How to Desolder an Electronics Joint - dummies

How to Desolder an Electronics Joint

By Doug Lowe

Desoldering refers to the process of undoing a soldered joint. You may have to do this if you discover that a solder joint is less than satisfactory, if a component fails, or if you connect your circuit incorrectly.

To desolder a solder connection, you need a desoldering bulb and a desoldering braid.


Here are the steps for undoing a solder joint:

  1. Apply the hot soldering iron to the joint you need to remove.

    Give it a second for the solder to melt.

  2. Squeeze the desoldering bulb to expel the air it contains, and then touch the tip of the desoldering bulb to the molten solder joint and release the bulb.

    As the bulb expands, it will suck the solder off the joint and into the bulb.

  3. If the desoldering bulb didn’t completely free the lead, apply heat again and touch the remaining molten solder with the desoldering braid.

    The desoldering braid is specially designed to draw solder up much like a candle wick draws up wax.

  4. Use needle-nose pliers or tweezers to remove the lead.

    Do not try to remove the lead with your fingers after you have desoldered the connection. The lead will remain hot for a while after you have desoldered it.