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Need help identifying the best solution for use in ultrasonic cleaner

Hi everyone, I am experimenting with cleaning up water damage from various iPhone logic boards. So far my luck has been maybe 50/50. I want to improve that. Currently I am cleaning the boards in an unheated ultrasonic cleaner with one part Ammonia, two parts water, and a drop of dish soap. Then I rinse with water and then soak in IPA and touch up with a toothbrush if it looks like I can make a difference. A couple days to dry thereafter before trying it out.

I want to improve the solution I am using in the ultrasonic, does anyone have any suggestions? I want to avoid flammable stuff. Would something like CLR work alright, or would it damage the board?

Here is a link to an image:

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7426/12908...

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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David----I'll chime in:

1.) In your photos, you're only looking at maybe 20% of the board, you aren't really cleaning 80% of the board. I used to do the same thing, and then I would sometimes pull the shields after the cleaning(s) and there would still be a ton of corrosion/oxidation---the ultrasonic isn't enough.

My advice--pull the shields if you are attempting to clean any board that shows any oxidation on/next to the shields---this one sure did.

2.) No magic cleaner will reform broken solder connections from 'old' water damage like this one. You have to reflow components for success. In the board you have shown, no amount of cleaning can overcome the fact that your LCD connector has lost its pad required for backlight (the third pin). This board will never show a display unless a microjumper is built to connect the socket pin with the 'good' part of the trace under the solder mask.

3.)---I have started using Kester 951 flux as a cleaning solution since the purpose of flux is to remove oxidation, I figured a light flux would be a great choice for water damage cleaning solution, but who knows. My success rate went way up once I started with a microscope eval---if the board has focal oxidation, I will attempt it. If the board has diffuse oxidation, it is not worth the time. The process is then just microscope eval, shield desolder, ultrasonic plus spot clean, reflow oxidation, test. This seems to be the ticket to success for me.

keep us posted with what you find out!

jessa

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Lol. I read the comment and knew it would be signed Jessa :)

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Best cleaning solution is Branson EC ultrasonic detergent diluted into distilled water properly. http://www.all-spec.com/products/635-022...

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What would be a good alternative to Branson Ec in Europe? Branson is not sold in Europe I think.

Thanks a lot!!

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It's Only $85 a gallon delivered, need something a little more in reality. That is double the price after shipping..............................

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Trust me when I say that you get what you pay for. The high shipping is because it's an industrial acid. Requires HAZMAT transport (usually via UPS)

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Your iPhone is in very bad shape!

I'm not sure if cleaning it with an ultrasonic cleaner will help you here.

Dish soap will only act as a degreaser (which it not what you need). Ultrasonic cleaners can help clean the corrosion but they are likely to harsh with the delicate SMD devices.

I would use distilled water (not tap) and use some citrus cleaner which is a bit acidic. After running it though the bath carefully scrubbing down the surfaces with a toothbrush and then again in fresh distilled water and then a bath in a high grade Isopropyl alcohol (85% or better). Acting as a drier for the water and lastly baking in sunlight for a good day.

Even still the amount of corrosion maybe to much here to save this system. You will need to replace some stuff as you just can clean them (i.e. battery, keyboard, trackpad & display).

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I kind of assumed as much. I am using a system with 40KHz waves which by all accounts I have had won't damage the board unless left in the solution for an extremely long period of time. In which case it's really the solution's fault anyway. The dish soap isn't to do any cleaning, I have it in there to help reduce the evaporation rate.

What type of citrus cleaning? Something on the bottom shelf at a big box store? I don't want ot use IPA in the ultra sonic as it is dangerous. I use the IPA after a cleaning in the ultrasonic to get the water out of the small places. Then I dry.

I've had one board like the one pictured some back to life, but they are rare, and who knows how long it will last...

What I was really wondering is what solution would work well in the ultrasonic? I've heard of using a paint thinner but that seems like it would hurt more than help. Are there corrosion removers? I know this type of question may be too specific for this site but I thought I would ask anyway.

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I would go to a hardware store and get something like Goo-Off. I'm sorry I wasn't clear - The last two baths are not in the ultrasonic just rinsing off the cleaner. The problem is the loss of metal (gold on the contacts & solder joints). The corrosion is a double whammy disintegrating the metals and then having to remove the buildup of metal oxides. Think back to your high school chemistry on what your dealing with here. You need to use acids and bases to remove oxides but these also damage! Paint thinners are not useful here. The function of the Isopropyl alcohol here is using its drying action (of water) and it won't damage or leave anything (if its clean) once it dries.

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I know I shouldn't spit my 2 pennies without trying this or getting more opinions. I use Branson EC, 97%distilled water and 3%Branson, but you say not sold in UK so I once read some techs are using a 9to1 solution of distilled water and acetone.

Keep in mind I never did this only read a blog with this data. Please chime in with any knowledge or experience with this info?

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Acetone could be dangerous in a heated situation. Even in water, acetone is lighter, and will work to the top, and start fuming. Regardless of the brand of cleaner you're using, you should find a low-grade acid that is safe to use on soft metals like aluminum, copper, and lead. You should never use solvents in an ultrasonic machine. There's a big difference between a solvent and an acid. The acid will break down and dissolve the corrosion while the ultrasonics get rid of the cause. A solvent (91% ISO) should be used AFTER the ultrasonics, to remove any left over cleaning solution or particulates left from the bath.

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I realize this is an old thread but thought I would add my 2 pennies. You could use elma tec clean A1 in your ultrasonic. As for CLR its only safe on stainless steel, steel, and chrome according to the manufacturer and can damage alloy metals and galvanized metals. But believe it or not the best thing I have found that is cheap and works is Scrubbing Bubbles. http://www.scrubbingbubbles.com/Products... Good Luck!!

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Your best luck would be using over the counter Hydrogen Peroxide, it cause a chemical reaction to the logic board that cause it to do a boiling like reaction. Only leave it in the Peroxide for 30 seconds or so and them dry it with a hair dryer but have the hair dryer on the cold setting.

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Hydrogen Peroxide is not a good cleaner as its an oxidizer which will not remove corrosion only add to it. Hydrogen Peroxide is a good sterilizer ;-}

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David will be eternally grateful.
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