Desoldering braids are suitable for safe desoldering and the repair of solder joints. Subsequent cleaning does not have to be performed when the No-Clean desoldering braid is used as it is coated with a special halogen-free flux. Desoldering braids are heat-resistant and have a long shelf life.
Place the braid over a connection and heat the opposite side with an iron. Sometimes adding a small amount of solder to the iron tip can actually speed up the process because that solder will help the iron transfer heat into the braid faster. Cut off and discard the used wick. The only concern with using desoldering wick/braid is that the components and pads can easily become overheated, especially surface mount pads.
As always, try to minimize the time parts are heated. This wick is .1″ wide and 5 feet long, which should be satisfactory for most through-hole and many surface mount connections. Width is important because it dictates how much solder a certain length of braid can hold. Too thin, and the solder will quickly fill up the braid and stop it from absorbing. Too thick, and it will be hard not to touch neighboring joints. This particular braid is coated in a pure rosin-based flux that will leave a non-corrosive, non-conductive, and environmentally friendly residue.
The residue can be cleaned with alcohol if desired for cosmetic reasons, but unless you’re making military spec devices, cleaning shouldn’t be necessary.