Soldering is primarily used when repairing or building electrical components. When you are using a soldering iron, you need to follow the proper instructions for safe soldering. If you ignore soldering safety procedures, then you or someone around you could get seriously burnt and nearby furniture could be damaged. Take a few moments to become familiar with how to safely use a soldering iron to prevent any problems.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Soldering iron
- Soldering iron stand
- Work gloves
- Long-sleeve shirt
- Long trousers
- Dry towel
Create a well ventilated work area where you intend to solder. Make sure the room you are working in has windows and that those windows are open to allow proper air flow. When you heat up solder with a soldering iron, you give off fumes that could be hazardous if they are not allowed to escape.
Set your soldering iron in a stand prior to plugging it in. Do not lay the iron directly on any flammable surface such as wood or plastic, and be sure that the stand allows you to easily pick up the iron. Most soldering irons come with a stand that is designed specifically for that iron and is fire resistant. If you do not have a soldering iron stand, then a good substitute is a brick or concrete block as they are also fire resistant.
Put on safety goggles, work gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers. Solder can fly off of your work area in any direction. You need to protect your eyes and skin from hot solder.
Test the tip of the soldering iron before using it by placing the end of a line of solder on the tip and see if it melts it.
Unplug the iron and wipe the tip off with a thick dry towel after you are done working and while the iron is still hot. Be sure to have your work gloves on. Cleaning the tip in this way will remove any leftover solder and allow the iron to heat up quickly the next time you use it.
Tips and warnings
- Always solder on a fire resistant surface. You can purchase special mats for your work area that are rated to be fire resistant. You can also use a flat concrete or brick area as well.
- Never leave your soldering iron unattended while it is plugged in, or while it is hot immediately after unplugging it.
- Do not touch the metal on the soldering iron with your hand or finger. A soldering iron normally heats up very quickly and gets very hot. You can burn yourself severely if you touch the metal as it is warming up.
- If you have frayed wires on your soldering iron's electrical cord, then replace the iron immediately and dispose of the old one.
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