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IC-socket corrosion removal

TTL

Oct 24, 2013
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An old computer main board has corrosion in a few of its IC sockets.
Sanding the IC-legs with fine sandpaper does the trick there, but how about the IC sockets?
Is there a way to clean them, or do they all have to be desoldered and replaced? I read something about using vinegar and a toothbrush (I have both 7% and 35% household vinegar which I could use) but I'd like to verify if this is safe before risking irreplaceable damage to the board.
 
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Harald Kapp

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Nov 17, 2011
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Better replace the sockets. You never know what residues remain in the sockets after cleaning and the acid from the vinegar will in the long term corrode the sockets and the PCB even more.
 

dave9

Mar 5, 2017
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It could depend on the extent of the corrosion. Are these nickel plated? If so the plating may be gone and even if you get the socket perfectly cleaned off, it will corrode again.

In other cases you might be able to spray deoxit on, then insert and remove the chip several times to abrade away the corrosion, then coat the socket with dielectric grease before final chip insertion to keep oxygen out.

If you intend to do a full, longest lasting restoration, then certainly new sockets should be used.

In some cases a board can be safely rinsed to remove acid residue, as in the case of most modern boards that use water soluble acid flux, then a final dip in distilled water with a rinse agent (surface tension breaker) added or a rinse in common, drugstore, 70% isopropyl alcohol. If there are any buzzers or battery (CMOS RTC module, if it has any juice left after all these years), or other components that can't tolerate water, you might want to keep them from getting wet.
 

WHONOES

May 20, 2017
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There was a fibreglass pen around years ago for the purpose of cleaning oxide off of components, boards etc. They are still available from RS Components (just checked). Not cheap but they do the job.
 
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