How to Clean PCB

By Bester PCBA

Last Updated: 2023-05-31

How you clean PCBs depends on the type of contaminant you are dealing with. Dust and dirt can be cleaned with a brush or compressed air. Light dirt can be removed with solvents. However, severe corrosion should be treated with baking soda.

Here are some steps on how to clean the PCB. Please remember to be careful during the cleaning process. 

Disassemble Your Device

First, disconnect the device from the power supply. Avoid standing near water and wear dry clothes. For best results, you may need to use a screwdriver to open the device to access the PCB. You may also need to remove the cables from the PCB.

Clean the PCB

We have several ways to deep clean the PCBs according to our needs and the situations of the PCB.

Compressed Air

For regular board maintenance, take a can of compressed air and spray it inside the device’s vents to help remove dust and debris. If you think further cleaning is needed, open your device for better access to the motherboard.

Household Cleaner

Apply the household cleaner on the PCB and let it sit for about 15 minutes. With the help of the cleaner and the PCB brush, remove any residual corrosion. If you are using a household cleaner, make sure it is phosphate-free, as phosphates can damage the circuitry.

Distilled Water

When trying to make a circuit board cleaning solution, you should use distilled water because it will not damage the electronics while cleaning. However, make sure that the water is stored safely because it can be contaminated.

Baking Soda

The sodium bicarbonate in baking soda helps break down dirt and corrosion that accumulates on dirty PCBs without causing damage to the board. Make a cleaning solution by mixing baking soda and distilled water: you’ll need a quarter cup of distilled water and two tablespoons of baking soda, mix them until you get a thick paste. Again, you can use isopropyl alcohol to break down sticky debris. 90% or higher alcohol works best because it dries out quickly. Gloves and goggles should be worn for protection when handling this material.

Wipe Clean

Wipe all residual debris and water droplets/moisture with a lint-free cloth. Do not wipe it hard, as it may cause scratches.

Dry the moisture

Preheat the oven to 1700, turn off the power, and leave the PCB inside for nearly three hours to dry any remaining moisture.

Reassemble the Device

Reassemble the PCB and test it for proper operation.