How to Clean Galvanized Sheet Metal for Soldering

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Soldering is the process of joining pieces of metal together. It is typically done with a small electric iron and a bonding agent called solder. Unlike welding, soldering allows the user to bind small pieces of metal together and is commonly used in the manufacture of circuit boards. However, there are many objects in your home made of galvanized steel, such as gutters, panels or water tanks, that can be improved by soldering. The first thing you need to do before soldering is clean the surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Nylon soft brush
  • Alkaline or ammonia-based cleaning solution
  • Lint-free rag

Dip your nylon soft brush in an alkaline or ammonia-based cleaning solution. If using alkaline cleansers, make sure the pH range isn't above 13. This could damage the zinc layer on the metal surface.

Run the brush over the area you intend to solder. Repeat this process until all dirt and oil has been removed from the surface of the galvanized steel.

Dry the surface of the galvanized steel thoroughly with a lint-free rag.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid touching the surface of the galvanized sheet metal with your bare fingers while soldering. The oils from your fingers could interfere with the soldering process.

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