It's my first time working with perfboards. My understanding is that if it is not plated, the copper layer is subject to corrosion and must be prepared before soldering anything on it.

I just got this perfboard, but I don't know if it's plated or not. How can I tell? And if unplated, what must one do to prepare it for soldering?

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I have stripboard in my drawer thats a decade old and not plated and solders just fine. \$\endgroup\$
    – PlasmaHH
    Apr 5, 2018 at 11:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it was plated it would probably have a silver color (assuming tin-lead plating). That being said, you don't need to tin it. If anything just give it a cleaning with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any grime that may have accumulated on it and it should be ready for soldering \$\endgroup\$
    – DerStrom8
    Apr 5, 2018 at 12:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ Many years ago I bought one of those little abrasive blocks for cleaning copper tracks on veroboard etc. I don't recall ever using it, even on truly ancient veroboard offcuts. Unless the copper has turned green and gnarly, dull or lightly tarnished copper is no problem for normal flux-cored solder. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5, 2018 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ i've noticed a finger-shaped tarnish on a 15-year old board, so you might want to keep them clean before using, preferably sealed tight. \$\endgroup\$
    – dandavis
    Apr 5, 2018 at 22:18

1 Answer 1


If the copper looks copper coloured it’s almost certainly not plated. Plating would probably be Tin (silver colour), or possibly Gold (gold colour). When copper corrodes it produces Verdigris (bluish-green colour). If this is the case a quick rub with wire wool / fine sandpaper / any mild abrasive will clean it off. Your board looks good to use as it is. You should be using solder for electronic components, which has flux within (often called multicore) the flux chemically cleans both the board and the component to allow a good electrical (and to a lesser degree mechanical) joint when melted by the soldering process.

Hope this helps, and good luck with your project.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There's also resin/wax coating, which simply acts as additional flux as soon a board is soldered. It has come out of fashion since boards aren't hand-soldered any more but you may still encounter it on stripboards. \$\endgroup\$
    – Janka
    Apr 5, 2018 at 12:51

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