Where can i find Info about Methods for washing of Electronics parts or circuits

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Chrisoborski, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Chrisoborski

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 12, 2009
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    I'm looking for information pertaining to washing of electronics boards, circuits, parts, in an industrial washer that is water based.

    Yes Water!

    I know it exists somewhere because i've heard of methods used or a method used to clean out a oscilloscope that needed precise measurements and it was suggest that every so --? years that the thing should be broken down and cleaned in a mild dish soap solution and sprayed out. Then thorough drying, of course.

    I don't have a source for where i read this though. I don't think the service procedure suggested soaking the boards or boards though.
    Or if anyone can tell me of there personally knowledge or how stuff is cleaned using water I'd really like to hear more on this. Any info would be great as it seems kind of crazy to wash something electronic in water unless it is well thought out on how it should be done. Please this topic has been in the back of my mind for years and i figured i'd see if this is common or Whatever.

    I vaguely remember this but i don't know where.

    Can anybody tell me of some models of water based "dish washing machines" for electronics or service manuals pertaining to certain prpcedures for cleaning elctronics???

    I don't even know where to start for this type of topic.

    I know from my own experience that when i used to go to the local landfill "Dump" i would find Potentially good Motherboards. The only problem is alot of times they would be wet covered with dirt and mud, grease, rain, and who knows what else. SO i would bring them home and clean them out using a bucket of hot sudsy water and finally give them a good spray with the hose for a rinse. I wouldn't soak them though. I never had a bad board from being wet. I have a Hot Tray also that i used to dry them out. The tray gets up to alittle below boiling, (probably 180 degrees is my round about guess) and i would cover the Motherboards with a cloth or cardboard to radiate some heat through them. I know that some of the SMD chips might be likely to hold some moisture or water underneath if not sufficiently dried. I've used this method at least 75 times for various parts over the years and the only side affect i noticed is if i use too much soap and too hot of water the metal traces would look likr it had been oxidised slightly. Some of the uncovered traces would have a slight amount of white on them.

    I figured out how not to oxidize the circuits though...

    Any info is better than no info. Please i'd like to know that it exists and learn something about this topic. :eek: - :confused:

    [EDIT]::
    Or Models, Makes of Industrial Washers, Manufacturers of Industrial Washers...Anything would be Excellent!!!


    Thanks...
    CHRIS :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  2. retched

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    Dec 5, 2009
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  3. Chrisoborski

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    Oct 12, 2009
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    Oh, I didn't know that they used ultrasonic cleaning too. Thanks!
    Yea, i knew it wasn't such a big deal. Some people i've talked to thought i was a little off when i told them that i washed my parts :D. So i usually don't mention that so much now, but i knew it was done in practice.

    Yea that hot try is great, it gets really hot ( too hot to touch) and with some covering and about 20 to 45 minutes depending on size its completely dry. I let the boards cool for about 10 or so minutes and fire it up to see if it works. Yea i'm confident its totally dry. And i knew i wasn't too far off!:D

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  4. retched

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    Dec 5, 2009
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    You can also take dried rice and cover your boards with it while in the "oven".

    The rice acts like a desiccant, pulling moisture out.
     
  5. Chrisoborski

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    Oct 12, 2009
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    How long would a motherboard or one that size be under for? I thought that high temps and being under would affect the capacitors? Although i have my doubts because electrolytic caps have a pretty big rubber seal from what i've seen.
     
  6. Chrisoborski

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    Oct 12, 2009
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    Rice , good idea, i never thought to use rice.

    How long would a motherboard or one that size be under for? I thought that high temps and being under would affect the capacitors? Although i have my doubts because electrolytic caps have a pretty big rubber seal from what i've seen.
     
  7. retched

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    You would have to look at the data sheets for some of the larger chips to see their recommended bake times.

    There are also humidity analysis moisture detectors.

    If you are doing this for real, I would build a drying oven with a relative humidity sensor. Then just bake slow and low until you reach 0%.
     
  8. Chrisoborski

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    Oct 12, 2009
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    No i was just curious as to a typical, but i guess it depends on a lot of other things or parts on the board. This was a little funny i guess especially like when i told my parents i had washed and dried some computer parts, and you should of seen the look on their face. Anyways i just thought there was a basic minimum or some other basic guidelines i guess for computer type of parts.

    Thanks!!!
     
  9. retched

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    Dec 5, 2009
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    No. It can vary by huge amounts.

    It depends on size of the ic... plastic or ceramic.. through hole or smd..

    the material the PCB is made on...
    And goes on and on..
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    When letting electronics dry out, time is your friend. Don't be anxious to power it up.
     
  11. Chrisoborski

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    Oct 12, 2009
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    Yea realizing now that there are a lot more variables i think i was pretty quick to plug it in. I didn't realize that it was "tight" as far as guidelines are concerned.

    The motherboards were extremely hot i couldn't hold one in my hand for more than a few seconds without getting burned but considering that the rules for drying are pretty tight from what i've read i think i was too Quick to get it running. I think the Hot tray gets up to about 180 190 degrees but also i forgot to mention that when i cover it a dry towel the temp jumps up way higher.

    The only plastic i melted was my beloved cell phone after i got caught in a rain storm. Well i was lucky for all the motherboards i dried out. Though i think the epoxy resin or whatever plastic that is used can stand a much higher temp.

    I learned one thing, take my time next time, i didn't realize how close i was cutting it.

    [::EDIT::]-->
    Here's The Tray with brand new ATX power cord that i put on just a little while ago. It's actually pretty big. The motherboards hang off a bit if they are bigger types. It's an old Food Warming tray, well it used to be warm until i shortened the element inside a few of inches, quite a bit hotter now but not too hot.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
  12. majsyd2010

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    Aug 29, 2010
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    you can in form of spray can from any electronic reseller as in here you can get it from www.jaycar.com. I have used it and does the job perfect.
     
  13. Chrisoborski

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 12, 2009
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    Did you mean the isopropyl 100% spray or can you give me the name of the cleaner. I can't find the category it's in anyway...

    Something in a can sounds appealing, instead of washing.
     
  14. studiot

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 9, 2007
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    There are just so many methods of cleaning available, some have already been mentioned.

    There is no one specifically best method. Cleaning technique depends partly on the nature of the dirt to be removed and partly on the nature of the components to be cleaned.

    It is a good idea to start with the least aggressive method and work up.
    By removing all you can with a gentle method, you reduce the likelyhood of a more powerful method causing damage as you will use it less.

    So start with purely mechanical methods, blow, dry brush or scrape off excess dirt.

    Many components are undamaged by detergent and hand hot water. I often scrub boards and assemblies in a bucket of the stuff.

    Hard grease, rubber residue and the like can be removed with petrol - gasoline to you yanks.
    Once you start to use solvents only apply to the area concerned, do not use as a general immersion cleaner, like soapy water.

    Some components are not waterproof and whilst they may be undamaged can retain water for a very long time. Switches and relays come under this heading.

    Another good cleaning tool is the foaming spray cleaner such as 'Flash' and a toothbrush. This limits the liquid input.

    One thing to beware of is to try to avoid removing the part I.D. labelling/ coding when cleaning. It can be frustrating to have a spotless shiny board full of resistors with their bands dissolved off.
     
  15. Chrisoborski

    Thread Starter Member

    Oct 12, 2009
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    I've used Petrol after resoldering parts or repairing something. I've used it with Rosin based Solder Fluxes. But i think it's kind of rough on the "plastic" parts of the board. Or the Gas in the US could be more potent. Could be the Toulene in the gas or other Lighter hydrocarbons. I think if it was 100% gasoline it might be easier on the plastic. I noticed it dulls the shininess of some parts.

    I've also used mineral spirits or paint thinner as it's called over here and that works much better but is slower, doesn't work good when cold though. I've also mixed Mineral Spirits and Denatured alcohol and that works the best. Basically around 1/3 Denatured alcohol to 2/3 Mineral Spirits. Maybe a slight bit more D. A. I think Denatured alcohol is almost like Isopropyl but i could be wrong.

    I've been curious for a long time what the pro's use i guess cause i always had a B--ch of a time cleaning rosin based solder.
     
  16. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Common 91% isopropyl seems to work well on rosin based solder.

    And you can't wash everything. The older it is the less likely beause at the first almost anything other than resistors, capacitors, ICs & transistors were not waterproof, thus the reason you'll find a lot of boards in which most of the components were obviously machine soldered yet a few were later added by hand.

    Also depends on the manufacturer, it costs them a bit more to buy watertight washable components so it's all a matter of their labor time as to whether to spend the extra money and save on the hand soldering.
     
  17. majsyd2010

    Member

    Aug 29, 2010
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  18. retched

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    It sure aint cheap.
     
  19. marshallf3

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 26, 2010
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    Cheaper when you know what's in it:
    naphtha petroleum, light, hydrotreated 64742-49-0 <60
    n-hexane 110-54-3 <8
    Acetone 67-64-1 <35
    Isopropyl Alcohol 67-63-0 <35

    Then again everything has doubled in price, all that high $$ oil from last year finally caught up with us in transporation, manufacture and the sheer fact that most stores have jacked their prices way up trying to keep afloat as people ramin (rightfully) worried about the economy.

    Say what they may but unemployment and a truly messed up economic climate are going to exist for some years to come.

    Common paint thinner at Home Depot, used to be $2.68 a gallon, now it's about $6

    Wal-Mart is getting away with murder on a ton of things too, there are people that have the firm belief they're always the cheapest place to shop. Not so in many cases. At least they've slowed down on the deceptive advertising, all those "$2.79 - was $3.88" signs are fooling less and less people. If you look at the actual old shelf tag that's hidden behind those things you'll usually see it's been the same price (or cheaper) for months beforehand.
     
  20. theamber

    Active Member

    Jun 13, 2008
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    Why those boards are in the trash is mainly for two reasons, one they do not work, the other if the worked they are obsolete and have no value.
    I do not recomend water to clean electronics, regular tap water has a lot of minerals and metals residue, particles, of all kinds of stuff, dead animals, etc. I will imagine that some type of destiled liquid that evaporates like alcohol could be good now the alcohol is not 100% and has a lot of water too. The thing is that a particular board after being through all that strees liquids, scrubbing dirt, etc is probably not going to last or work 100% as it was intended. The separation between circuits board traces is miniscule nowdays and if the BGA components gets dirt inside between the balls you will not be able to remove it unless you unsolder them.
    But at least it does sounds shocking when you tell your friends that you wash electronics.
     
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