Desoldering tricks

Sometimes you need to remove parts from a soldered board. How?

Here is my trick of the trade:

1) Buy some radioshack desoldering wick, suck out the solder from a part. If you can’t remove all solder, take your small screw driver, drive its tip of driver into the wick to make a small puncture hole. Then press the hole against a pin to be desoldered. This makes the wick surround the pin, maximizing area of contact, instead of staying above it or on its side. Then heat the wick around the hole and you will get most of the solder out. I’ve done this quite some times and each time it worked nicely. Next, if you feel you’ve removed all the solder from a pin but it won’t budge, just slightly rock/push it a bit with a flat-head screw driver so the last bit of solder is broken.

Desoldering wick/braid

Desoldering wick trick to remove solder from a pin

2) Some people also opt to destroy the plastic holding the pins together before they proceed to desolder each pin, divide and conquer.

3) You may also buy a radioshack desoldering iron to remove solder by larger amount. I found the desoldering iron very useful at times but as it ages somehow it is unable to remove solder cleanly as before.

Desoldering iron

4) You could also use solder sucker or desoldering tool but I never got hold of a good unit so I can’t say too much but a good one may work nicely.

Desoldering pump/tool

Desoldering bulb



5) If you have a higher-power (de)soldering iron like 30W or more, keep the part in your third hand, try to desolder and when solder melts, quickly use a pair of pliers to pull out the hot pin. This sometimes seals the pin hole so make sure you remove as much solder as you can with some method.

4 Responses to Desoldering tricks

  1. Phil says:

    Good article! Here is a tip that might help. You know sometimes it is hard to get all of the solder removed from the hole in the pcb. If there is a little remaining in the hole you can thak your iron and a wooden toothpick to open up the hole.

  2. Melissa says:

    Another tip for you: A little mineral oil applied to the inside of the desoldering iron cylinder as you clean it helps it last a little longer. You can check out more desoldering tips on TechXchange:

    • liudr says:

      Thanks Melissa! I do have some buildup on the inside of my desoldering iron cylinder. I will try this trick next time I mess up a soldering job bad enough to need that iron.

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