Involvement:General (knows how to use it) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week
I saw this woolly looking ball of what looked like steel wool (it's not steel wool! Steel wool can burst into flames if you heat it so don't try to substitute it!) and ordered it purely out of curiosity. However now I'm hooked, it keeps my iron tips cleaner than before, and I don't get any heat loss from dipping the iron into a moist sponge. Tthe metallic coating actually sucks up the solder similar to de-soldering braid.
It seems that this is a disposable commodity. A sponge can last for years because any dried solder can be scraped off and the underlying sponge will be fine. But this tip-cleaner actually soaks up the solder, similar to de-soldering braid which needs to be replaced often. I don't know yet how long this will last, but for the price and practicality it's worth buying a few as spares.
For thirty years I've been using a sponge to clean my soldering iron tip and never thought twice about it. Now I'm a convert.
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