The tip is the part of the common soldering iron (http://www.amazon.com/iCooker-Soldering-Iron-Watt-Solder/dp/B01774KARE) that comes into direct contact with the workspace while soldering. Most of these are usually made of iron and at times steel plated. The continued use and probably misuse of a soldering iron results in damaged tips that are less effective and if continued often results in non functional tips. However, there are easy ways to maintain the working state of a soldering iron tip. Some of these include:
Use of sandpaper
This is a cheap yet very effective method of restoring soldering tips to previous working conditions. After sometime, tips become covered in solder or metal oxides. This prevents heat from transferring from the thermostat to the tip as intended. Brushing your tip against grained sandpaper removes these coatings revealing a shiny coating as was in the new tip. Depending on the nature of the solder or oxide coating, grind the tip against the sandpaper until you are satisfied that a sufficient surface of the tip has been restored. Once this is done, it is necessary to test the effectiveness of the results by wrapping solder around the tip and heating it to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The solder in a clean and perfectly-working tip should melt and stick to the tip. If this isn’t the case, go back to the sandpaper grinding step and redo all steps.
Use of a brass sponge
This is among the most effective to maintain and restore a soldering iron tip to desired working conditions. It is very straightforward and to use and only requires gentle brushes of the brass sponge against the tip. Unlike regular sponges, the brass sponge does not have the undesirable effects caused by humidity. Cool sponges cause spontaneous cooling that eventually damages the tip.read more