Your shiny, new soldering iron tips won’t stay that way for long. But, with proper maintenance, you can help ensure the quality results you expect from your quality iron. Hakko recommends five do’s and don’ts for lower melt times, cleaner solders and a longer iron life.
- Don’t reshape your soldering iron tip.
Filing or grinding the tip can cause permanent damage. Instead, buy replacement tips in the different shapes and sizes you need; it’s much more economical in the long run.
- Do tin your tip.
With each use, and after any long pauses, be sure to add a fresh dollop of solder to the tip in order to tin it. This helps to remove any leftover oxide. Tip tinners and cleaners that are a mixture of solder paste and flux can also be used to help remove oxides.
- Do clean your tip.
You do need to clean your tip frequently, and if you need to take a break longer than an hour, or you are working at temperatures above 665◦F, you’ll need to clean the tip before you resume soldering.
- Do use a proper sponge.
When you clean your tip, use a damp, synthetic sponge—no rags or fabrics.
- Don’t use tap water.
Tap water may contain contaminants and should be avoided. Do dip your sponge in distilled water before cleaning the tip of your soldering iron.
Following a few simple steps can extend the life of your soldering iron to its maximum and keep your tips gleaming in the process.