Is it safe to run a Laird Connectivity Bluetooth module through a PCBA wash cycle?

In general, cleaning the populated modules is strongly discouraged. Residuals under the module cannot be easily removed with any cleaning process. 

  • Cleaning with water can lead to capillary effects where water is absorbed into the gap between the host board and the module. The combination of soldering flux residuals and encapsulated water could lead to short circuits between neighboring pads. Water could also damage any stickers or labels.
  • Cleaning with alcohol or a similar organic solvent will likely flood soldering flux residuals into the RF shield, which is not accessible for post-washing inspection. The solvent could also damage any stickers or labels.
  • Ultrasonic cleaning could damage the module permanently.

However, if water washing is required you will need to use deionized water. We do not recommend chemical cleaning and cannot guarantee it will not damage the modules. If you MUST clean PCB with chemicals it is recommended that you test on one board and then confirm the module still works after the process, prior to adding it to production, while understanding the above affects washing the populated PCBs can have on the module.