SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

Questions relating to designing PCBs
By artelse
Another simple question, what is the best way to remove excessive (burnt) flux?

What chemical is safe without damaging the masks?


User avatar
By leon_heller
IPA is best - iso-propyl alcohol, not India Pale Ale. 8-)

User avatar
By phalanx
Mmmm.... IPA! I need a beer!

Anyhoo, isopropyl alcohol works great like Leon said. I typically dip a cotton swap in it and then gently scrub the areas that need attention. If there is any residue afterward, a rinse with distilled or deionized water usually takes care of it.

By beebop
Yep, IPA, but I'm a bit rougher - this is what I save my old toothbrushes for.
User avatar
By leon_heller
I use an old toothbrush as well. Flux can be quite hard to remove if it has been there for a long time.

By artelse
Thanks for the answers. It's interesting to note the difficulty in finding answers to these basic soldering questions.

User avatar
By bigglez
artelse wrote:Another simple question, what is the best way to remove excessive (burnt) flux?

What chemical is safe without damaging the masks?
Greetings ae,

I use MEK (methyl ethyl ketone aka Butanone). It can be purchased from Home Despot or other similar stores. It is safe but requires ventilation.

My usual method is to apply it with Q-tip cotton swabs, being careful not to contaminate the bulk container.

Comments Welcome!
By Philba
I'd be a little careful with MEK. I got a nasty burn from it when some spilled on my pants and I didn't get them off real fast. It took about 3 months to heal.

Also, MEK will dissolve some plastics be careful with it. I prefer IPA (well, both kinds) since it's pretty benign.

I bet MEK cuts that flux like crazy, though!
By rpcelectronics
At work and at home, I like to use PrintKote. I THINK it's a variation on MEK, but I don't know for sure. Works great for removing flux, even after it has set up and been on the board for a long time. I use one of those little diposable stiff horse hair brushes.

Just my $0.02,
long long title how many chars? lets see 123 ok more? yes 60

We have created lots of YouTube videos just so you can achieve [...]

Another post test yes yes yes or no, maybe ni? :-/

The best flat phpBB theme around. Period. Fine craftmanship and [...]

Do you need a super MOD? Well here it is. chew on this

All you need is right here. Content tag, SEO, listing, Pizza and spaghetti [...]

Lasagna on me this time ok? I got plenty of cash

this should be fantastic. but what about links,images, bbcodes etc etc? [...]