Solder sponges without deionised water?

I've bought a new soldering iron and have been using it, I've also got a wire wool type cleaning pad to push the tip into to clean it off. But my tips don't seem to stay shiny, I had always been told that shiny tips imply all is healthy with the state of the metals in the tip and that one should get a tip shiny and smooth before turning off the iron when you finish working. My new tips don't seem to go shiny from wiping in the wire wool tip cleaner. I've always used damp spnges to clean tips in the past but haven't any deionised H2O to hand and can't easily get any thanks to the bleeping covid-19 lockdown (would much prefer heavy social distancing and less extreme measures to cause a mild slowing instead). Is it ok to use normal tap water, I'm in a hard water area with just over 100mg/L of calcium (according to water company website). Otherwise is there a better technique to cleaning tips with wire wool type "sponges" so they get properly shiny before you put them away. Thanks.

I have always used tap water with my cleaning sponge. I recently got a brass wire-wool cleaner and I reckon it is very much better.


Using distilled water may be more for saving the sponge rather than the iron tip, but suggest you do use distilled water when you can.

Are you using 60:40, 63:37, or lead free ?

Suggest you use “Tip Tinner” when you get it.

A newly cleaned tip will oxidize quite quickly if you don’t apply fresh solder immediately after cleaning.