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What to use with Alcohol when cleaning PCBs? - Printable Version

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What to use with Alcohol when cleaning PCBs? - Paul Brogger - 05-23-2003

I've been using Q-tips with 90% isopropyl alcohol when cleaning contacts on PCBs, keyboard traces, etc. But that leaves strands of cotton all over.

What do the experts recommend I use to apply the alcohol & "scrub" surfaces? (I assume something lint-free -- lens tissue?)

Thanks . . .


Re: What to use with Alcohol when cleaning PCBs? - Randy Sloyer - 05-23-2003

Household Q-tips will do that. Industrial cotton swabs with wooden handles are less prone to that annoying habit, as the cotton is wound tighter and glued better.

One place you can them order online:

www.techni-tool.com Item 758CH016 $11.10 for 1000 pcs

A Lab supply company should carry them as well. If you want to go all out, you can buy foam tipped swabs at 13X the cotton price. 758CH3160 $71.10 for 500 pcs..




Re: What to use with Alcohol when cleaning PCBs? - Gordon Dyer - 05-23-2003

I use lens tissues or lint free lens cloth.


Re: What to use with Alcohol when cleaning PCBs? - David Smith - 05-23-2003

The electronics industry uses "acid swabbing" brushes. These are made of bristles crimped into a hollow metal sleeve for a handle. Trim the bristles down to about 1/8 inch long. You can get them at many hardware stores, West Marine, and Harbor Freight Tools, etc.


Re: What to use with Alcohol when cleaning PCBs? - db (martinez, ca.) - 05-23-2003

us hillbillies use the old toothbrushes that we done wored out.


Re: Toothbrushes - gifron - 05-24-2003

You knew the toothbrush was invented in Arkansas, didn't you? If it was invented anywhere else, it would have been called a teethbrush! Wacka, wacka, wacka! ;) ;) ;)

But seriously, folks - We real hicks use a pocket knife to scrape each little leg till it's nice an' shiny. This method may not be very efficient, but at least there's a good chance you'll bend or break off a leg.

Oh, you asked about alcohol. One of those little sponge "brushes" that comes in a mascara case, or a sponge wedge, also used in makeup application. These are just ideas - I haven't actually used either one, but they seem to have the right firmness, with no cotton fibers to worry about.


Re: What to use with Alcohol when cleaning PCBs? - David Smith - 05-24-2003

Ya mean ya still got yer choppers! Some folk have all the luck.