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Why is solder not staying on the tip of my soldering iron? Answered

The tip of my new soldering iron is not holding solder while tinning even after applying flux. Soldering is therefore getting difficult, can anyone suggest a solution for this problem?


Rub it's tip with a 100 grid sand paper until you see a shiny surface and then apply flux and the plug it up and then put the solder wire make sure you sand the tip only!

NO ! NO ! NO ! READ the comments - that is a SURE way to destroy the tip.

You are right but FYI the author of this question and knowing his age i think he has a simple 2$ soldering iron with no fragile coating on the tip. In these soldering irons there is simply a metal tip not coated and i also faced this problem when i was 12!

Clean the tip very, very gently against some wire-wool. Too much force, and you will destroy the coating on the tip, so gently does it.

Wipe the tip against a moist cloth NOT a wet one, again, too much water a.) chills the tip, and b.) breaks the coating.

Eventually, the nasty stuff will clear off and you should get a good silvery tip.



My fear is if 'its not holding even after tinning' the coating may already be gone.

Oh Lawdy, Lawdy! It must be so stressful!  I mean to worry about the precious and magical "coating" on one's soldering iron tip.

And if the precious magical coating is scratched or broken, what then?  Lawd have mercy!

Erm... y'all know that solder sticks to pure copper, right?  It is this property that makes soldering work so well for assembling electronics, for which the wires, or circuit board traces, which are made out of almost pure copper.

I claim it is possible to "tin" a soldering iron tip made of pure copper, because, you know, solder sticks to copper.

I claim the magic "coating" on the soldering iron tip adds nothing to the soldering experience, except giving the owner of the soldering iron something to worry about.

In my more skeptical imaginings, I speculate that there is no coatingThe special coating is just a legend, a story soldering tip manufacturers tell to their gullible customers.  In truth, the only "coating" there, the only coating that has ever been there,  is just a thin layer of solder, resulting from the copper tip being "tinned" with solder.

You're wrong. If I remember tonight, I'll take a picture of a tip on a cheap iron I had where the coating had worn away and the copper underneath dissolved.

I can attest to Steve's lasting years, until some moron scrubs at them too enthusiastically without waiting for them to heat up and within hours of use the tip shape's useless.

I don't know WHO you could mean.....

It POSSIBLE that cheapie tips AREN'T iron plated, or with only the barest hint of a coating, but it HAS to be there on a decent tip !

No, the coating is iron plate. Without the iron plate copper dissolves exceptionally rapidly into solder, and your tip disappears. Buy good quality tips - we use "Plato", a German company's tips, and they can last literally years. The better the tip, the better that plate has been deposited.