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How to make sticky PCB unsticky
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Tech DIY  
Author How to make sticky PCB unsticky
probotector
Hey there,
maybe some guru can help...
After soldering a DIY project I cleaned the pcb with "break cleaner" (similar to nail polish remover, I guess?).
And it really worked well, it cleaned away all the bad stuff - unfortunately it also kind of dissolved the paint layer of the pcb which is now all sticky.
Immidiately after I recognized my mistake - I used to know how to clean pcb's, right... d'oh!

Does anyone knows a solution to power-up the pcb to make it unsticky again?
Picard
I always use propanol (a.k.a. isopropanol, isopropyl alcohol, IPA) and a paintbrush.
probotector
Yeah, to make the pcb clean, right. I use 99% alcohol, that worked fine also.

Well, but... the problem is that I used brake cleaner fluid. This kinda dissolved the paint on the pcb and made it all sticky screaming goo yo
Is there any way to make the paint unsticky again, maybe some kind of hot air or another chemical?
l3v3l6
probotector wrote:
Yeah, to make the pcb clean, right. I use 99% alcohol, that worked fine also.

Well, but... the problem is that I used brake cleaner fluid. This kinda dissolved the paint on the pcb and made it all sticky screaming goo yo
Is there any way to make the paint unsticky again, maybe some kind of hot air or another chemical?


Brake cleaner usually contains chlorinated solvents, nasty stuff. I'm not surprised it dissolved the paint layer. I'm not sure what you can do to repair the paint. Maybe spraying some sort of clear coat on it?
probotector
That should work, but maybe there's another solution. Maybe with some nasa science involved?
l3v3l6
probotector wrote:
Yeah, to make the pcb clean, right. I use 99% alcohol, that worked fine also.

Well, but... the problem is that I used brake cleaner fluid. This kinda dissolved the paint on the pcb and made it all sticky screaming goo yo
Is there any way to make the paint unsticky again, maybe some kind of hot air or another chemical?


Brake cleaner usually contains chlorinated solvents, nasty stuff. I'm not surprised it dissolved the paint layer. I'm not sure what you can do to repair the paint. Maybe spraying some sort of clear coat on it?
jimfowler
Hold up. You used brake cleaner on a circuit board?!? That shit is second in line behind carburetor cleaner in terms of capacity for dissolving pretty much anything in its way (I work with these chemicals every single day). My suggestion is to leave it alone and maybe whatever you melted with brake cleaner will eventually solidify.
Markat
You've permanently damaged the board so either live with it or chuck it out.
mskala
I'd try mixing a little bit of mineral oil with a larger amount of mineral spirits (like 1:3 ratio) and brushing that on - the idea being that the thinner will evaporate away and leave just a very small amount of the non-volatile mineral oil on the surface, which should kill the stickiness. I'd try this on a small spot first to see whether it A. works at all and B. doesn't damage the coating further. Mineral spirits is probably the least aggressive solvent that will mix with the oil, so with some luck it won't do further destruction to the board, but I would only try this at all given that it's a board otherwise headed for the garbage. Certainly not something I'd use as a normal thing.
probotector
Thx mskala for the tip. Won't it leave the surface oily instead of sticky - I'll try nevertheless cool

And guys, yes, I know that the break cleaner was a bad idea already lol

But I have stumbled upon sticky paint surfaces once in a while in my life (I guess other tinkerers have too), sooo ... every hint is gladly accepted.
The pcb is far from dead, let's work on that!! Dead Banana
mskala
probotector wrote:
Thx mskala for the tip. Won't it leave the surface oily instead of sticky - I'll try nevertheless 8-)


Well, that's the reason for the mineral spirits - the idea is to leave just a tiny amount of oil on the surface to kill the stickiness without making it perceptibly oily. I wouldn't expect a miracle, only an improvement. In the grander scheme of things, what you have isn't just a sticky PCB, it's a valuable lesson about what solvents not to use on electronics.
probotector
I know that break cleaner is dissolving paint, but sometimes you just do dumb things.
Maybe I shouldn't have told at all what I did, but just what I got. That would have made this thread more factual I guess.
Another thing learned, wowzer.

However, long story short I tried your hint, and it left the surface quite oily wink
I cleaned the surface afterwards with some jelly-thick soapy water.
The oiliness then went away. The stickyness has become better to a point where it is hardly perceptible.
So, I think it was a success! Thx very much smile
mskala
probotector wrote:
The oiliness then went away. The stickyness has become better to a point where it is hardly perceptible.
So, I think it was a success!


Good!
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