Step 2. Cleaning
It is important that your metals are clean, and free of dirt, grease, and oil. This is because solder will not flow on an unclean surface. Unclean surfaces include those with fingerprints! Cleaning can be accomplished by pickling or sanding. Pickling, a chemical process, is very effective. In order to clean the metals using this method the following items are needed: pickle, pickle pot, tongs, and tweezers. Pickle is an acidic solution and can come in a liquid or powder form. As for the pickle pot, an old coffee pot on top of a hot plate or small crock pot will suffice. Once you designate your equipment as a pickle pot, it should never be used for cooking or brewing again. After pickling, the metals need to be washed thoroughly in water with a little baking soda (a copper tong should be used to take the metals in and out of the pot-copper will not contaminate the pickling solution). Dry well.
A wet pumice stone and bristle brush or a clean piece of emery paper will also work for cleaning. Use a clean pair of tweezers to manage the metals with after they have been cleaned.