I will be buying something to clean my soldering tip.

I think my choices are either bronze looking metal wire sponges or yellow soft sponges.

  1. Which one is the right tool to clean soldering iron tips?
  2. Which one should be used when?

Currently I'm soldering:

  • 63/37 tin (various diameters)
  • Wires (various diameters)
  • 40w 60w iron
  • What kind of soldering are you doing? The type of soldering material, the flux and the surface being soldered may change the answer. – BrownRedHawk Feb 17 '15 at 14:56
  • Thanks for pointing it out. I edited my question, please take a look. – Phil Feb 17 '15 at 21:22

In this particular case I would use soft yellow sponges. They are cheap and plentiful and easy to replace as you go. They tend to wipe thoroughly.

If they get too corroded/uneven to use (many hours of use) I highly suggest some fine sandpaper and/or steel wool. I'm a little heavy handed but I use a super fine grit on my 1x40" belt sander to reshape and freshen the tips.


I use a semi-soft wet sponge along with the brass wool; the brass wool is good for removing excesses of solder from the iron's tip, while the wet sponge is better at getting oxidized crud off. As an aside, you need to be very careful when sanding tips; many cheap tips are plated and aggressive sanding will destroy that plating, rendering the tip worthless.

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