Which Cleaner Works Best on OA Fluxes and Pastes?

Water-soluble fluxes are also called organic acid (OA) fluxes. These are fluxes primarily composed of organic materials other than rosin or resin. Water-soluble fluxes and pastes provide good soldering results and bright solder joints because they are highly activated fluxes. This means they have good wetting action and a strong ability to prepare a clean surface for soldering. However, they are aggressive, which calls for extra precautions during cleaning of the assemblies to avoid flux contamination. They must be thoroughly cleaned or those aggressive activators will corrode the PCBs very quickly.

Cleaning OA fluxes and pastes is fast and easy with Alcohol-Enhanced Flux Remover – ProClean™ (#MCC-PRO). ProClean™ is a mild, plastic-safe, low-cost defluxer that cleans rosin fluxes, water-based OA fluxes, synthetic fluxes and most “no-cleans.” Totally plastic-safe, it cleans most leaded flux residues, solder pastes, organic residues and oils. It is relatively slow-drying, which gives operators enough time to clean flux residues without wasting a lot of fluid. Water-free, non-corrosive and ESD-safe, ProClean™ is highly suitable for all types of electronics, including through-hole and SMT boards, insulators, cables and connectors.

Another great choice is the General Purpose Flux Remover (#MCC-FRC). This is a versatile product that is affordable, nonflammable, easy to use and safe to store. It features speedy drying and almost no aroma. Suitable for all types of electronics, this flux remover can be used on through-hole and SMT boards, hybrids, cables and connectors. It is highly effective on all flux residues (including some hard-to-clean lead-free products) and can serve double-duty as a general purpose degreaser for light oils, grease and inks. With an ultra-low surface tension and high density, this product even cleans under tight-fitting BGA chips, dissolving and flushing residues away.