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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hints for better cleaning of homemade printed circuit boards.

Some of Burt's

Helpful Hints and Other Trivia

PCB Cleaning Techniques and Tips

One of the things that distinguish a professional printed circuit board from an amateur made one is the final appearance. Gobs of sticky rosin flux detract greatly from an otherwise neat circuit. Cleaning the rosin off the board is one of the more misunderstood processes in making homemade boards.

Skipping on Down...

Disclaimer: Any application of the process described here is solely the responsibility of the user and it is their responsibility to determine the suitability of the process and their locally available materials for their application. In other words, don't blame me if it does not work for you. It works for me and that is all that is important.

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©1998 Burton Lang

Now I am going to let you in on a secret. There is a product available in hardware and paint stores (at least here in Canada - I don't know about its general availability in the USA) that makes cleaning rosin off a circuit board a snap. What is it? It is called "Poly-Clens" and is marketed by the same people who bring you Poly-Filla and Poly-Strippa. It is labeled as a paint brush and roller cleaner and consists of a mixture (I think) of a paint thinner, an alcohol and a liberal dose of a surfactant (a fancy technical name for detergent) to emulsify the mixture in water.

To use Poly-Clens to clean circuit boards, pour enough of the liquid into a tray (non-plastic) to just cover the board. Place the board in the Poly-Clens and let it sit for 3-5 minutes (longer if you have a really heavy dose of dried on rosin flux). Then remove it, let it drain for a few moments and then wash the board thoroughly in running water. The Poly-Clens remaining on the board will emulsify (dispurse thru the water turning white like milk) and be washed away. As an added bonus, the water will remove any traces of the "activating agents" in the rosin flux which if left on the board could cause corrosion. Note: if your water is chlorinated, a final rinse in deionized or distilled water is often recommended. It is not essential.


Cleaning flux from PCBs
Cleaning flux from PCBs the easy way - Hack a Day
Squeaky Clean Boards - 100RandomTasks
Hints for better cleaning of homemade printed circuit boards.
cleaning flux from pcbs - Google Search
Flux Removal -

Poly-Clens Paint Brush - PCB Cleaner
Epoxy Putty Repair Xpress, Poly Clens Brush Roller Cleaner, Easy Flow White Glue, Interior Exterior Wood Fillers, Poly Instafil Lightweight Spackling Compound, Poly Super Strippa Manufacturer & Wholesale Supplier From Canada
Windsor Plywood - Winnipeg - 551 Century & 3176 Main
Lost in Translation: Poly Clens
Poly Clens Design: Trademark by Henkel Canada Corporation
poly-clens - Google Search
I wonder exactly what the Chemicals are in "Poly-Clens"? If we knew that. The I bet we could get something very similar, most anywhere...


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