How to Safely Clean Your CPU Without Damaging It

How to Safely Clean Your CPU Without Damaging It

Your computer’s CPU is one of the most important components, and if it becomes dirty or clogged with dust, your machine will not run as efficiently. In this blog post, we will show you how to safely clean your CPU without damaging it. Follow these simple steps and your computer will be running like new in no time!

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  • Shut down your computer and unplug it from the wall.
  • Remove the CPU cover. This may vary depending on your computer’s make and model.
  • Use a can of compressed air to clean out any dust or debris from inside the CPU casing
  • Gently dab at any liquid with a paper towel, then let the CPU dry for 24 hours before replacing the cover and plugging in your computer.
  • If you’re still having problems with your computer after cleaning the CPU, take it to a professional for further assistance.

Why do we need to clean a CPU

The two most important reasons to clean your CPU are to remove dust and to update your thermal paste, both of which may have a substantial influence on the performance of your PC.

To begin, even if your computer’s surroundings are immaculate, dust accumulation is quite prevalent. A computer is simply a vacuum that sucks in cold air and expels hot air. If you don’t have a dust filter put in the areas where the air is drawn in, you’re going to get a lot of dust. Even if you do, dust may get into the gaps between your case’s coating.

Dust and hair may clog your fans, build up on your CPU and motherboard, and serve as a blanket, preventing heat from escaping. Normally, the heat generated by your CPU and surrounding components is dispersed by your cooling system, but when it comes into contact with dust, it has no option except to go backward and heat up your PC. This implies that your PC is more likely to overheat and that its performance will progressively deteriorate owing to interference with the electrical components.

Second, there’s thermal paste. No matter how nice your thermal paste is, it will eventually dry up and break. When this occurs, they lose their capacity to transport heat (this is referred to as heat transfer efficiency), which is a critical component of your computer’s cooling. When the CPU is unable to adequately transmit heat to the heatsink, the heat has no alternative except to re-enter the CPU and the motherboard. This might result in overheating, anomalous slowdowns, and, in severe circumstances, irreversible component damage.

Cleaning your PC of dust and updating your thermal paste will almost certainly improve its performance. We also suggest cleaning out your fans, heatsink, and the gaps between your motherboard, chassis, and hard drives for the best efficiency.

How to Clean A CPU Fan / Cooler?

How to Clean A CPU fan

Most of the time, a can of compressed air is enough to clean the CPU fan. But if that isn’t enough, here’s how to clean the CPU Fan more thoroughly:

  1. Follow the instructions in the section above until the CPU cooler is no longer attached to the motherboard.
  2. Grab one of the handles holding the heat sink and fan in place and gently pull it out. Do the same thing with the other handles until the fan and heat sink can be taken apart. If the handles are hard to take off with your hands, you can also use a flat-head screwdriver.
  3. Hold the fan blades in place and clean off the dust with compressed air. You could also just use a regular brush to do the same thing.
  4. If you want to clean the fan, even more, you can put some isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab or a microfiber cloth and use that to clean the fan.
  5. Next, take the heat sink and use a brush and running tap water to clean off all the dust.
  6. Give it a few hours to dry. Do not skip this step, as it is very important to let the heat sink dry out completely.
  7. Once the heat sink is completely dry, put some isopropyl alcohol on a microfiber cloth and wipe off the old thermal paste.
  8. Just do the opposite of what you did in Step 2 to put the fan and heat sink back together.
  9. Lastly, look at the section above for steps on how to clean the CPU, add more thermal paste, and put everything back together.

How to Clean Thermal Paste Off the CPU

How to Clean Thermal Paste Off the CPU

Using isopropanol or a thermal paste cleaner and a microfiber cloth, you can gently rub the thermal paste off the CPU. Here are all the steps you need to take:

  1. Turn off your computer and unplug the power cords.
  2. Either turn the case over or take the motherboard out of it.
  3. Remove the CPU Cooler from the motherboard very carefully.
  4. Plug the cooler fan into the motherboard’s CPU Fan header.
  5. Put the motherboard back in the case, connect all the cables and screws, and then turn on your PC.
  6. Check the sections below to see if you need to clean the pins or the cooler fan more. If not, put about the size of a pea of thermal paste in the middle of the CPU.
  7. Using the microfiber cloth and some Isopropyl Alcohol, gently wipe off the old thermal paste from the CPU. Also, do the same thing to the Cooler Block. Leave the surfaces to dry for a few hours when you’re done.
  8. For stock, Intel Coolers put the cooler straight back down so that the four pins on the cooler line up with the four holes around the CPU. Press down on two pins that are diagonally opposite each other until you hear them click into place. Then do the same thing with the other two pins. For AMD coolers, hook the cooler down on both sides and then close the latch arm.
  9. Cleaning off the old thermal paste and putting on a new layer should make a difference in how hot the CPU gets. Because of this, most people like to keep an eye on the CPU temperature.

How to Clean CPU Pins / Socket?

How to Clean CPU Pins

When people put too much thermal paste on the CPU, it ends up leaking onto the pins when they put the cooler on. This is a common problem that isn’t usually a big deal because most thermal pastes these days don’t conduct electricity.

The CPU pins, on the other hand, are very fragile, so you still have to be very careful with them. After all of that, here are the steps you need to take:

  1. If you need to take out the CPU, check the sections above for how to do it.
  2. You can easily get rid of the paste if you have a can of contact cleaner spray on hand. Most people don’t have it, though, so if you don’t have it, you can instead follow the steps below.
  3. Get a toothpick and carefully remove as much of the paste as you can without moving the pins.
  4. Put some isopropyl alcohol on a clean soft-bristled toothbrush, and then use it to very gently (almost no pressure) clean the paste off the pins. Make sure that none of the pins get bent here because it can be hard to fix them later. Also, q-tips and isopropanol work fine as long as you don’t leave any cotton fibers between the pins.
  5. When the brush has pasted on it, use a microfiber cloth to clean it. After that, go back to the pins. Do this until you’ve gotten as much thermal paste off the pins as you can.
  6. Once you’re done cleaning, let the CPU dry for a few hours.

You may also like: How to Fix Bent CPU Pins

We suggest using an alcohol pad or wipe to clean the gold-plated contact points on the CPU. After you’re done, don’t forget to dry the CPU.

For a deeper clean, you can pour some isopropanol into the socket holes, use a brush to gently remove as much paste as you can, and then use compressed air to blow out all the isopropanol and paste. Again, be sure to let the motherboard dry completely before putting it back in.

Most of the time, AMD uses PGA sockets, which have pins on the CPU that line up with holes in the socket. If you want to clean thermal paste off of such sockets, you should use an isopropyl wipe and wipe in a straight line.

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So now that you know how to clean your CPU the right way, there’s no need to worry about damaging it. Just make sure you follow these simple steps and you should have a clean and functioning computer in no time!