How to Remove Silver Solder

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Coil of solder
Coil of solder (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Almost every do it yourself person has had to apply some solder in one form or another, and for plumbing or working with jewelry, silver solder is the medium of choice. On the other side of that task is removing the solder, whether for aesthetic reasons, if there has been a mistake made or for artistic purposes. On flat or rounded surfaces, removing solder might be as simple as sanding it off with the appropriate grit of emery or sandpaper, but for more intricate work where there might be ridges, bends or other uneven surfaces, sanding is not going to do the trick. For this type of desoldering, you'll need specialized tools and techniques to get the job done.

Things You'll Need

  • Soldering iron
  • Desoldering tool--A desoldering wick or a vacuum activated solder sucker

Plug in your soldering gun and allow it to heat up to temperature.

Dispense about a a 1/2 inch of desoldering wick, or cock the vacuum pump on your solder sucker if you are using that.

Heat up the silver solder you wish to remove. It must get hot enough to literally become molten.

Place your desoldering wick directly into the molten solder and let it literally soak it up just like a sponge. If using a vacuum desoldering tool, place the tip into the molten solder, then press the trigger and the pump will suck up the melted silver solder.

Keep the area heated up and reapply the solder wick or the desoldering pump until all of the excess silver solder has been removed.

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