Cat pee.

My cat decided my box of arduino parts was a great place to take a leak. :o Aside from the little F :-X s potty issues does anyone have any advice on how to clean my arduino boards?

Also, is it even viable to get them working again? Will soap hurt the arduino any more then the cat urine?

What about bleach on an arduino? Is that a problem? Just how durable are these things?

Thanks, Brant

Do not use soap.

Remove the atmega328 chip from the UNO. FLUSH all parts with very hot tap water, use an old tooth brush on back of board, contacts, etc.

Rinse the board with 90% isopropal alcohol or 70% if that is all you can get. Shake board vigoriousdly to remove liquid.

Use compressed air to blow through connectors and under parts.

Place in a warm oven at 120F - 150 F for 30 minutes.

Allow to sit overnight (away from all felines).

Replace uC.

Good luck.

I think I would just rinse the board under the hot tap on the sink, and let it dry. If a commercial board, it was probably built using water-soluble solder flux. The only real part to worry about, I think, might be mechanical components like switches, where stuff can get inside to the contacts. It’s not like he poo’ed on it.

I personally would not use IPA or other solvent on a board built using rosin-core solder flux - ie, like something you built yourself. My feeling is anything you put on rosin residue will only make the mess even worse.

Put the cat in the oven overnight.

Put in a pot of plain water and bring to the boil. Remove from the water and it will dry almost immediately and it will never p!ss on your arduino again.

You mean put the cat in the water! 212F/100C would be too hot for arduino components.

I would NEVER immerse the board in water, it might seep into the electrolytic caps and inside the switches. I think Ray's 'first' part was best. Holding under the hot tap, and scrub lightly with a toothbrush. I'm sure pee is easily washed off, it's water-soluble.

OTOH, the cat probably needs a bath anyways.

oric_dan: I would NEVER immerse the board in water, it might seep into the electrolytic caps and inside the switches. I think Ray's 'first' part was best. Holding under the hot tap, and scrub lightly with a toothbrush. I'm sure pee is easily washed off, it's water-soluble.

OTOH, the cat probably needs a bath anyways.

The reason that i recommended IPA is because I once ran a depot repair for Compaq PCs at one of the larger RBOC facilities. Compaq recommended IPA for spills on keyboards after flushing with hot tap water.

The scientific reason for IPA is that it mixes readily with water and reduces the water surface tension, therefore the water can be shaken/blown out more readily. I respect the fact that water soluble flux could be an issue since the old guide was based on rosin solder. Still, I think flushing with hot water, lightly brushing with an old toothbrush, and then using the IPA to reduce the surface tension before drying. Here is a scientific link regarding IPA.

Expected Results The water beads up on the penny and the alcohol spreads out flat. Many more drops of water can be added to the penny than drops of alcohol.

I guess in the final analysis, one must weigh all the issues and decide; one thing is known, pee is an acid and will cause long term problems.

Ray

Good note to remember about the IPA reducing surface tension of water.

I do use IPA all the time to clean things, but like I said, and "just for reference", I learned that trying to use it to remove rosin residue just makes a big mess, so I just leave the rosin on, although some people swear against doing so.

Goodness! My cat has been peeing and pooing on the floor lately but luckily never in any of my stuff. I agree with washing it out with water. Submersion should be okay but make sure you dry it completely. Cat piss is highly corrosive so you want to stop that process ASAP

Am I the only one that sees the irony in smeezekitty giving advice on cat pee?
:o

Ray

mrburnette: Am I the only one that sees the irony in smeezekitty giving advice on cat pee? :o

Ray

Why is that? "smeeze" is named after a cat named "Smeeze"

smeezekitty: Why is that? "smeeze" is named after a cat named "Smeeze"

I'm sorry, but now it is even funnier! Smeeze-the-cat is advising on cat pee... Well, I guess the cat should know!

The forum has turned into an outbox.

Ray

mrburnette: The forum has turned into an outbox.

Not to be confused with a litter box.

mrburnette: Remove the atmega328 chip from the UNO. FLUSH all parts with very hot tap water, use an old tooth brush on back of board, contacts, etc.

Rinse the board with 90% isoprop*y*l alcohol or 70% if that is all you can get. Shake board vigorously to remove liquid.

Note - the ATmega328 is included in "all parts" it should be cleaned separately using the exact same process.

I am sure the push button reset switch is not water proof. Some are. All the Arduino boards have been subjected to much higher temperatures than boiling water. I think the lead-free solder melted above 250C when it was soldered in a convection reflow oven. Also, they were washed in powerful circuit board washer using very hot water, then dried using hot air. Just like your dishwasher at home.

So, there is not much you can do heat-wise to damage the board. All the above suggestions will work.

Paul

Paul_KD7HB: I am sure the push button reset switch is not water proof. Some are. All the Arduino boards have been subjected to much higher temperatures than boiling water. I think the lead-free solder melted above 250C when it was soldered in a convection reflow oven. Also, they were washed in powerful circuit board washer using very hot water, then dried using hot air. Just like your dishwasher at home.

So, there is not much you can do heat-wise to damage the board. All the above suggestions will work.

Paul

My bets are on the capacitors being rated for 85C

The pushbutton isn't waterproof but it can be dried out. If you are worried, you can unsolder it while washing

smeezekitty: My bets are on the capacitors being rated for 85C

The pushbutton isn't waterproof but it can be dried out. If you are worried, you can unsolder it while washing

Nope. We run boards with capacitors identical to the Arduino capacitors right through the convection oven and solder the whole board on one pass. Using lead-free solder.

Paul

I used to work in the Marine Electronics industry and was told that PCBs (and some components) will soak up water. I observed this during many years of humidity testing.

Is cleaning a PCB with water a good idea then ? and surely not boiling

I don't believe fiberglass, which is used in most current PCBs, can soak up water. The cleaning methods discussed do not involve long term submersion. Best method would be brushing down with 99.9% (anhydrous) alcohol. That's how I clean all the boards we hand solder (Mega screw shields mostly). Reflow soldered boards use no-clean solder paste and receive no additional cleaning.

Brei

mcnobby: I used to work in the Marine Electronics industry and was told that PCBs (and some components) will soak up water. I observed this during many years of humidity testing.

Is cleaning a PCB with water a good idea then ? and surely not boiling

I don't think water would be absorbed with brief contact with water. Maybe after extended exposure but cleaning with water should be safe.

Thanks everyone for all the help. I put the cat in the boiling water and that fixed the long term problem of future pee incidence :o I'm still waiting for the results on the cleaned arduino.....

.............no actual cats were hurt during the production of this message board. ;)