Cleaning off flux [better late than never]

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Taylor, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Soldered all the pipes of my main bathroom, got good input from here and will post pix when I am closer to completion.... At the end, exhausted, figured I'd wipe off the flux the next day, or the day after.... Anyway a few months later, putting on the pipe insulation and I see the tell-tale signs of green....

    So my quick question is, is there a recommended way to clean off flux that has dried onto the pipe at this point? I've tried soap and water and a rag, the pipes still feel sticky in places (I had flux on my gloves as I was handling the pipes). At this point I'm thinking white vinegar and a pot scrubber, unless someone informs me of the error of my ways....
  2. Grab the torch you soldered the piping with, flux and a flux brush and wipe the flux on the green areas. Heating this up will remove the corrosion and it's best to wipe the piping clean with a new rag.
  3. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Oh boy.....

    Drain the water first?

    Do this the entire length of the pipe? I was handling it with flux-covered gloves, that stuff is messy. Although green is localized, I assume it may appear in other places later, like where pipe is sticky.

    Any danger of accidentally undoing joints (solder flows out when I heat it)?

    I've been able to remove green with a pot scrubber, just wonder if this is good enough. I know white vinegar recommended for cleaning up copper ornaments. Also heard of baking soda in water....
  4. If the entire piping is like this, I wouldn't think that this would be a good idea of what I mentioned, I was assuming that it was only around the solder joints themselves. Go with the pot scrubber idea and call it quits on the stuff that doesn't easily come off.
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,262
    Location:
    New England
    Does alcohol disolve it? I know that is what I use on electronics to remove the flux (but that is rosin, not acid based).
  6. Taylor

    Taylor New Member

    Messages:
    143
    Location:
    Northern Joisey
    Reporting back: I can report that white vinegar and a pot scrubber do a good job of removing the green. It also restored a nice shiny lustre to the copper. Seems a shame now to cover with insulation and a floor.....

    Thanks all for your help.
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