A desoldering wick or wire, also known as desoldering braid or solder wick, is a finely braided copper wire coated with rosin flux that's supplied in a spool or pre-cut strands. It is used as a solder remover when re-working the solder or removing components that have been soldered. Desoldering braids work by applying the soldering iron to the wick while it sits on the soldered joint or area to heat them both up and them up to the melting point to activate the flux. When this happens, the solder is drawn up the wick or braid, removing the solder.
Desoldering wicks or braids can be used across a wide range of desoldering applications that help with the removal of unwanted solder or re-working old solder. The soldering braids can be manufactured with different features like being lead-free, anti-static and no-clean for an easier and more efficient desolder process. In addition to this, the absorbability of the copper braid depends on the type of solder used when removing it. Desoldering is a process that can be used across any applications where soldering is used, but it is most often used in removing solder from items such as printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electronics, re-working and removing old solder that no longer has an effective join or taking apart electronic components that have been soldered together.