Techniques for Removing Old Solder
Sometimes, solder needs to be removed, this could happen for several reasons – too much was applied, it was applied in the wrong area, or for certain instances of disassembly. The two main techniques discussed here will be solder wick and using a solder sucker.
Solder wick is a copper braid that is used to “suck” up solder via capillary action. For higher iron temperatures, solder wick can be placed directly over the solder to be removed and under the iron tip (sandwiched in between). The heat is transferred through the wick and melts the solder, which is then pulled into the braid. For lower iron temperatures the solder may need to be melted directly with the iron, and the wick pulled across the melted solder where it is pulled into the braid.
A solder sucker is a spring-loaded syringe that can be loaded and then released with a button. Upon release, the negative pressure in the syringe will pull the solder into the chamber. The tip of the solder sucker is made of silicon, so it will not melt even when placed against the iron tip. Use the iron to melt the solder and immediately bring the solder sucker to the melted solder, push against the melted solder, and press the release button.