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If the tip is copper then I am afraid the flux in the solder will cause it to blacken and be eaten away. The is especially true if you leave the iron on all the time.
A quick stroke or two with a file or sand paper should clean it for re-tinning.
IF the tip is iron coated (a grey looking tip) it should remain fairly clean although a coating of burned flux may coat the tip if the iron is on but not used for a while - The solution here is a WET sponge or pad of kitchen paper to wipe the tip on before re-tinning it.
The cold wet pad will wipe off the blackened flux very effectively.
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Posted:Aug 11, 2010
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