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Circuit Board Cleaning: Useful Tips and Best Practices

Timing Solutions Perform Better On Clean Circuit Boards

Circuit boards are utilized in connected technology solutions, such as smartphones and laptops, that endure various environments. Boards within these devices are more susceptible to becoming dirty and accumulating contaminants. While circuit boards are located inside of devices and equipment, openings in the casing allow dirt and dust inside of the device and onto the circuit board. Fans within some systems also blow dirt and debris onto your board. There are two common types of contaminants that will be found on a circuit board:

  • Dry Contaminants: Dust and dirt from the air and resting surfaces. Dry contaminants are the easiest to remove.
  • Wet Contaminants: Grime, flux, waxy oil and other more invasive contaminants are more damaging to the board and harder to remove.

 

Dirty circuit boards do not perform optimally, so we recommend cleaning your dirty circuit boards for the best performance of your connected technology solutions.

Cleaning circuit boards requires skill and care because of the risks associated. If you’re not careful, you will weaken connections, loosen parts and lose or damage components.

Follow these tips to avoid making detrimental mistakes when cleaning your circuit boards.

 

Safety Tips

A dirty circuit board is considered damaged, so be careful not to cause any further damage in the cleaning process. Before you get started, consider these tips to safely clean your board:

  • Fully disconnect timing solutions and other devices from power sources before removing circuit boards
  • Make sure your clothes are dry
  • Keep water away from the cleaning area
  • Wear gloves and goggles if using chemical solutions

 

How To Clean Your Circuit Board

The cleaning process will look different for each circuit board because the amount and type of contaminants will vary. For the best results, follow these methods until you find the solution that successfully cleans the debris off your circuit board.

  • Aqueous Wash: Detergents, surfactants, emulsifiers or buffers are added to water, and work in combination with heat, agitation and time to remove contaminants from industrial parts. Only hermetically sealed parts can go through an aqueous wash.
  • Compressed Air: This method is also used as a regular technique for keeping boards clean during the manufacturing process. Spray compressed air inside the ports of your device to remove dust and debris. Not everyone will need to open their device, but some people require more access to the boards themselves for better cleaning.
  • Baking Soda: Grime and corrosion is safely broken down by the sodium bicarbonate in the baking soda.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol: Break down sticky debris with 90 percent or higher isopropyl alcohol.
  • Distilled Water: Distilled water does not damage electronic components in small amounts. Use distilled water to make a cleaning solution out of the baking soda, alcohol and other household cleaners.

 

Other Tools to Keep Handy

In addition to your cleaning agent, you’ll need something to clean with and catch potential messes. Keep these items on hand for a smoother cleaning experience:

  • Lint-Free Towels or Microfiber Cloths: You will need to wipe the board during cleaning and after you’re finished. Make sure your cloth is lint-free and won’t leave debris on the board.
  • Soft Bristle Brush or Paintbrush: Small brushes are ideal for navigating small gaps on circuit boards. Just be sure to use soft bristles so you don't scratch the components and timing solutions.
  • Oven, Blow Dryer, or Desk Lamp: Liquid should not sit on your board for an extended period of time. Use a heat source to dry the liquids you use to clean the board.

 

Finish Your Circuit Boards With Timing Solutions and Components from ECS Inc.

ECS Inc. timing solutions are responsible for frequency control in many different connected technology solutions. The components we manufacture are vital to processes across many industries that require precision. ECS Inc. takes pride in providing superior timing, reliability and performance in each component offered. Our high-quality component options include:

 

The Parametric Search and Search Inventory pages on our website make it easy for you to find what component you need to complete your project. Sort by characteristics such as size, frequency, mounting type and more to narrow the results and only show options that will work in your system.

If you need help, reach out to a sales representative or fill out the contact form online and one of our engineering professionals will contact you soon.

If you’re ready to order your timing solution or other component, ECS Inc. authorized distributors are listed on the website. Select one of our recommended distributors for assurance that you are getting quality components from a quality company.

About ECS

Founded in 1980, ECS Inc. International has grown to become one of the most recognized and experienced manufacturers of frequency control management products in the world.
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Reach Out to ECS

15351 West 109th Street, Lenexa, KS 66219

International Headquarters

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