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Cheap Flux remover

If your like me and you like to use a lot of flux when reflowing an SMT project board but you know it can be messy. I'm pretty much a fluxaholic you never can have too much. But cleaning the board of its sticky goop can be daunting. Ready made flux cleaners are expensive so I found a cheap solution. Just mix 50% acetone with 50% alcohol in a small pan and use an acid brush (Careful not to ignite yourself the mix is flammable) If your careful you shouldn't have any problems just don't smoke while cleaning. Follow safety instruction on the cans for the acetone and alcohol.

Comments

  • 12 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Peter JakackiPeter Jakacki Posts: 7,577
    edited September 3 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I just spray the board with PPA and if necessary use a toothbrush and then maybe another quick rinse spray vertically onto tissue paper. However this comes back down to what you mean by "use a lot of flux" I guess because I just solder-paste, reflow in the the toaster over and then maybe use a touch of flux to clean up a stubborn solder bridge.

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  • I'd be reluctant to use anything with acetone in it, since it could attack the FR4 board substrate. My preferred method is to use a toothbrush soaked with 95+% isopropyl alcohol (not rubbing alcohol).

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Shoot! Did I say PPA? I meant IPA, the high-grade stuff, and definitely not rubbing alcohol as Phil said.

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  • ... I meant IPA ...
    The active ingredient is hops!

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Shoot! Did I say PPA? I meant IPA, the high-grade stuff, and definitely not rubbing alcohol as Phil said.

    IPA for cleaning PCBs? Waste of a fine beer if you ask me. I could see using PBR is for cleaning PCBs.

    Lagunitas-IPA-12OZ-BTL_1024x1024.png
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • erco wrote: »
    Shoot! Did I say PPA? I meant IPA, the high-grade stuff, and definitely not rubbing alcohol as Phil said.

    IPA for cleaning PCBs? Waste of a fine beer if you ask me. I could see using PBR is for cleaning PCBs.

    Lagunitas-IPA-12OZ-BTL_1024x1024.png

    I'm sure if you used THAT IPA then after a while it wouldn't matter at all what the pcbs looked like!
    I'd would still pay though to use extra just to be sure and certain :)

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  • I like to have a Foster's beer in my hand when I Skype with Moose toys in Australia. They assure me that Foster's is their PBR equivalent and nobody drinks it. Maybe that would pass for PCB cleaner down under!
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • I think Foster's rode to popularity because a lot of Australia films were being produced in Victoria and Carlton United Breweries there sponsored a lot of sporting events and no doubt had some influence on product placement in the films that were produced there. A lot of stuff that people think of as "Australian" is perhaps more so "Victorian" such as those long Drizabone coats those horsemen in Snowy River wear, they are only good for the wet and cold climate of the high country there. Elsewhere it's dust n dirt n hot n sweaty and you've got to have real beer for real men with real thirsts! Here in Queensland the standard is "a pot of XXXX Gold" (schooners are for Southerners) but my favorite is a pint of Fat Yak with my steak.

    Did we somehow go OT? :)

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  • Did we somehow go OT?
    That's what happen when you use too much IPA.
    Jim
  • OT? I've had worse.

    After all, the OP did mention "alcohol" and "cans" several times. :)
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • The next time I clean a PCB I think I'll drink a beer while cleaning. Fosters isn't too bad but I'll have a Miller Lite.
  • The Acetone/ Alcohol mix hasn't melted any parts yet. 50/50
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