How to Clean Electronic Circuit Boards

By Michael Batton Kaput

Taking care of your electrical equipment is a must. Well-maintained equipment works better and lasts longer. Circuit boards of any type are no different. Circuit boards can become notoriously dirty, accruing dust and whiskers from soldering. Dirt can also hide weak joints on circuit boards. By using higher-grade alcohol, circuit board users can thoroughly clean and maintain a circuit board of any size in a few simple steps. Higher-grade (around 95 to 99 percent) isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol are the most effective cleaning solvents. Isopropyl alcohol especially will save circuit board users money and clean circuit boards thoroughly, keeping electrical equipment in top shape.

Things You'll Need

  • 99% pure isopropyl or ethyl alcohol
  • Ceramic dish
  • Toothbrush
  • Canister of compressed air
  • Q-tip

Step 1

Fill a ceramic dish with alcohol. Dip toothbrush into dish of alcohol.

Step 2

Scrub both sides of the circuit board thoroughly. Dip the toothbrush into the alcohol several times until every inch of the circuit board is drenched in alcohol and well-scrubbed. For larger boards, use as much alcohol as necessary to completely coat the board.

Step 3

Use the air canister to completely blow-dry the board.

Step 4

Dab a Q-tip in the alcohol after you have done a once over on the entire board. Use the Q-tip to dab alcohol into any hard to reach nooks and crannies on the board. Use the dry end of the Q-tip to dab up the excess alcohol.