circuit board cleaning

Electronics assembly or circuit board cleaning is important to consider for reliable and dependable products. No matter what your PCB cleaning process, getting the basics right is a great start.

The Basics of PCB Cleaning

Eight factors must be considered to successfully clean circuit boards – electronic assemblies:

  1. Printed Circuit Board / Assembly to Be Cleaned: The part being cleaned, and the end result and customer expectations will drive the cleaning process.
  2. Soil(s): The type and make-up of the solder flux/pastes, the mix and the solubility of each soil will be a determining factor when developing a cleaning process.
  3. Processing Conditions: How your PCB is put together will affect the cleaning process – your reflow profile, how many times the assembly will see reflow and any other processes that will change the properties of the soil being removed.
  4. Bottom Terminated Components: Gap height and component pitch will be a driving factor when designing your cleaning process. Considering time, temperature, mechanical energy and solvency will lead to flux removal success.
  5. Material Compatibility: Part markings, metal interactions, component compatibility are key factors developing a cleaning process.
  6. PCB Cleaning Agent: A cleaning agent must be matched to the soils and the cleaning equipment.
    • Harder to clean soils require stronger cleaning agents
    • Poorly matched cleaning agent will not remove the soil
  7. Cleaning Machine: Choosing the right machine for your specific needs starts with your through-put expectations. You should also consider mechanical energy especially if you are cleaning complex assemblies.
  8. Process Control: Keeping your cleaning process balanced will provide consistent cleaning results and save money in the long run.



KYZEN offers an array of PCB cleaning agents that are formulated to take advantage of an Inline washer’s powerful combination of high flow, impact energy, and deflective forces. These conveyorized machines provide the highest production throughput and faster fluid penetration under low gap components like challenging QFN’s.
Batch cleaning machines are designed to efficiently wash, rinse, and dry assemblies in a small footprint. Groups of electronic assemblies are sealed inside the machine where they are typically washed, rinsed, and dried in a single main process chamber, hence the name “Batch”.
These processes completely immerse the product being washed, so that the cleaning agent fully contacts every surface of the device. Most immersion applications utilize either Ultrasonic energy or Spray -Under -Immersion (SUI) forces to circulate the fluid and apply mechanical energy to the substrate surface.
Cleaning at the benchtop is a very common practice in electronics manufacturing operations. While often the final crucial step in cleaning PCBs (e.g. rework, repair and prototype), manual cleaning is accomplished in a variety of ways. KYZEN has a complete line of topical cleaners to address each situation.
The vapor degreasing cleaning process is integrated around an engineered solvent composition that dissolves (matches up) with the soil(s) being removed. The engineered cleaning fluid is often a blend of solvents which behave like an azeotrope, forming a constant boiling system at a specific temperature range.

Process Control Center

Improve productivity with advanced products and services that monitor, manage and control your cleaning processes.