I have one of those portable gas-powered soldering irons which I find
useful for electric joints whenever there is no electric power
supply for a conventional iron.
The soldering attachments contain a mesh with the catalytic material
One or two of my attachments do not work well and I want to clean
them. I am told I can not clean them in certain solvents. can
someone recommend a safe cleaner to use.
A catalyst speeds up a chemical reaction without participating in it.
I think what you have in the tip is a bit of glass wool or a perforated
ceramic slug. It should not get fouled with anything because it glows red
hot with fire. Anything a solvent could clean out would have been burned
More likly you have either bunched up the glass wool inside the tip or it is
fouled with carbon (how? maybe you got flux inside or melted some plastic
Probably cannot clean it, just get a new tip.
If you try a solvent (it really shouldn't hurt) , make sure it is plenty dry
before relighting. You might also try an ultrasonic bath in soapy water
followed by am alcohal rinse. If it is a carbon deposit, you will need the
vibration to knock it loose.
If there are any plastic parts on the tip do not use acetone or any cleaner
that would damage plastic. Just about any solvent can be used on metals,
glass and ceramics.
It was somewhere outside Barstow when "AutoTracer"
Usual failure mode on cheap catalytic soldering irons is the
extra-thin catalyst mechanically falling off the glass wool. This
They'll sometimes clog with flux smoke if you've been working on
something particularly grubby. These may still work, but can be hard
to light (heating with another torch might get them going). Just
using these should be enough to burn off the crud.
The main difference is in the original build quality. The good ones
keep working, the cheap ones really don;t last 5 minutes.
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