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Cleaning Copper surfaces

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  • Cleaning Copper surfaces

    My friend and I are retired electronics techs who still like to build things. We have a large supply of copper coated fiberglass board used for making printed circuits but it needs cleaning. The copper in question is one ounce to two ounces per square foot, so it's not very thick. The scrubbing pad method of cleaning also removes a lot of copper and is a lot of work. There must be a quick and efficient method to clean a copper surface and I'm quite sure that this is the place to ask about it.javascript:emoticon('')

  • #2
    that is to thin to be putting on a bufer ... you can try a rotary tool with some red compund at low speed ... my dremel got a dimmer hooked in line so i can make is go super slow or full setting may want to do a search on google to or contact caswell by phone !!!!!!!


    • #3
      Re: Dremel etc.

      I have one of those, complete with a burnt out speed controller that I'll have to replace soon. Instead of grinding right away, can I prep the surface chemically and if so, what should I use?


      • #4
        i am not sure what you can use to clean them .... that will not harm them .. when i do the led conversion i use a eraser to clean all the contacts .... i will do some checking and get back to you


        • #5
          Cleaning PCB material

          Try the Brown compound for very severe oxidatiion.

          The Blue is good for the normal stuff.

          I've always used #000 or #0000 steel wool, or the substitutes, for my final prep.

          I did a test, and this looks better than anything I've tried.

          Thanks for the idea.

          Only light pressure is needed.

          And, of course, clean the board with acetone afterword.


          • #6
            Tomato Ketchup! But don't put it on your fries afterwards!!!
            Mike Caswell
            Caswell Inc
            Need Support? Visit our online support section at


            • #7
              that would make sense .. the acid in the tomato ...


              • #8
                Tomato Ketchup!
                As opposed to...... Kumquat ketchup? <grin>


                • #9
                  Make sure that whatever you do, you do it uniformly, otherwise, the copper won't etch right. I've had a lot of succes with mothers mag & aluminum on copper. It takes the tarnish off with no problem and leaves a nice shiney finish.


                  • #10
                    Try putting the boards on a sheet of aluminum under water and use some of the chemicals they use for water softers.


                    • #11
                      the acid from tomato product's will work better than salt