You can make a soldering iron tip cleaner for one US dollar. Actually, you will make two for $2.00 and have a spare woven copper sponge. Only three items are needed:
- Tin with a plastic insert in the lid.
- Copper scourer as used in kitchen cleaning
- Electrical tape
Dollar Tree and other dollar stores sells two Magnetic Tins for $1.00. The tin is 63 mm (2.5-in) diameter and 25 mm (1-in) high. There is a strong magnet in the base. The magnet is not necessary to its use as a tip cleaner but it can be a handy feature so leave it on.
Also at the Dollar Tree are three copper scourers. Each is approximately 70 mm (2.75-in) diameter and 30 mm (1.2-in) thick.
Step 1: Prepare the Tin
Cut out the plastic window in the lid with a sharp utility or craft knife.
Tape the lid to the tin with a piece of electrical tape. The tape should be a bit longer than the circumference of the box. Use your high school math to calculate the circumference = 3.14159 * diameter, that is, C = πD. The dollar store box is 63 mm diameter so the circumference is 197 mm. Cut about a 210 mm length of tape. Put the lid on the tin and stretch the tape around the joint between the lid and the tin.
Press one of the sponges into the opening in the lid.
Step 2: Done!
Now you have a useful and usable soldering iron tip cleaner for just a dollar!