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Tech Tip Of The Day: Soldering Iron Care

Is there any specific way I should be caring for my soldering gear?

By PSW Staff August 27, 2010

Provided by Sweetwater.

Q: I’ve been working in a studio for many years now as an assistant, and I just recently started helping another assistant with cable and equipment repair.

My soldering technique, while not the best, is coming along nicely given that I only started a few weeks ago.

I noticed when I first started with the new soldering iron that was at the studio that it seemed to get really dirty and never really cleaned up.

Now, I realize this is a fairly dirty task, so I’m not looking to keep the iron immaculate.

However, is there any specific way I should be caring for the iron?

A: Glad to hear you like getting your hands dirty repairing your gear!

To prolong the life of your soldering iron always leave a ball of solder on the tip when not in use, then wipe it off with a wet sponge, or cloth before using.

This will help keep the plating from burning off the tip, making the job much easier.

It will also prolong the life of your soldering tip, saving you a little bit of ever-valuable cash.

As always, we welcome input from the PSW community and would love to know how you care for your soldering equipment. Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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Mark Jordan says

one of the things i do is to get all my cutting and all the preparation done first then start up my iron that way the iron doesn’t stay on long enough to get oxidised.And yeah the ball of solder trick works perfectly…

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