[SOLVED] Disgusting Computer Components, How To Clean

Oct 31, 2018
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So I've seen YouTube restorers use various things to clean old computers and some of these old parts have stains similar to my issue. As in... It ain't dust and it ain't a new stain.


I've seen rubbing alcohol, acetone, good ol' scrubbing-with-a-toothbrush and rinse, and so on. Anything that would be a huge no-no? Can you use a mild soap for grease? Or just water? It's gonna be a big job so I want all my stuff ready before I tackle it.
 

Scottray

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Jul 14, 2016
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Isopropyl alcohol would probably still be the best solvent and lint free paper or cloth. Also, some anti-static brushes. But, no hard scrubbing. The leads on the components are pretty delicate. Last, lots of compressed air cans to blow off the gunk as the alcohol and brushes loosens it up.
 
Nov 1, 2018
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You should never be using soap and water to clean any electronics. The bigger question I would ask is, why are your parts stained in the first place? The only thing they should be accumulating is dust, which barring some touch up with rubbing alcohol as posted above, can be blown out with an air can or compressor. Nothing about your rig should require cleaning with any liquids outside of maybe the case. Doing so will damage the parts.

The alcohol is your best bet.
 
Oct 31, 2018
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There's plenty of reasons a computer would suffer but this particular one lived in an open case and suffered spilled liquids, rabbit pee, pellet cat litter, maybe cat pee, probably liquid poo at some point, and possible rotting flesh. Regardless, it's caked in gunk and I'm seeing what's salvageable and what's too far gone. Part of that is cleaning the stuff off and inspecting for rust and corrosion. The other computer fared better but it's either grease (from cooking in a enclosed space) or something else that has made the dust adhere. Kind of like if your cupboards or fridge have tops and you cook near them and the dust is a weird sticky mess on them.
 

Scottray

Reputable
Jul 14, 2016
1,800
3
4,965
607
Isopropyl alcohol would probably still be the best solvent and lint free paper or cloth. Also, some anti-static brushes. But, no hard scrubbing. The leads on the components are pretty delicate. Last, lots of compressed air cans to blow off the gunk as the alcohol and brushes loosens it up.
 
Oct 31, 2018
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Just finished pulling everything apart and the worst tower looks way better on the inside than I expected. I couldn't get the PSU to start and opening it up showed a bunch of corrosion. But the graphics card might be salvageable. The mobo *looks* good but it's fried. I geuss I won't know if the CPU is okay until I get another motherboard :/ I kinda figured that's what happened when it first died on me.

The second tower is much better, just a lot of hay and dust. I don't have isopropyl alcohol yet so I just used a baby toothbrush to wipe some gunk off while I checked for corrosion. This will be... Interesting for sure.
 

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