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IC-socket corrosion removal

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by TTL, Sep 24, 2019.

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  1. TTL


    Oct 24, 2013
    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.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    Nov 17, 2011
    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.
    davenn and shrtrnd like this.
  3. TTL


    Oct 24, 2013
    Good point. Thanks.
  4. dave9


    Mar 5, 2017
    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.


    May 20, 2017
    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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