Question Cleaning My PC w/ Isopropyl Alcohol Wipes

sharkerwill23

Reputable
Dec 31, 2017
2
0
4,510
0
Hello,

I'm planning to clean my PC soon and I want to use the isopropyl alcohol wipes that I already have in my house. I've done some research to know if this is a viable option, and it seems like most people encourages the use of alcohol wipes but I want to make sure. So should I use isopropyl alcohol wipes to get dust off my fans, motherboard, etc? I also heard that you should wait until the parts completely dry up and evaporate before turning the PC back on. How would I know if the alcohol completely evaporated? I don't want my PC to die or electrocute me or anything. Is there any other safety hazards I should know of w/ using alcohol wipes? Any feedback is appreciated.
 
Last edited:

Wolfshadw

Titan
Moderator
The only reason to use Isopropyl alcohol in your system is to remove thermal paste from the CPU and heatsink. Any other cleaning should be dry. Just use compressed air to remove the dust. If you have a bit that just won't dislodge, use a soft-bristled tooth brush to dislodge it and then blow it away with compressed air.

At any rate, Isopropyl alcohol dries in a matter of seconds. By the time you plug the power cable back into the power supply, the alcohol should be dry.

-Wolf sends
 
If you saw how I was cleaning my 7 years old system.

I was putting the case outside on a table and use a vacuum cleaner to blow air inside at like 3 feet and it was a dust show but the case was clean after 10 seconds.

Removing the stuck dust from the fan was easy too. Hands or anything really. Just not something that could damage something.
 

Raz_5_

Reputable
Mar 5, 2017
65
4
4,535
0
The only reason to use Isopropyl alcohol in your system is to remove thermal paste from the CPU and heatsink. Any other cleaning should be dry. Just use compressed air to remove the dust. If you have a bit that just won't dislodge, use a soft-bristled tooth brush to dislodge it and then blow it away with compressed air.

At any rate, Isopropyl alcohol dries in a matter of seconds. By the time you plug the power cable back into the power supply, the alcohol should be dry.

-Wolf sends
Shoot, I hope taking my GPU apart and using 70% alcohol pads on it with a fan pointed at me wasnt a bad idea then. There was quite a bit of grime and dust on it so I used that, and I wont know if it's broken till Monday when my parts come in. Do you think I ruined it?
 
Shoot, I hope taking my GPU apart and using 70% alcohol pads on it with a fan pointed at me wasnt a bad idea then. There was quite a bit of grime and dust on it so I used that, and I wont know if it's broken till Monday when my parts come in. Do you think I ruined it?
If you took your GPU apart and you put it back together fine it will be ok but doing that void the warranty on it (If you're still under warranty) and it was not necessary. You only do that if your GPU overheat for nothing and you know you need to take it apart.

Blowing air at your GPU is enough to remove the dust and the fans you just need to remove the stuck dust from the blades and clean the fan a bit and that's it.
 
Last edited:

Raz_5_

Reputable
Mar 5, 2017
65
4
4,535
0
If you took your GPU apart and you put it back together fine it will be ok BUT doing that void the warranty on it and it was not necessary. You only do that if your GPU overheat for nothing and you know you need to take it apart.

Blowing air at your GPU is enough to remove the dust and the fans you just need to remove the stuck dust from the blades and clean the fan a bit and that's it.
I understand that and I bought the card from someone online. It had some dust on it and stuff so I decided to clean it as it was that thick dry dust on the card. I then removed the fan cover on it and blew the dust out of the heatsink and cleaned the fans blades and as a bonus in my mind, another reason for me taking the front cover off was because I thought to myself, if I'm already cleaning it thoroughly because it's a used card, I should replace the thermal paste as well. I didnt know that was foolish to do :(
 
I understand that and I bought the card from someone online. It had some dust on it and stuff so I decided to clean it as it was that thick dry dust on the card. I then removed the fan cover on it and blew the dust out of the heatsink and cleaned the fans and as a bonus in my mind, another reason for me taking the front cover off was because I thought to myself, if I'm already cleaning it thoroughly because it's a used card, I should replace the thermal paste as well. I didnt know that was foolish to do :(
It's not foolish to do if you need to do it because it's overheating but taking it apart because of dust is a bit unnecessary. You're not foolish.

Cleaning a PC is the GPU fan, case fan, blow some air through the PSU fan, blow air on the board and case interior to expel the dust from the inside and that's it.

Taking the GPU apart, re-applying thermal paste on the CPU, removing and blowing air in the RAM slots and blowing air in the PCIe slot is just if you have issues.
 

Raz_5_

Reputable
Mar 5, 2017
65
4
4,535
0
It's not foolish to do if you need to do it because it's overheating but taking it totally apart because of dust is a bit unnecessary. Not foolish to do btw.

Cleaning a PC is the GPU fan, case fan, blow some air through the PSU fan, blow air on the board and case interior to expel the dust from the inside and that's it.

Taking the GPU apart, re-applying thermal paste on the CPU, removing and blowing air in the RAM slots and blowing air in the PCIe slot is just if you have issues.
Gotcha, I understand. So opinion since were here talking. Do you think it was bad I used alchohol wipes on my graphics card? I didnt soak it at all.
 

Raz_5_

Reputable
Mar 5, 2017
65
4
4,535
0
From a few threads out there using Isopropyl to clean a GPU PCB is totally fine. What they say to not do is to put some on the adhesive and the thermal pad.
I'm really bad at this, what do they look like?

Edit: I am assuming it's those gummy rubbery things. I assumed as much if that's them seeing how if I did the alcohol would dry them out and crack and that wouldnt be good.
 
I'm really bad at this, what do they look like?
Thermal Pad
https://www.google.com/search?q=gpu+thermal+pads&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiSlIzs_LPuAhVUeTABHRELDTIQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=gpu+thermal+pads&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQAzIECAAQQzIECAAQGDIECAAQGFDI-QFYyPkBYKX7AWgAcAB4AIABPogBPpIBATGYAQCgAQGqAQtnd3Mtd2l6LWltZ8ABAQ&sclient=img&ei=IhgNYJL7GNTywbkPkZa0kAM&bih=969&biw=1920

And for the adhesive well that's glue or cement or mucilage or paste. Apart from the thermal paste on a GPU and thermal pads I don't know where the adhesive is. I will let someone with better experience at taking apart a GPU answer that :)
 

Raz_5_

Reputable
Mar 5, 2017
65
4
4,535
0
Thermal Pad
https://www.google.com/search?q=gpu+thermal+pads&tbm=isch&ved=2ahUKEwiSlIzs_LPuAhVUeTABHRELDTIQ2-cCegQIABAA&oq=gpu+thermal+pads&gs_lcp=CgNpbWcQAzIECAAQQzIECAAQGDIECAAQGFDI-QFYyPkBYKX7AWgAcAB4AIABPogBPpIBATGYAQCgAQGqAQtnd3Mtd2l6LWltZ8ABAQ&sclient=img&ei=IhgNYJL7GNTywbkPkZa0kAM&bih=969&biw=1920

And for the adhesive well that's glue or cement or mucilage or paste. Apart from the thermal paste on a GPU and thermal pads I don't know where the adhesive is. I will let someone with better experience at taking apart a GPU answer that :)
I'm assuming it must mean the adhesive used to have stick the thermal pads on. But gotcha, don't touch thermal pads with the alchohol lol. Thank you.
 

cl42

Distinguished
Sep 8, 2013
5
1
18,515
0
From a few threads out there using Isopropyl to clean a GPU PCB is totally fine. What they say to not do is to put some on the adhesive and the thermal pad.
Gotcha, I understand. So opinion since were here talking. Do you think it was bad I used alchohol wipes on my graphics card? I didnt soak it at all.
I Just used 70 &91% alcohol on viva paper towel tonite. just a size of a 50 cent piece. but yeah ive cleaned5 or 6 graphics cards, tonite i had cpu of an xps 435t ive been sitting on for 3 years .it held 8 hard drives. re-assembling it tonite on a new-used MOBO i discovered some paste in 2 spots inside the cpu socket. i had no choice but to try a razor blade and isopropyl. then just blow on it. 70% may take more blowing. my baby is humming along just fine now, viva paper towel and all. in the 80s i worked in military electronics assembly. isopropyl is what we used to clean the resin from the solder [back before robotic machinery was invented to do it]
 
Reactions: Raz_5_

Raz_5_

Reputable
Mar 5, 2017
65
4
4,535
0
I Just used 70 &91% alcohol on viva paper towel tonite. just a size of a 50 cent piece. but yeah ive cleaned5 or 6 graphics cards, tonite i had cpu of an xps 435t ive been sitting on for 3 years .it held 8 hard drives. re-assembling it tonite on a new-used MOBO i discovered some paste in 2 spots inside the cpu socket. i had no choice but to try a razor blade and isopropyl. then just blow on it. 70% may take more blowing. my baby is humming along just fine now, viva paper towel and all. in the 80s i worked in military electronics assembly. isopropyl is what we used to clean the resin from the solder [back before robotic machinery was invented to do it]
Sounds good, I didnt blow on it to dry it tho so I hope that's not a problem I did a few times but for the most part I had a fan on me on blast. Hope that's good enough.
 
Reactions: cl42

sharkerwill23

Reputable
Dec 31, 2017
2
0
4,510
0
My apartment isn't exactly ideal for using an air compressor to blow the dust out of my PC as it would just land everywhere around the room, so I just wanted to know if just using alcohol wipes is a viable and safe option.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY