washing boards?

HMG

H = Heinously, M = Massive, G = Gonad,
10 Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Posts
5,086
I've heard people on here suggest washing a board with tap water and detergent, then leaving it to sit out in the sun to dry. Well, I've got a MVS 4-slot board that's a bit dirty and smells of cigarettes slightly, a wash would be nice. Only problem is I have hard water, probably not good for arcade boards. It's also winter where I am, so there's barely any sun and definitely no warmth. What does one do in this case? I did pour alcohol all over the two boards to disinfect mostly. It's better than nothing but not as good as a straight up wash.

But, if there really is no other option, this board can do without I guess. It's not like I unearthed it out of clay. The top board was just a bit dusty and it smelled a bit. I prefer to wash first and ask where it's been later.

Quite a relief when I got this 4-slot in though, it's been taken care of. I can't find any corrosion, except a bit on the metal cover. The Ni-Cd battery was leaking, but it was just some weird rubbery stuff, no actual trace damage from what I see.
 

shadows

Mature's Make-up Artist
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Posts
1,352
You could just wash it with and tap water and soap, then rinse off the water with pure isopropyl alcohol. It would cut down the drying time quite a bit too. And leave it standing vertically to completely dry.
 

HMG

H = Heinously, M = Massive, G = Gonad,
10 Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Posts
5,086
My tap water is hard, it's full of trace minerals. Is that actually safe on an circuit board?
 

shadows

Mature's Make-up Artist
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Posts
1,352
If you rinse it with the IPA after it wont be a problem.
 

cdamm

Trust the French?
10 Year Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Posts
10,586
or just pick up a gallon or two of purified water if you are too worried about your tap.
 

HMG

H = Heinously, M = Massive, G = Gonad,
10 Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Posts
5,086
Sounds good then, I'll give it a try. Seems as if only the top board needs an actual washing thankfully.

I dunno, bottled water seems like a bit of a waste. Maybe I'll risk the sink. Would purified water even work well with detergent?
 
Last edited:

bustedstr8

Trollbox Trade Federation,
Joined
Oct 15, 2007
Posts
943
Wash normally then rinse with distilled water it's like $0.75 a gallon.
 

distropia

Igniz's Servent
10 Year Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Posts
1,070
No one here use a hairdryer? I've been cleaning boards for more than 16 years now, and never ever let a single drop of water stay under a chip or inside a via, to avoid future corrosion. The hairdryer should not be at full heat in the same point of the board for too much time or the pcb could be damaged, better move it all along for 5-6 minutes and it should evaporate all the water (it doesn't matter if the water is hard, as you can move it away the board's edge with the airflow). Oh, and don't forget to remove EVERY battery the board could have before washing it. It is also a good idea to check if the capacitors have some current and discharge it.

Good luck
 

Xian Xi

JammaNationX,
15 Year Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Posts
27,725
I think RJ says he puts it in the oven at 200 degrees for like 30 minutes or something.
 

xsq

Thou Shalt Not, Question Rot.,
Joined
Jan 17, 2013
Posts
7,415
I think RJ says he puts it in the oven at 200 degrees for like 30 minutes or something.
degrees Fahrenheit, that is ;)

I've done that with quite some PCBs after washing, but I left the boards in there for a lot longer: 3 hours or over night. I'd suggest a lower setting also, 170°F or 75°C should do the trick as well. Also preheat the oven to that temperature and then turn it off and wait a couple of minutes so the heat is distributed inside the oven evenly and no new heat gets pumped in (possibly roasting parts of the board too close to the heat source).

As to the hairdryer method: If you're careful enough that's a good idea, too. Still would make me uneasy. To get water out from under the chips etc. I would use compressed air and dry off the board with a cotton cloth as good as possible before putting it in the oven. (Removing socketed chips is another good way to make this easier.)
 

channelmaniac

Mr Neo Fix-it
15 Year Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2005
Posts
4,230
I use tap water, but we have low minerals here. Use distilled water if you have too many minerals.

Take the battery off first!

I dry them in the oven at 170F, the lowest setting the oven will do, for about 30 minutes. It works very well, but if you are doing a 2 slot, you should remove the plastic card guide from the memory card slot. If you don't, it will sag from the heat, but all you need to do is take a butter knife, lift it in to place, and blow on it to cool it and lock it back in shape immediately after you take it out of the oven.
 

goombakid

Fu'un-Ken Master
10 Year Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2011
Posts
1,536
Same with the tap water here in OR. Use your tap water to wash, distilled water for rinse. Compressed air to blow water out from under the ICs and cart slot. If your room is set at a decent temp, you can just air dry it on its side for several days. Otherwise, if you need it ASAP, go the lowest in your oven for no more than what CM mentions.

When I did my 2 slot MVS cleaning, I just let it air dry for 4 days. It was late winter, so I had my heat set at ~65 degrees in my living room.
 

BIG BEAR

SHOCKbox Developer,
20 Year Member
Joined
Dec 14, 2001
Posts
7,823
THIS.
dish washing detergent,water & a blow dryer.
BB

No one here use a hairdryer? I've been cleaning boards for more than 16 years now, and never ever let a single drop of water stay under a chip or inside a via, to avoid future corrosion. The hairdryer should not be at full heat in the same point of the board for too much time or the pcb could be damaged, better move it all along for 5-6 minutes and it should evaporate all the water (it doesn't matter if the water is hard, as you can move it away the board's edge with the airflow). Oh, and don't forget to remove EVERY battery the board could have before washing it. It is also a good idea to check if the capacitors have some current and discharge it.

Good luck
 

Boredom

Morden's Lackey
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Posts
374
You should look into ultrasonic baths. I know one person who swears by them for PCB cleaning.
 

VidyaGamez

Crossed Swords Squire
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Posts
188
I read in an older thread on this fourm that you could use a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol or a toothbrush and 409...
 

HMG

H = Heinously, M = Massive, G = Gonad,
10 Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2011
Posts
5,086
I tried with a toothbrush, it couldn't really get rid of the grime on the board. I'll try some other things mentioned here.

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. :)
 

VidyaGamez

Crossed Swords Squire
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Posts
188
Then what do you use to get the 409 off?

I don't know exactly what 409 is, thats just what I read. I dont use that method, but I just thought I'd share it because apparently other people do use it.
 

werejag

Galford's Poppy Trainer
Joined
May 3, 2005
Posts
2,626
ill use tap water/dish soap, toothbrush/nylon brushes and then a hair drier. but i also tap the board so i can get rid of as much water as i can before the hairdrier. i can usally get this done in 30 mins total and be testing the cleaned board
 

Nerdygrrl

Krauser's Shoe Shiner
Joined
Jul 24, 2011
Posts
232
I generally go the simple green-toothbrush then distilled water route. I'll either put them outside in the summer to dry or leave them sit upside down for a week.

I have yet to try the oven method or the infamous dishwashing method.
 

urmyokazu

Lazy SNK Employee
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Posts
57
My fancy all purpose drying system:

g6H82e8.jpg
 
Top