Hey guys, I was never much into soldering but I decided I wanted to do my wiring and repairs on guitars as well as swap pickups without having to rely on techs. As with everything practice makes perfect and instead of doing a few tests on scrap parts and wires I read my online tutorials and dived in. The results were never satisfactory optically but connections seem to function more or less. I never was able to do what most tutorials recommend, that is to heat the part and wire you want to connect with the heating iron and apply the solder on the connection and not melt it with the tip of the iron. I did pre-tin the tip (or I thought I did). Now I'm doing some more wiring and bought a few new tips as the one I had on my soldering iron disintegrated. I also got thinner soldering wire as per the suggestion of members here. I had a wet sponge this time too to clean the tip and reapply solder. Immediately I saw that the pre-tin tip worked great with the heat transfer. I managed to heat up the parts quickly and got shiny connections with the solder spreading on the connection without blobbing and by not touching the tip with the soldering iron. In short as I have been seeing on the tutorials. However after a few joints I noticed that the tip became dull and trying to tin it after cleaning it with the sponge would just make blobs of solder on the tip without spreading on it. I thought the iron was too hot so whenever I wouldn't use it I'd just unplug it. I would also see that even after cleaning the head and trying to tin it immediately it would have the above effect. What I understood is that I was not tinning the tip properly in the past and something happened to the tip while I was working with it. I think the sponge dried up as after a while I was mostly burning through it instead of just cleaning the tip. The tip is now grey and dull and I want to finish up the job I started. My questions on this are, how do I clean the tip from any oxides that have been formed? Do I just heat it up, clean it and tin it just before I do a joint?