IPA Electronic Cleaning: An Overview

Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is a popular cleaning solution in the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors. In each case, the compound is commonly used to clean electronics, ranging from computer components, to display screens, to parts in sound equipment.

There’s a difference between IPA you get from a local pharmacy and IPA you acquire from an industrial-grade supplier of cleaners for electronics. The small bottles you find on pharmacy shelves have roughly 80 percent purity; IPA dispersed in sanitary wipes often has slightly less. Industrial grade IPA, on the other hand, commonly has a purity of over 99%.

IPA Electronic Cleaning

No all electronic cleaning operations require a solution of nearly 100% IPA. To achieve the right IPA density, users can conveniently dilute the isopropyl alcohol with water, achieving a mixture perfect for the application. IPA electronic cleaning applies to the following electronic apparatuses components, among others:

● Contact pins (e.g., ROM cartridges)
● Magnetic tape
● Disk heads (e.g., legacy floppy disk drives)
● Optical disc drive lasers (e.g., CD and DVD)
● IC packages (e.g., CPUs)

IPA excels at removing oil, grease, and other handling soils from electronics. It also serves well as a remover of ionic salts from PCBs and excels at dissolving organic acids from rosin-based solder flux. However, IPA electronic cleaning can also have some potential drawbacks.

IPA’s polar nature makes it an undesirable option for cleaning non-polar oil and grease. This is significant, because the polar ionic contaminants and nonpolar grease and oil are frequently encountered in the cleaning operation. In this situation, polar IPA can be combined with a nonpolar solvent. If we don’t stock an IPA combo solution that addresses your needs, we’ll create a custom solvent for IPA electronic cleaning that addresses your specific needs.

Other Crucial Considerations

Because high-purity IPA is inexpensive compared to many electronic cleaning solvents — and because it possesses a wide range of applications — even solutions combining IPA and non-polar solvent can be quite affordable, making them popular options for upgrading to a more affordable solution without compromising the efficacy of the solvent.

Another crucial consideration is the high flammability of IPA. With an open cup flashpoint of 11.7°C (53.1°F; 284.8 K) and a closed cup flashpoint of 13°C (55°F), the compound should not be used for IPA electronic cleaning without safety measures in place, particularly flame-retardant personal protective equipment (PPE) and storing the solvent in an area lacking combustibles and ignition sources. The high evaporation of high-purity IPA that is beneficial for cleaning electronics causes the solution to combust quickly and burn fast.

Use IPA Electronic Cleaning

As long as you choose the right solution and follow safety precautions, an IPA electronic cleaning solvent is an effective, affordable way to address a variety of commercial and industrial grade electronic cleaning applications. When you make us your source, you have the option of using a stock solution or a custom solution specifically formulated to match your needs.

To get started on selecting an IPA electronic cleaning agent, call us today at (800) 563-1305, or send us an email through our contact form. We look forward to supplying IPA electronic cleaning solutions!