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Cleaning Hakko Soldering Tips

Cleaning Hakko Soldering Iron Tips

After years of using my tried and true soldering iron, the day arrived when I had to make a switch.  It had become increasingly difficult to find soldering iron tips for the model I was using, and I purchased a Hakko soldering iron.  Within minutes of using it, I wondered why I had waited so long to purchase one!

My new Hakko soldering iron heated to temperature within seconds, and held temperature consistently, but cleaning the soldering tip was presenting problems.  Using a wet sponge, as I had for so many years, just didn't seem to work, and I wondered if my use of lead free solder simply was not compatible with the Hakko soldering tips. Using my sal ammoniac block was proving to be an epic fail!

I began "googling" how to clean Hakko soldering tips, and didn't come up with much useful information, or I found techniques that did not work to my satisfaction.  Of course, seeing the Amazon ads, my eye was drawn to the Hakko 599B soldering tip cleaner.  I proceeded to the site, read many reviews, and decided to try to one cleaner from Hakko and another - "Best Solder Tip Cleaner".

Having used both, I will give a thumbs up to the Hakko brand.  It does a good job of cleaning your Hakko soldering iron tip; however, if you use a chisel tip, it takes a bit more movement within the wires to clean it well.  I can see how it would be much more efficient for a pointed tip.  It is definitely better than the traditional wet sponge, and my soldering tips last much longer with this method than with a wet sponge.

As for the "Best Solder Tip Cleaner", I'll take a pass.  The wires are so loosely woven, that cleaning the solder tip is not efficient.  Also, when using it, it tended to smoke and produce an unpleasant odor.  Overall, I just couldn't get it to work well.

I'd be interested to hear from anyone that has had a successful experience in keeping the Hakko soldering tips clean.  Be sure to state whether you use leaded or lead free solder!  

I also want to give a shout out to Glass Supplies on Etsy.  A great place to get a variety of stained supplies and Hakko soldering irons and tips at a reasonable price! Fast shipping, too!  


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