oxidation will start getting removed
  • Further, use brass wool to clean the tip.
  • These cleaners will generate a reaction and clean the oxidation layer from the soldering iron tip.
  • Repeat the cleaning steps three to four times and ensure the oxidation has been removed.

How to remove oxidation from a soldering iron tip (step-by-step guide)How to remove oxidation from a soldering iron tip (step-by-step guide)

Step 1: Heat the soldering iron

The first step you have to take when you remove the oxidation layer from the soldering iron tip is to turn ON the soldering iron and adjust its temperature to around 300 degrees centigrade.

This is necessary because without heating the soldering iron, you cannot remove the oxidation layer from the tip. To apply any procedure on the tip, you must make it hot enough.

Step 2: Use flux-cored solder

Now you have to apply the flux-cored solder over the tip of the heated soldering iron. When you use it on the tip because of the heat, it will start melting over it, generating a chemical reaction. As a result, the oxidation layer will start weakening, and after a few seconds, you will see that the oxidation layer is getting removed from the tip.

If you are not feeling it effective, then you have not heated the tip accurately, so go at the first step again and heat the soldering iron tip to melt the chemicals over it effectively.

Step 3: Use brass wool

After cleaning the soldering iron tip using the flux-cored solder, you have to use a cleaner like brass wool and clean the soldering iron so that any residues and oxidation will get removed from the tip, and you get a cleaned trip in the end.

Doing this step is necessary because sometimes the oxidation does not get removed effectively by just using the flux-cored solder, so it is beneficial to use more than two products to ensure the cleanliness of the soldering iron tip.

Step 4: Repeat the steps

You have to perform these cleaning steps more than three times to ensure that all the oxidation layer has been removed from the soldering iron tip and that it has been renewed to perform its soldering task more effectively.

After you take these steps, you will get a thoroughly cleaned soldering iron which you can store for future use easily without the fear of any damage.

How to avoid oxidation on tips?

Some negligence leads to the damage of the soldering iron quickly, and people often do not bother to avoid these things in their daily life when using a soldering iron. So if you want to save your soldering iron from getting oxidized again and again to save it from any damage, make sure you follow the following precautions.

  • Don’t let the soldering iron ON when it is not in use.
  • Do not overheat the soldering iron tip again and again.
  • Make sure you regularly clean the soldering iron tip by using specific cleaners.
  • Store it in the right place.
  • Do not store it in damp areas.
  • Don’t let the tip wet for a long time.

By considering these preventive measures for your soldering iron tip, We are sure that your soldering iron will last longer than before, and you don have to run for the professional guide every time you are going to do soldering at your place.

Final Verdict

When owning any electric tool, knowing how to use it properly is essential because you can face severe damage without it. In the case of soldering iron tips, people often face an issue of the oxidation of the soldering iron tips, and they have to face this issue repeatedly because of their lack of knowledge.

So by following the proper guidance regarding cleaning the soldering iron and storing it at the appropriate places, you can better learn to keep your soldering iron top-notch.

In this way, you will not have to spend more and more money buying a new soldering iron every time damaging the previous one because when you know the exact way of using it, you will not have to buy it again and again. You can effectively take a soldering iron with you for a more extended period by keeping it in proper check.

Related Guides:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About Us

Our team comprises dedicated professional Engineers, researchers, and experienced DIY enthusiasts who completed hundreds of projects in Home improvement, Electricle and Electronics. Read more

Recent Posts

Sign up for our Newsletter