There are several methods of unsoldering something. The method I most perfer is solder wick. It takes more time then the suction method but its a lot easier to do on fine delicate electronics.

Heat up the braided solder wick. It will slowly absorb the solder. While the solder is still hot remove the wick and you will be left with a clean(ish) surface.

So that’s the normal technique… That’s not the tip. The tip is how do you do it when you don’t have solder wick around.

Simple. Take some left over shield cable you have laying around your house and cut away the rubber coating. Fan out the shielding and snip back the wires inside. Spin the shielding together like you would if you were to use it as a ground wire and you have some quick and dirty solder wick.

Here I am repairing a LED Matrix panel for a concert that I was engineering. The Lighting Director for the show asked if anyone on the crew could solder circuit boards…. Turns out I was the only one.

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Andrew Jones is a location sound mixer based in Los Angeles. He started in the TV and Film industry in 2004. You can email him at