Friday, June 5, 2015

DIY Flux Remover

Flux remover is one of those chemicals that you don't realize you need until the last second. After soldering up a project, I realized that I needed some, and I needed it quickly if I wanted to finish the project before long.

I searched the web a bit and found that some people recommended a mixture of equal parts acetone and isopropyl alcohol by volume. So I tried the mixture out by rubbing it on a circuit board with a q-tip, and it worked amazingly. Here's how to make flux remover at home.

The chemicals that you will need for this are isopropyl alcohol and acetone. The isopropyl alcohol that I used is 99% pure, but 70% isopropyl alcohol might work as well.

You will also need some other miscellaneous supplies- a container for the flux remover (not plastic), a gram scale, tape (or a label), a permanent marker, and a paper towel. You also might want a pipette.

The first thing you will need to do is to zero, or tare, the scale, with the paper towel and the container on top.

Next, fill the container with water up to the level of flux remover you would like. I wanted to have almost a full container of flux remover, so I filled the container up almost all the way with water.

Now make a mark on the container with the permanent marker up to where the water is filled. Record the weight.

Pour enough water out of the container until it has half the weight you just recorded. You can use a pipette to withdraw water. Mark the level with a permanent marker.

The mark, halfway up the container.

Now fill the container with isopropyl alcohol, up to the middle mark, and with acetone, up to the second mark. You have a 50:50 volume/volume mixture of the two chemicals.

Use the tape and the permanent marker to label the container with the name of the mixture and the chemical contents. 

It's important to label chemical mixtures, especially those that appear to be water, for safety and disposal purposes.

That's it! It worked really well for me... try it out and tell me what you think!