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View Full Version : Best way to remove thermal paste?


TeKiZeRo
07-17-04, 08:26 PM
I am getting a new heatsink for my computer, and I was wondering what is the best way to remove thermal past off the cpu chip? I used Q-tips in the past but I am not sure if that's the best way. Thanks

=ACID RAIN=
07-17-04, 08:30 PM
Q-tips with acetone. Few things work better. It will not harm your cpu at all :)

If you need pure acetone, it's at walmart by the paint.

TeKiZeRo
07-17-04, 10:27 PM
Thanks a bunch :)

Kurt M.
07-17-04, 10:31 PM
Brake Clean at your local auto parts store.

attack
07-18-04, 11:59 AM
Are you sure about brake clean? some stuff might eat the packaging...I know acetone doesn't.

iwillburnbush
07-18-04, 12:54 PM
rubbing alcohol is the safest, but acetone probably morks a little bit better...

Goldstandard
07-19-04, 06:29 PM
Yeah, it's the isopropyl alcohol that works, I got some myself, cheap and works great, and evaporates quickly. Make sure it isn't the scented kind and it is pretty pure, like 91% or more.

mattspalace
07-19-04, 06:38 PM
I use my polo sport aftershave... :D

qualhiveldorf
07-19-04, 06:46 PM
99% alcohol and q-tips will usually work, except I had a ****** hard time taking off that stock heatsink gunk.

Edit: Its funny how on the isoplypl w/e alcohol they say: Not meant to be used or to replacr grain or ethyl alcohol, who would be dumb enough to try to drink that stuffto get drunk?

Leviathan41
07-19-04, 10:41 PM
Q-tips sometimes leave residue, I use coffee filters, or put coffee filters over Q-tips

Goldstandard
07-19-04, 10:56 PM
Another thing you can use is lint free cloth like the kind for cleaning glasses, if you have it.

Shaocaholica
07-20-04, 02:29 PM
The best kind of alcohol is 99% ethanol you find in most hospitals/labs. Rubbing alcohol is ok if you can't get the ethanol. Still, there are things like thermal pads and tape that alcohol will have no effect on. Thats when you need a petroleum based solvent like acetone, mineral spirits, etc.

wiak
12-16-07, 08:58 AM
newbies
get this
http://www.akasa.co.uk/akasa_english/spec_page/thermal/spec_ak_tc.htm
http://www.3dgameman.com/forums//archive/index.php/t-20404.html

a friend of me has used it, it works great

my rule is now, dont use stock cooler it sucks and has some crappy pre applyed thermal ****, get a aftermanth cooler, and get some proper thermal paste like Arctic Cooling MX-1/MX-2, Artic Silver 5 etc

turd
12-16-07, 11:27 AM
Alcohol, cue-tips, soft toothbrush and canned air, works for me.

pinoy3000
12-22-07, 05:38 PM
Alcohol works best. And as for the cloth, you can use like an old socks or something.

Shiggity
12-22-07, 07:37 PM
Q-tips sometimes leave residue, I use coffee filters, or put coffee filters over Q-tips

Yeah they used coffee filters as a reference on the arctic silver 5 site. I cut a coffee filter to a smaller size and used that with some rubbing alcohol. It worked pretty well, but I'll try the filter with a Q-tip next time for more accuracy.

austinb324
07-17-09, 11:46 AM
Hey guys im new to the site, I was just wondering...havnt tried it yet but would a Mr. Clean magic eraser posibly be effective at removing thermal compound?

Mjolnir
07-18-09, 01:59 AM
I use a arcticlean set, with the remover and the purifier.. Works fine for me, and the purifier you can tell does a decent job as to the difference between the tone before and after its used. But eh.

Old Thrashbarg
07-18-09, 08:06 AM
I wouln't use a Magic Eraser. I think those are sort of abrasive, which is a bad thing when combined with delicate electronics.

Stick with alcohol or acetone... if you have some really tenacious goo, like some of the stuff OEM machines use, it may take some paint thinner (on a qtip, don't slather the whole chip with it), followed up with alcohol to remove the residue. But abrasives... no, not a wise idea.

fusion509
07-18-09, 09:44 AM
rubbing alcohol is the safest,

I just recently used rubbing alcohol to clean my cpu and i found it works the best.

johnboy1998
07-18-09, 10:13 AM
I use a arcticlean set, with the remover and the purifier.. Works fine for me, and the purifier you can tell does a decent job as to the difference between the tone before and after its used. But eh.

+ 1 Great stuff!

Ahgemon
07-26-09, 12:39 AM
Usually thermal paste has hardened if the heatsink and fan system have been on a long time, if it is hardened I usually get a razor blade and carfully carve it off, the hardened material acts as a gap between your new heat sink and the surface heat spreader of your cpu, and if left on, the heat transfer will be inefficient and your system will shut down, I have had it happen before.

If your thermal paste is still gooey, then you do not have to clean it off, once the two surfaces come in contact it will bind the two as it should and heat will transfer from one surface to the other.

BlueMax
07-26-09, 05:42 PM
Hey guys, new to the site.. :P

I use 99% alcohol with some Q-Tips, works good.

vlaszlo
07-26-09, 05:54 PM
Brake Cleaner or Isopropyl Alcohol

T1Cybernetic
07-27-09, 06:21 AM
Where do all you guys get your alcohol from?

I had some from lens cleaning tools from some car boot sale i got ages ago but i am almost out :(

Im in the uk too ;)

cyberfish
07-27-09, 06:32 AM
I have always used mineral spirit with Qtip, and it seems to work quite well, too.

Jolly-Swagman
07-27-09, 06:38 AM
Where do all you guys get your alcohol from?

I had some from lens cleaning tools from some car boot sale i got ages ago but i am almost out :(

Im in the uk too ;)

Usually you can get Isopropyl Alcohol from most chemists

Archer0915
07-27-09, 07:01 AM
I did not see it but alcohol based hand sanitizer gel is awesome used with a paper towel.