desoldering braid. It comes in very handy as well
I like the little tins of paste flux you get in the plumbing section of the hardware store. It's easy to dip the tip of the soldering iron or leads of through-hole parts into the flux, and a tin lasts a thousand suns. I never got along with liquid flux or the flux pens.
I have fixed a lot of electronics with 99% isopropyl and a toothbrush
What does "activated" mean, in the context of flux? I never thought there was so much to learn about flux."Flux", by the way, is a very funny word.
Like you, I never saw the value in flux. I was having trouble solder some old PCBs I found and decided to try it. It was like watching magic.There are also "Flux Pens" out there. They are basically sponges soaked in a liquid flux, inside of a marker case. More expensive than the jelly (in terms of volume) but very convenient.I find it very easy to wet de-solder braid with the Pen. (I never figured out a un-messy way to get the jelly on to the braid.)