Can I use acetone?

random5

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Uhm yeah, I need to replace fan on CPU,since stock one can't keep up with my demands anymore, unfortunately ain't have isopropyl alcohol so is it possible to use acetone instead? are the any risks regarding this?
 

sincreator

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I wouldn't recommend it. Acetone is very abrasive and could damage something if spilled. It's basically paint remover. You could just use a cotton swab and rub off as much as possible. The light film left over won't be anything to worry about.
 

sincreator

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I wouldn't recommend it. Acetone is very abrasive and could damage something if spilled. It's basically paint remover. You could just use a cotton swab and rub off as much as possible. The light film left over won't be anything to worry about.
 

random5

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so i can partially rub thermal paste off with some cotton swab and then i can apply new thermal paste without full removing the old one? Interesting. can this have any short term/long term consequences?
 

random5

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remote place here,nobody wont transport it, unless im willing to pay several times the price of the isopropyl, ain't going to.
 

Rowdyrauderson

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Acetone will work fine. The whole point of using isopropyl is that it evaporates quickly, leaving no residue. Acetone is used in every lab for cleaning glassware for the same reason.
Just don't drink it.
 


I wouldn't.

Acetone is a strong solvent. It is not like alcohol. It can soften or completely dissolve petro-chemical or polymer based materials. This is good for cleaning and degreasing metals, but NOT good for spills on other materials.

Any pharmacy should have isopropyl 70-90% rubbing alcohol. This is fine.
 

Rowdyrauderson

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Isn't that the point, though? The acetone removes the thermal paste because it is a strong solvent. Don't think that the acetone is going to ruin an aluminum or copper heat-sink. Or am I confused on what you need the acetone for in the first place...?
 

The Original Ralph

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what rowdyrauderson said - i work with acetone and it will work fine - not sure how it's "abrasive" - just use it the same way as you do the alcohol, ie don't go spilling it on the socket or mobo - just dampen a small pc of t-shirt material and use it to wipe up the thermal paste. And same as the alcohol, wait a minute or so before applying the new thermal paste, just to give it a chance to evaporate off. Same as alcohol, acetone leaves no residue
 

Kaarel_K

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I work in a chemistry lab and I have used acetone to clean a CPU before. Its fine if you keep it away from plastics as acetone eats through a few of them with ease.
 

Rowdyrauderson

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I worked at a chemistry lab as well and have "borrowed" plenty of acetone to clean heatsinks/CPU's. I think it works way better than iso. But yeah, I'd be a little worried if it spilled on my mobo...
 
Please re-read and understand the entirety of my original reply.

Metal = safe
Polymers = dangerous

The risk is as Rowdyrauderson mentions above.

Spills or drips will cause problems for plastics, which are used widely on motherboards, GPUs, heatsinks, etc. And even if you take your CPU out, acetone can soften epoxy, which is used to hold some CPU heat spreaders on.
 
How remote of a place is it that there's no rubbing alcohol available and it has to be shipped in? I've lived in pretty remote places (aka, 20mi from the closest town of around 2000 ppl) although limited to the u.s. It should be sold anywhere that has bandaids, either a drug store, pharmacy, any health/beauty aisle, convenience marts like fueling stations, just about anywhere. It may depend on the type of acetone, the paint thinner type I've used leaves a residue where alcohol doesn't. I wouldn't call acetone abrasive, rather corrosive depending on type/strength. I've never worked with lab grade acetone, so that might be something entirely different. Still find it hard to believe that acetone would be any easier to get than rubbing alcohol.
 

The Original Ralph

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think what you guys are overlooking is that alcohol is no less dangerous or corrosive to polymers and fiberglass, than acetone, ....okay, maybe slightly less than acetone but acetone is just a better cleaning solvent - yeah you have to be careful, but you really should be careful with alcohol as well

just dampen a small pc of cloth, maybe a patch cut from an old t-shirt and wipe the heat sink face and the cpu - no drama, no sweating, no hysteria

jeez
 

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