While it is true that it is essential to have the proper knowledge to correctly apply thermal paste on a processor, the reality is that it is just as important to know the proper procedure to clean it from your IHS. In addition, the importance of knowing which liquid is the ideal one to carry out the cleaning emerges with equal force in order for the thermal paste to dissolve correctly, and, in this way, we manage to eliminate any remainder with total ease, especially in case the pasta is rather dry.
Thus, and with this purpose in mind, in today’s article, we proceed to explain in depth what are the steps you will have to follow to clean the thermal paste from your processor correctly, at the same time that we will indicate what type of alcohol is the best to help you in the task. We started!
How to clean the thermal paste from your processor
There is no doubt that keeping your PC in optimal conditions is essential when it comes to extending its useful life as much as possible. Let’s face it: Tech gear isn’t cheap, and the vast majority of us can’t afford to neglect it. Among the care tasks that emerge as possible to keep our equipment in optimal conditions is cleaning the thermal paste of your processor. Applying this type of paste on top of a processor is a delicate task – which we must carry out with care. But it does not require a deep knowledge of computers; Well, this is the same thing that happens when cleaning it. You must take into account at this point that, throughout the useful life of your processor. You will have to perform these two steps on several occasions, especially if you want to extend that life as long as possible. As we pointed out at the beginning of this section.
Thus, you will have to clean the thermal paste and make use of it again to apply it to your processor in the circumstances explained below:
- Every time you make the decision to modify the heatsink for a new model.
- Depending on the paste you use on your processor. It will be necessary to remove the previous paste from time to time and reapply a new paste. Taking care that, due to the passage of time, its properties have not been damaged.
When we proceed to the task of cleaning the remains of thermal paste, you must bear in mind that you will not only have to remove the remains of the IHS from the processor. It is also important to remove them from the base of the heatsink, which is the area that is in direct contact with the IHS. The reason for this cleaning comes from the need to prevent the new paste from sticking to the old; Likewise, in this way, we will also avoid that the layer of paste that results from the application and that remains between both surfaces is too thick: if this happens, what we would achieve is, precisely, the opposite result to what we were looking for in the beginning.
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What type of alcohol is the best to clean thermal paste?
At the beginning of our article, we made reference to the fact that the steps that we explain to clean our processor are also totally feasible for the GPUs of the graphic cards; Despite the above, the reality is that, in all probability, you will carry out the cleaning of your processors a few times more than in the case of the graphics.
When it comes to cleaning our processor from the remains of thermal paste. The first thing to keep in mind is that you will need a couple of tools:
- To start, cotton cloth and, if this is not possible, kitchen paper or earbuds.
- Next, a bottle of rubbing alcohol.
If you do not have isopropyl alcohol and, failing that, you could use liquids specifically made for this purpose; You could also, on the other hand, use lemon juice. The important thing in this regard is that the product you use has the ability to dissolve the silicone that is responsible for binding the particles of the paste so that it is easy for us to remove their remains from the surface that we want to clean.
If it is the case that the thermal paste has solidified – something that could happen due to the passage of time, because the quality is rather bad or due to possible effects of temperatures – our advice is to add a few drops of one of the products explained in the previous lines before trying to clean it by force; Once you add the drops of solvent. You will get the paste softened enough so that you can easily remove it.
Once the pasta has softened, take one end of the cotton cloth we mentioned above and gently run it over the IHS of your processor. If you do this, you will be able to eliminate most of the thermal paste residues that may be on the surface. Once this is done, take another end of the same cloth (having made sure it is clean) and moisten it, then carefully rub the rest of the surfaces on which traces of the thermal paste may have remained until they are completely clean.
After this process, you just have to let the processor (and all its surfaces). As well as the heatsink, dry for a few minutes, then carefully apply the new thermal paste.
One last important point: try to be very careful when handling isopropyl alcohol. Since it is a type of alcohol that has a high concentration and, in the case of being consumed in large doses. It can reach to be mortal for the human being. On the other hand, it is just as important to pay special attention when handling it. Taking care that it is not near any flame or igneous focus.