[sdiy] Board Cleaning, Was: Super S/H doc

ASSI Stromeko at nexgo.de
Tue Jul 14 19:17:51 CEST 2015

On Monday 13 July 2015, 15:01:31, MTG wrote:
> What are people using to clean boards with these days?  I've been using
> electronic grade isopropyl alcohol on boards I repair (solder is
> old-school Kester 245 SN63/PB37) and it sure takes a lot of IPA and
> patience to get a board clean. Same if you use it on "new construction".

You might want to read the datasheet for Kester 245, especially this 


The 245 flux residues are non-corrosive, non-conductive and do not require 
removal in most applications. IPA will
not clean the residues off the surface of the circuit board after the 
soldering process. A saponifier or cleaning agent
specifically designed to clean a no-clean flux is required to clean the 
residues. Please contact Kester Technical Support
for further information.

This suggests that they use an inorganic flux agent, although they don't say 
which.  The only cleaning you are doing with pure IPA is mechanical or from 
the water part if you use a water/IPA solution (which you probably should, 
for other reasons).

> Then I read someone is using MEK, but have never tried that:

Oh, please.  As an organic solvent it'll have the same problems cleaning 
inorganic residues, plus it is a lot less safe than IPA (which you don't 
want to take lightly either).

> Now Ian mentions ethanol.

Ditto.  If you want to clean with alcohols, ketones or other organic 
solvents: use rosin core solder.

> I tried the MG Chemicals Flux Remover and I thought that was worse (more
> wasteful and expensive) than IPA. And sometimes left a white residue.
> It's mainly flux cleaning I'm after.

If you want to stick with Kester 245 and insist on cleaning, try some 
distilled water plus a few drops of some dishwashing detergent (no perfume, 
no  and none of the "friendly to your skin" stuff which contains oil).  
You'll need to rins thoroughly with distilled water afterwards, so that may 
not be advisable for all parts.

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