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Soldering indoors? Answered

I'm a grade-A electronics noob, and I'm just starting my first project soon. I'd be doing it now if not for the fact that I'm doing it in an upstairs bedroom and if I know anything about soldering it's that you're supposed to do it in a well-ventilated area. Should I get a fume extractor, or is that more of a luxury? Is there a cheaper alternative? Would it be a problem that there's another house a couple of feet from the window I'll be soldering in front of? 



Best Answer 1 year ago

All you need is a steady flow of air away from your face, preferably towards the outdoors.

However, if I'm only doing a little at a time, I just take a deep breath while the solder and iron are apart, then breath out gently and steadily for the few moments fumes are actually being generated.

But that's just me - I've been exposed to many and various noxious substances over the years, a couple of breaths of solder fumes aren't going to make any significant difference. If you're young and fully-functioning, you might want to set up a fan to blow the fumes away from your face.

Oh, and there is absolutely no problem about the other house.

Always heartening to receive a blessing on exhaust direction :-)

Where I do a lot of solder work, the climate is hot and a smart AC unit is necessary.

This one comes on tests the air temp and will either try later or start a cooling cycle. It also has a filter which gets washed 2 or three times a year (mega wht dust) but the AC moves plenty of air about my lair.... I do have a small fan moving air away from my desk solder spot so I worry more about solvents like TCE the real liver dissolving stuff. And my addiction to a dwindling supply of five core solder from your country that has such a wonderful odor that I will turn off my fan just to inhale that rosin smell...

The fumes give me wracking headaches. They didn't always, but they do now. I'd suggest that a fume extractor a must for long term respiratory health, especially if you're going to be doning it regularily..

I'd also note that anything you don't filter is deposited on something. Your bedroom walls, your bed, your clothing, your windows, the back yard...Those fumes are toxic.

all you you need is a open window man save your money

If you breath the fumes once in awhile, they definitely won't kill you.

They do however, for me, give me awful nausea that can last more than a day. I build myself a big exhaust fan that sucks the air out of my room, so I barely breath any of it :)

I think it is better than an active carbon fume extractor

I agree it is fairy easy to make a solder station filter - search for the plans.

I also agree about lead free solder It's no fun at all.

Lead free solder works best with a soldering iron designed for it's use, it will be hotter and probably with an iron tip rather than a copper tip. However if your a beginner leaded solder is much easier to use and in my 50+ years of soldering, mainly with leaded solder I have never used a filter or extractor - Just try not to put your head over the iron and breath in the fumes from the flux.

Don't put solder in your mouth and wash your hands after finishing the job and going to eat..

The biggest danger with soldering is smoking cigarettes, your hands from the solder to the cigarette to your mouth can cause you to ingest led. So don't smoke while you solder and wash your hands afterwards.

The little puffs of smoke from the flux is generally harmless, but most people won't believe that so just have an open window.


1 year ago

I take it there is no basement. Then a kitchen on a tray will work quite well.

Sometimes in the evening I need to solder a quick fix of a torn wire, and a storage closet with an LED light works very well with no odor at all..

Now About Solder
Hospitals, the military and I .... all Hate lead free solder, it cracks, it ages,
it is hard to tin a tip, it is Bad News.
Avoid it unless you have to sell to government protected abused consumers.
I have been using tin-lead solder over 48 say 50 years and that solder or
a few politicians have not made me ill or lead poisoned me in any way..

If it was my bedroom and I had to sleep there and keep my clothes there and there was a window nearby, I would vent it to the outdoors. Not only are the fumes not good for you, they smell. Put Solder Fume into Instructables for a bunch of fume extraction options.