[SOLVED] I cant seem to completely wipe off arctic mx-4 thermal compound out of my CPU & heatsink

Dec 1, 2020
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Hey guys, im a beginner in PC building. I recently took off my CPU cooler due to dead motherboard and need to re-install the cpu cooler. I used the MX-4 as the thermal compound.

I wiped the thermal compound with tissues and 70% alcohol. Most of the compound has wiped out. However, you can still see darker shades of colour in the heatsink and CPU.

Now those darker shades cant go off completely. Every time i rub a new tissue, the tissue will become black-ish, meaning that there are still residues in the heatsink & CPU. I used a lot of alcohol and tissues rubbing these off, but it never completely went off (the tissues always shows traces of black)

Is this normal? Will it mess the thermals even if i dont clean it up 100% clean?
 

jay32267

Champion
Hey guys, im a beginner in PC building. I recently took off my CPU cooler due to dead motherboard and need to re-install the cpu cooler. I used the MX-4 as the thermal compound.

I wiped the thermal compound with tissues and 70% alcohol. Most of the compound has wiped out. However, you can still see darker shades of colour in the heatsink and CPU.

Now those darker shades cant go off completely. Every time i rub a new tissue, the tissue will become black-ish, meaning that there are still residues in the heatsink & CPU. I used a lot of alcohol and tissues rubbing these off, but it never completely went off (the tissues always shows traces of black)

Is this normal? Will it mess the thermals even if i dont clean it up 100% clean?
I think you probably have it clean enough at this point and I would install it and try it.
Being they are just darker shades or color...I don't see that affecting the performance of the new thermal compound much if at all.
 

jay32267

Champion
Hey guys, im a beginner in PC building. I recently took off my CPU cooler due to dead motherboard and need to re-install the cpu cooler. I used the MX-4 as the thermal compound.

I wiped the thermal compound with tissues and 70% alcohol. Most of the compound has wiped out. However, you can still see darker shades of colour in the heatsink and CPU.

Now those darker shades cant go off completely. Every time i rub a new tissue, the tissue will become black-ish, meaning that there are still residues in the heatsink & CPU. I used a lot of alcohol and tissues rubbing these off, but it never completely went off (the tissues always shows traces of black)

Is this normal? Will it mess the thermals even if i dont clean it up 100% clean?
I think you probably have it clean enough at this point and I would install it and try it.
Being they are just darker shades or color...I don't see that affecting the performance of the new thermal compound much if at all.
 

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