Question Cleaning old thermal paste from CPU/CPU cooler

Sep 27, 2021
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Hello,

Just wondering if there are any other good/easy ways to clean your CPU thermal paste rather than using Isopropyl alcohol.

Need to clean CPU and cooler paste but do not have Isopropyl alcohol, would get some but ordering it from amazon would mean waiting ~2 days for it, and its pouring heavily with rain around here so I can't really make a trip to boots without being drenched.

If there are no other good options then i will get Isopropyl alcohol one way or the other.

Thanks.
 
You can also use Windex or some other glass cleaning solution. Just get a good spray on the cloth and use that to wipe it down.

EDIT: Linus Tech Tips has a video on alternative ways to clean thermal paste:
I'd never use an ammonia cleanser on electronics....Windex has an ammonia base.

It (ammonia) can also discolor bare aluminum which makes up the majority of most heatsinks.
 
I'd never use an ammonia cleanser on electronics....Windex has an ammonia base.

It (ammonia) can also discolor bare aluminum which makes up the majority of most heatsinks.
The only thing I see where ammonia-based cleaners shouldn't be used is on screens due to the coatings on them.

Otherwise I'm not seeing where ammonia would be a problem on metal anyway. And if the discoloration is not affecting the thermal performance in a significant way, then discoloration isn't a problem (plus it's in a spot where you're not going to see it anyway).
 
The only thing I see where ammonia-based cleaners shouldn't be used is on screens due to the coatings on them.

Otherwise I'm not seeing where ammonia would be a problem on metal anyway. And if the discoloration is not affecting the thermal performance in a significant way, then discoloration isn't a problem (plus it's in a spot where you're not going to see it anyway).
https://www.eng-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=260029

I worked in manufacturing engineering at an aerospace electronics manufacturing plant. We were forbid to purchase or bring into the facility any ammoniated products (among several other products) that included for housekeeping in case they should find their way to the factory floor.

You can continue using it if you want. But seeing as there's a huge variety of excellent cleaning products available I really see no reason to chance using it, especially for something so easily removed with a simple tissue as old heatsink compound.
 
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Can you not buy a bottle of alcohol at your local pharmacy?
While 91% is considered best, 72% is not a problem.

How about high proof vodka?
Alcohol at the pharmacy is (usually) isopropyl and doesn't require proof-of-age in most jurisdictions. Vodka or Everclear would be ethanol and do the same for cleaning but both also require proof-of-age (in most jurisdictions). Or (might be) outright banned in Muslim countries.
 

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