"no clean", "water soluble", "halide free"?


How concerned are you personally with terms like “no clean”, “water soluble”, “halide free” when shopping for flux, solder wick, and solder wire?


I use no-clean, and use isopropyl to wash it off.
I believe no-clean means you CAN leave it on the board without it getting corrosive and burning off your hard work. I don’t like my boards sticky so I always pour on the alcohol, scrub with a toothbrush, then a final rinse with alcohol.


i mostly care about lead, as in this solder better have lead, or i am not soldering with that sucka


I wouldn’t sweat it. “No clean” just means that the flux is slightly less acidic, and probably won’t eat through your traces as fast. It still will, but we’re talking multiple years here.

“Water soluble” means you might have to scrub slightly less to clean it off. But you still will.

You see the pattern here :slight_smile:


I am building (or if that fails buying) a solder fume extractor. That and lead scare me. I felt bad after soldering my last board.

I’d say that an extractor or at least something similar is much more effective.


Also, protip: Solder gives off no lead fumes! You’d have to get waaaaay hotter than that to vaporise any lead.

Just wash your hands afterwards.


Yes, ALWAYS wash your hands.

Even if you have not soldered, assume you have touched a lead-contaminated surfaced and wash your hands before eating. Best to wash your hands on the way out so you don’t forget.


So aside from the expense, and the higher melting point, what are the drawbacks to lead-free solder?


Lead solder:

  • Much easier to solder :slight_smile:
  • Cheaper :slight_smile:
  • Harder and harder to find :frowning:
  • Not legal for most consumer/production uses :frowning:

Tin solder:

  • Legal everywhere :slight_smile:
  • Edible* :slight_smile:
  • Really difficult to solder :frowning:
  • Melting temperature much closer to the failure point of come components :frowning:
  • Gets tin whiskers :frowning:



*don’t eat it