I got some handy tools for futzing around making little things or even actually working on circuits with my trusty soldering iron. The tip cleaner looks like you could do the same thing with a brillo pad, but who wants soap on their iron?
After you get it nice and clean, dip it in this handy liquid tinner. Then you are ready to go with a nice, clean, tinned iron. Br careful out there.
Here’s a before and after for using the tip cleaner with a cold iron. I think the idea is to use it with a hot iron as you go, but you get the idea. Doesn’t this look better?