Is this sponge ok for soldering?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Djbiochem, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. Djbiochem

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 8, 2016
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    Here is the picture of a sponge commonly used for cleaning dishes found at a dollarstore ...
    1$ pack of four...

    I seen alot of discussions about using a wet sponge to clean your tip after each solderings you do... After a bit of reasearch i finally understood "sponges" did not mean the ones that soak up the water aka bath sponges but more like a brass "spunge" anyways on image.jpeg image.jpeg sparkfun electronic they sell sponges "for soldering" and the picture clearly was a brass sponge like i bought recently...

    Now my question is... After watching many more youtube videos diy and how to's for different thibgs well i also notice that some people ln there looked like they were actually using a real yellow bath sponge damp with water and they looked like they were experienced users so im l'kinda confused as to which spongebis supposed to be used trafitionally ? Only thing i know, and propably answers my own question, is that ever since i changed from these green and yellow dishcleaning sponges/scrubpad to those yellow brassmetal sponges my tip has always been mint and i do add water a bit on the spunge but why exactly is water necessary and how much of it should be added (the brass "sponge" does not soak it at all obviously always ends up in a puddle under it on the table but it does keep it wet a bit to touch until it dry shortly after... But anyways my question is getting more and more specific sorry but im really confused because all the literature say "sponge" and to me twisted metal in a bun is not a spunge also some people i see on youtube really do use the yellow water retaining spunges sonim starting the think this may be the best thibg to use?

    But if i listen to myself i cant say yellow sponge makes sense just because when i put the hot iron on it (60w at max setting) it burns it smokes ALOT and my tip is ... Ok




    Thanks for your answers guys hopefully someone really 100% knowledgable can confirm 100% sure that is he absolutely 110% adament lol that he know the state of the art way thank you and have a great day this forum i just joined seems very nice btw good work ! :)
     
  2. StayatHomeElectronics

    Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    864
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    Many times the yellow sponges are used, just ones that are more resistant to temperature than the cheap kitchen sponge. The sponge should not be melted by the iron.

    Look for "solder sponge" online.

    upload_2016-3-8_16-14-4.png
     
  3. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    No! Not the scratchy sponges!:eek:
    Any plain cellulose sponge will work because they never get above the boiling temperature of water.
    If it does, it's your fault for not keeping it damp.
     
    djsfantasi likes this.
  4. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    The ones I use are a $1 for 5 they obviously are not natural sponge but some modern composition material, they last just about for ever, I eventually chuck them as they look grungy.
    Max.
     
  5. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Probably the cellulose sponges. (Read the fine print on the label while you're in the grocery store.)
     
  6. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    I just use very fine brass sponge.
     
  7. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    I don't like 'em.
    Personal preference.
     
  8. ISB123

    Well-Known Member

    May 21, 2014
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    If I have a giant ball of solder on the tip then I use a brass sponge to clean it,if not then I use regular sponge.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  9. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    That's what I flick on the floor.:D
     
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  10. Djbiochem

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 8, 2016
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    0
    So thanks for all the replies and the way i see it after reading you guys is that the first rule is there are no rules i guess... Whatever you prefer is what you should use. After all, you just have to use common sense to determine which one cleans your tip the best... I figure that "state of the art" method is the sponge shown on the picture posted by StayAtHomeElectronics with the soldering iron on a big yellow sponge which i did not care to try yet as i didnt really realise that the "scratchy spunges" (green and yellow dish ones) are not the same composition as the big old "bath spunges" which according to what you guys said will not burn.

    Two questions:

    @12 : what is or are the reasons you dont like to use brass "sponges"

    And the sponges NOT TO USE NOOO!!! Aka green and yellow scratchy dish sponges smoke alot do you guys think short exposures to the smokes with these cheap sponges is harmful at all to health?

    Thanks !
     
  11. djsfantasi

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 11, 2010
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    If the smoke isn't harmful to your health, the burning plastic can't be good for soldering.
     
  12. crutschow

    Expert

    Mar 14, 2008
    13,028
    3,237
    You can generally tell if a sponge is made of cellulose if it gets very firm when it dries out.
    Plastic material sponges usually stay somewhat soft, even when dry.

    Cellulose sponges were used by the NASA certified solderers where I worked, so I think that's the preferred way to clean an iron.
     
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  13. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    I've used kitchen sponges without any problems. The thing I would look for would just be to have the pores be as small as I could find -- but that was so that the iron tip was being scraped across what appeared to be a smoother surface, could have been an illusion on my part as far as any difference it made.

    I've never used a metal sponge for solder work. They just strike me as being more difficult to get a good wipe on the tip. Again, could be an illusion.

    I've never had problems with burning the sponge but that's because I never let the tip rest stationary on the sponge -- it is always moving fairly briskly across the surface.
     
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  14. ronv

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 12, 2008
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    I just use a paper towel folded over several times. Nice and wet.
     
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  15. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Yep. Done that, too. I've also used an old tee shirt or other piece of cloth.
     
  16. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    The first wiper I used was a cellulose sponge in a factory job. It worked perfectly and I can use the crapped out sponges from my kitchen for free.
    Why should I go exploring a brass Dobie pad when I already have perfect and free?
     
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  17. hp1729

    Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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    The brass is best I think. But most of the time I just use a convenient wet paper towel.
     
  18. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    More than 15 years using high quality thick paper napkins with good results. Dry all the time.
     
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