Glass fibre cleaner for soldering iron tip

I saw this glass-fibre brush (or pen) for cleaning soldering iron tips while hot.
<http://uk.farnell.com/duratool/bu1019-1/pencil-brush-propelling -
scratch/dp/1421553> OR http://xrl.us/bephkz
Would a wodge of glass wool (loft insulation) do as good a job? Does it have there any unsafe chemicals which might be given off if used on a hot soldering iron? (700 deg F/390 deg C)
I have loads of glass wool in my loft! It's that pink coloured spun type which doesn't seem to leave as many shards and splinters as the old style glass wool. Users in forums have warned that the glass-fibre pen also leaves this sort of sharp debris.
Matt
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Matt H R coughed up some electrons that declared:

Glass wool and that brush are very different - the brush bristles are densely packed and thicker strands than glass wool - it looks like the little brush you get with Halfords car touch up paint kits.
But you could try it. Coarse steel wool might work too.
Glass wool should be safe emissions wise - it is just a form of glass.
I find a damp soldering sponge generally effective - and when I was younger, we made do with an old newspaper which was Ok until your bit etched concave.
Cheers
Tim
Cheers
Tim
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Coarse brass wool works very well indeed. See
http://www.rapidonline.com/Tools-Fasteners-Production-Equipment/Soldering-Equipment/Accessories/Solder-tip-cleaner-and-iron-holder/74321
Ian
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On 19 Apr 00:59, Tim S wrote:

Tim, I think steel wool might cause damage to the metal coating on the soldering iron's tip. However, maybe I could use that glass wool give the tip a wipe instead of damp cellulose sponge because my sponge sometimes gets a bit singed.
I guess my Antex XS25 iron might be a bit too hot. It's nominally quite hot at 390 degrees C (735 F) and could be running even hotter.
http://www.antex.co.uk/images/File/%20Irons%20Technical%20Info.pdf
I recently tried a piece of "Magic Cleaning Eraser" to clean the tip with and that seems very heat resistant. It's made mainly of a melamine sponge. I wonder if that stuff releases dangerous chemicals when heated? Does anyone know?
Matt
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Matt H R coughed up some electrons that declared:

Possible - but I imagine glass would scratch it too. Maybe to a different degree.

I think your sponge is not wet enough or you're taking too long. I've not had that problem. I soak the sponge and give it a light squeeze out.
Cheers
Tim
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Tim S wrote:

wet denim does the same job as wet cellulose sponge.
The fibreglass brushes have stiff bristles, loft insulation would be useless.
NT
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On Sat, 18 Apr 2009 18:58:52 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

<snip>
Hmm, maybe I'll have to try denim. Our sponges leave tiny shreds on the iron tips. No big issues with them, but it's annoying.

I'd think they'd damage the tip.

Talk about shredding! Ack!
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krw wrote:

For many years, I've cleaned my soldering iron tip using a quick flip of my index finger, first wetted in my mouth. The reason for cleaning an iron tip is to get rid of excess solder and dross on the tip. My finger works fine and is always available! In over fifty years of doing it this way, I've yet to burn my finger or get lead poisoning from the solder. I've been through several irons, and dozens of tips, but I am still using the same finger! (Quick and wet are mandatory. Be careful where you "flip" the excess solder.)
This is a 35W iron with ~1/8" tip. I don't try to maintain the original surface, but file it occasionally and "re-tin" it when necessary. I run it from a Variac, and when needed, 135V gives extra punch. It serves 95% of my requirements. I have other specialized "soldering stations", and use their built in "sponges" for tip cleaning.
--
Virg Wall

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On 19 Apr 19:30, VWWall wrote:

Amazing! My girlfriend is very cautious of the soldering iron but this is quite the opposite. I mean, gawd, don't you leave burnt skin.
I just have to see a video of this! Be really interesting to see this, if you could knock up a simple vid. Any quality at all.
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Dixy wrote:

I always used to wipe em on my jeans.. they lasted longer and cost less than the sponges..
The key to wet fingers is that they are wet. The steam vaporises cooling the skin.

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The Natural Philosopher wrote:

[...]
An old girlfriend of mine used to be terrified of going anywhere near my workbench for that reason.

I've done that in a pinch (on site), but usually stick with the traditional wet sponge. ;^)
--
W
. | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
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Dixy wrote:

I've seen videos of someone dipping a wet finger into molten solder. The steam produced by the water vaporization protects the finger for the short, (very short!!), time it's in the solder.
Try it yourself with a soldering iron. I first saw a plumber do this with a large iron, heated with a blow torch. With a small iron tip, it's easy. Just be quick, make sure your finger is wet, and flick it fast enough that no hot solder sticks to the finger. Be careful where you flick it. The molten solder removed will burn bare skin.
--
VWW

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VWWall wrote:

Its called the Leidenfrost effect...

--
Cheers,

John.

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John Rumm wrote:

Similar protective effect if you pour LN2 over your hand. Just not for too long, and don't let it pool or wet clothing
--
Dirk

http://www.transcendence.me.uk/ - Transcendence UK
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Two weks ago I leaned up against a hot air pistol while I was painting.
Last week I pick up an iron, the very small Well pen 80 watts, thinking it was one of the multimeter leads. I let go pretty quick.
greg
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Dirk Bruere at NeoPax wrote:

The heat of vaporization is 2257 kj/kg for water, (often expressed as 539 calories/gram), and only 2.79 kj/kg for nitrogen. Water is a far better cooler! I've actually dipped my finger in LN2 for a very short time. The evaporation in this case provides an "air" barrier between the finger and the cold LN2.
As a junior engineer, I was involved in "pumping" vacuum tubes. In those days we used a mercury vapor vacuum pump with a cold trap, filled with LN2, in the system. You can have a lot of fun with "liquid air", but it will cause severe frost bite rapidly. The tissues are destroyed by the ice crystals formed by the extreme cold.
Most "liquid air" now sold is actually LN2, because of the fire danger even with the normal oxygen content. Besides there is a very good market for the oxygen removed.
Mercury vapor pumps are long gone. (Imagine the danger in boiling mercury!) Ion pumps and absorption pumps have largely eliminated the need for cold traps.
--
VWW

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On Apr 18, 9:58pm, snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

(snip)
I, too, use a wad of wet cotton cloth like denim (my present one made of old cotton sock material!) Also it's strong enough to scrape crud off the hot iron (a sponge is not.) Cheers, Roger
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Matt H R wrote:

It should be 360c.
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W
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Fine if you're soldering continuously - but if it's the usual gap while preparing a component etc aren't you forever cleaning it?
--
*Do they ever shut up on your planet?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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The insulation glass itself might melt. Pyrex wool would not, but it's an expensive way to clean a tip. An ordinary wet sponge or steel wool will do the job. I do lots of soldering and I've used the same sponge for years. Once in a while, I take it out and wash it.
DB
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