A trusty tool to have among your soldering supplies is tip tinner,
which will help to remove oxide buildup and keep your soldering tip clean and
functioning at peak performance.
With prolonged use, soldering tips will eventually start to lose
their protective layer of solder through the process of oxidation. They become
“detinned,” eventually limiting or altogether preventing the tip from accepting
solder so they are less able or unable to transfer heat to the materials you
are trying to fasten together.
Thus, you have tip failure, which usually can be remedied with a 10- to 15-second application of tip tinner — sometimes longer, depending on the level of oxidation. However, if you use tip tinner as part of your regular maintenance and remove the oxide before it builds up too heavily, you are likely to avoid tip failure altogether.Tip tinner contains a combination of mild acid and solder powder that quickly and efficiently eliminates residue from the soldering tip, helping prevent oxidation between uses. While the compounds make for an effective, thermally stable, oxide-removing cleanser, it’s best to handle tip tinner with a certain amount of care and know-how. Try to avoid breathing in the fumes and follow these simple instructions periodically, and your soldering-iron tip — no matter how heavily used — should almost always be ready for the next project without any disruptions.
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