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I'm new to soldering and ordered a cheap starter kit. It included this:

golden metal scrubber thingy

I have no idea what this is. Any hint?

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Cleaning a soldering iron tip

It usually sits in a metal dish, and you push the soldering iron into it and wiggle it around to clean the tip. It's an alternative to a damp sponge, which always used to be built into soldering iron stands.

You should clean the tip just before use if it has darkened. Then put it back in the stand with the solder on after making a joint, and clean again if necessary before the next joint. That way you leave a drop of solder on the tip when it is in the stand, which slows down oxidation.

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A student in my Electronics class kept using the damp sponge just before each solder joint. Needless to say, his joints were poor because the tip was cooled by the damp sponge.
I told him to use the sponge after each joint or, if before, wait a few more seconds for the iron to regain its original heat.

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