[SOLVED] Used Alcohol with moisturizer to clean cpu, should I be worried?

jelardz2000

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HELP! Used Isop Alcohol with MOISTURIZER to clean Ryzen CPU. Do I need to redo and how much did I screw up

Hello, I foolishly bought a 70 % Isop Alcohol with MOISTURIZER, and cleaned CPU thermal paste, PCB of the CPU, some parts of the motherboard, RAM golden contact pins, and of course the heatspreader of the CPU to clean thermal paste.

It was only after I did everything did I realize the "with moisturizer" label on the alcohol.

I tested the alcohol on a wooden floor and it didn't evaporate quickly and it even left white residue off the stain.

This is a new build that I did on my old case so I may have screwed up new parts.

I've ran the PC for 30 minutes or so only because I don't have RAM right now borrowed one from a friend to see how well the build works. It did work well with
Normal temps but not enough time to observe fault or physical damage.


Am I worrying too much? Shouldn't the heat from the computer evaporate any moisturizer left? And should I clean the CPU again with actual 70% IPA alcohol with no moisturizer? And finally, will the moisturizer cause any problems in the long run and will it degrade any components or PCB?

Thank you for any answer
 
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Jmi20

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Have you noticed any residue left on the IHS? Or PCB? Or any corrosion?
none. I believe “residue” is unavoidable though, there will always be something left behind after cleaning your components. Unless you are using surgical grade alcohol and are in a clean room.

ive used the same alcohol you used to clean off the flux after the R9 380 repair. No problems…

but, theres absolutely nothing wrong with being sure. Do what you think is best for your components, and for peace of mind.
 

Lutfij

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You're just compounding problems after problems, hmmm? You shouldn't have used the isopropyl alcohol to begin with, compounding that, you shouldn't have reassembled it, compounding that, you shouldn't have fired the system at all prior to getting all of the prior "moisturizer" off. You should shut down the system, disassemble the parts that you used with the solvent that had moisturizer in it, then wipe it all down with proper rubbing alcohol that does not contain moisturizer in it.

should I clean the CPU again with actual 70% IPA alcohol with no moisturizer?
Yes

because I don't have RAM right now
The system should've been in it's box, then, until you sourced the right stuff.
 
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I had ram on hand but it turned out defective at first testing so that's my bad. What damage has it most likely done by now?
Most likely none.

The moisturizer in an alcohol hand sanitizer is most likely something like glycerin which is pretty benign by itself. It's biggest issue is it attracts moisture over extended time period. Just remove the heatsink and clean it with some 70% or higher IPA, reapply a quality thermal paste and you'll be fine.
 
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Thanks, should I also clean the bottom part of the CPU around the pins? Because I remember putting alcohol there to clean off any thermal paste. and are there any more risks if i don't clean it. Because I might mess something up more
Normally I'd say no but without knowing the exact moisturizer it might be a good idea. But then you also have to balance the possibility of damaging or bending the pins against the possibility of residual moisturizer causing issues.

I would clean it with a soft bristle brush moistened in 70% IPA. But you might consider it a toss-up if you're not confident about being careful or feel uncomfortable about doing it. As a point of reference, you do not have to worry about cleaning minor contamination of the pins with thermal compound. It's really benign and won't cause issues. Only if it's grossly excessive, to the point it might interfere with the sockets, is it necessary to risk bending the delicate pins by cleaning.
 
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Bob.B

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HELP! Used Isop Alcohol with MOISTURIZER to clean Ryzen CPU. Do I need to redo and how much did I screw up

Hello, I foolishly bought a 70 % Isop Alcohol with MOISTURIZER, and cleaned CPU thermal paste, PCB of the CPU, some parts of the motherboard, RAM golden contact pins, and of course the heatspreader of the CPU to clean thermal paste.

It was only after I did everything did I realize the "with moisturizer" label on the alcohol.

I tested the alcohol on a wooden floor and it didn't evaporate quickly and it even left white residue off the stain.

This is a new build that I did on my old case so I may have screwed up new parts.

I've ran the PC for 30 minutes or so only because I don't have RAM right now borrowed one from a friend to see how well the build works. It did work well with
Normal temps but not enough time to observe fault or physical damage.


Am I worrying too much? Shouldn't the heat from the computer evaporate any moisturizer left? And should I clean the CPU again with actual 70% IPA alcohol with no moisturizer? And finally, will the moisturizer cause any problems in the long run and will it degrade any components or PCB?

Thank you for any answer
I think what you want is 90% iso it's sometimes called surgical fluid.
It does not leave a residue behind.
Your local drug store should have some.

Since the effects of what you applied are unknown go back with the 90% and clean it off.
 
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Jmi20

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What type of alcohol are you getting that leaves residues? The one OP's buying but without the "moisturizer" tag?
ethyl alcohol has more of a "drying" effect than isopropyl alcohol. so its more likely to contain some sort of moisturizer, or "residue". but who knows if isopropyl truly wont leave any residue...

ive used the same alcohol OP used to clean the ihs of my 3600, die of rtx 2060, r9 380, r9 390, an old q6600... no difference at all in cooling...
 

Jmi20

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I'm sorry, please for give me if twenty four years of of break fixing and PC assembly, three of which for a major computer manufacturer on a high end business computer line, plus a degree in computer information systems is insufficient for this, but... What, precisely is wrong with isopropyl alcohol being used to clean PC components

Short of totally submerging a component with capacitors on it, and then turning it on without drying completely (which will fry it, and possibly cause combustion), I can't imagine a single component there usage of up to 99% rubbing alcohol is not the recommended cleaning agent by every manufacturer that I have even the faintest amount of respect for. And at least one I don't have any respect for. I require reference material on whatever issue you think this causes.

Because from everything I've ever learned from anyone that actually knows what they're doing, you're 100% wrong. The NES and SNES instructions told you to use rubbing alcohol on the contacts if you needed to clean the cartridges. The primary suggestion my L2 support gave for anyone was 90% isopropyl or greater on contacts and to remove thermal past. And any place you need to sanitize for user interface, such as hospitals using touch screens in an operating theatre.

The main reason for it being used is because 99% pure isopropyl alcohol leaves zero residue, and lower percentages leave less residue than any other material you care to name. The OP's accidental usage of a moisturizing variant counting as a fourth sigma outlying case. The only time I can think of where you would use anything other than isopropyl alcohol is literally when you don't have any.

So, please. I beg you. Enlighten me. Show me exactly what your sources are for what I view as total insanity.
i believe what he meant to say is the alcohol that OP used.

i think this argument would never end. its just like what thermal paste to use or how to apply it, apple vs android, or what oil to use for my car.

another thing to note, we are building pcs here. not the international space station where everything is mission critical... it (specifically for cleaning the ihs) is almost impossible to get it surgically clean without being in a surgical clean room, using medical grade alcohol...

heck, you could even clean a pcb with water after soldering components to remove the flux...
 

dragonorb13

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i believe what he meant to say is the alcohol that OP used.

i think this argument would never end. its just like what thermal paste to use or how to apply it, apple vs android, or what oil to use for my car.

another thing to note, we are building pcs here. not the international space station where everything is mission critical... it (specifically for cleaning the ihs) is almost impossible to get it surgically clean without being in a surgical clean room, using medical grade alcohol...

heck, you could even clean a pcb with water after soldering components to remove the flux...
While your statements are all technically true, it's one thing to have a preferred agent that happens to not be the normally recommended one... And an entirely different thing to explicitly call out said most commonly advised cleaning agent (especially by people who are legally responsible if their advice can be proven to be inherently damaging to your system) as a problem. Either he made a small, but egregiously important error in communicating context, or his advice is hair on fire crazy. The former is understandable, and if that's the case I'm more than willing to apologize. The latter, on the other hand, I won't.

In the case of your last comment, you are entirely correct. Just let that sucker dry thoroughly before you run power through it.
 

Udyr

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One last thing. Has residue like my case ever been know to kill a cpu? Or seep into PCB? My alcohol may take weeks to arrive and the time I can spare will be 31sr of agaust, but I need to use the computer before then. Is it safe to use it and clean up at the end of the month? Or should I use a laptop
No pharmacy/drug or department store near you to get at least a bottle of 70% isopropyl? Better be safe than sorry and clean off the possible residue left over by the moisturizer.
 

Jmi20

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It shouldn’t. In fact i just cleaned this:


with this:


and there is absolutely no streaking, or visible sign of residue. ive had so many components that never had any issue after being cleaned with ANY type of alcohol such as ethyl, isopropyl, even electronic contact cleaner (obviously...).
OP, you are overthinking. or perhaps we're all overthinking.

how would we know if "residue" OF ANY KIND will in fact damage components or make them fail over time? has there been any conclusive testing in the span of multiple hundred hours or even years? who's to say it hasn't failed due to age by then?
could we define residue as contamination? if yes, then the other guy who uses an eraser to polish his ihs should have had his cpu fail a long time ago. dust and moisture is unavoidable, but why arent millions of pc's suddenly failing?

like i said, we're building pc's here. not rockets.

but, as i've also said. OP, you must do whatever makes you sleep at night. buy 99% pure isopropyl alcohol if you must.
 
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dragonorb13

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One last thing. Has residue like my case ever been know to kill a cpu? Or seep into PCB? My alcohol may take weeks to arrive and the time I can spare will be 31sr of agaust, but I need to use the computer before then. Is it safe to use it and clean up at the end of the month? Or should I use a laptop
It would not seep in to the PCB or the circuits, no. The mechanism that allows it to do that on human skin is the porous membranes of the skin cells. Unless we've segued in to Farscape without my noticing, computers don't have that. If you're desperate, as someone else pointed out, you can use soap and water (I advise Dawn out of personal preference), but you do need to either thoroughly dry it with canned air or wait a few days for it to dry completely, or you short it the f- out. And once it's been properly cleaned and dried, there should be no lasting harm to it. If you have a back up machine you can use, that would actually be a good idea, though. For the sake of being paranoid.


Finally someone else acknowledging alcohol doesn't leave any residue. I don't know what alcohols some are using here, besides what OP used.
Of course I acknowledge it. I paid attention in high school science class. And, since the big box manufacturer I worked at explicitly told customers that were hospitals that this was the prefered material for cleaning anything you care to name (with varying degrees of "wait for it to evaporate, or you'll either short your computer or set it on fire") for literally that reason, I've plenty or reason over the last two and a half decades to presume this to be true.
 
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Jmi20

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It would not seep in to the PCB or the circuits, no. The mechanism that allows it to do that on human skin is the porous membranes of the skin cells. Unless we've segued in to Farscape without my noticing, computers don't have that. If you're desperate, as someone else pointed out, you can use soap and water (I advise Dawn out of personal preference), but you do need to either thoroughly dry it with canned air or wait a few days for it to dry completely, or you short it the f- out. And once it's been properly cleaned and dried, there should be no lasting harm to it. If you have a back up machine you can use, that would actually be a good idea, though. For the sake of being paranoid.
this is sound advice, but using anything other than distilled water would leave........ you guessed it, "residue"

Of course I acknowledge it. I paid attention in high school science class. And, since the big box manufacturer I worked at explicitly told customers that were hospitals that this was the prefered material for cleaning anything you care to name (with varying degrees of "wait for it to evaporate, or you'll either short your computer or set it on fire") for literally that reason, I've plenty or reason over the last two and a half decades to presume this to be true.
The main reason for it being used is because 99% pure isopropyl alcohol leaves zero residue, and lower percentages leave less residue than any other material you care to name.
I believe this is where all our misunderstandings stem. We aren't even clarifying what type of alcohol we are talking about. we must all not be on the same page.

which alcohol is "the prefered material for cleaning..."? i'm assuming it's 70%?
just like the previous person you replied to, what alcohol were they talking about? it's such a broad term.

I think MOST rubbing alcohol you could buy leave some sort of residue. Thats why with a lot rubbing alcohols you get a sticky feeling in your hand, cause most of them add a moisturizer of sorts. Else your hands would be very dry.
but who knows if isopropyl truly wont leave any residue...
the exact types of alcohol im talking about are 70 iso and ethyl. Most small bottles of rubbing, consumer grade alcohol, where i'm at, contain some type of fragrance or perfume... which, by my definition, contains "residue". so i believe its just proper to say that a lot of these consumer grade alcohols contain some sort of "residue"... because in my case, they do.

of course obviously 99 purity isopropyl alcohol will not leave any residue.

but would it matter though? we're building pc's here not F-22 Raptor's... I'd bet you $100 that somebody else in the world would be using a 70% iso with "moisturizer" and have no problems at all...

plus, here we are confusing OP even more by suggesting the use of erasers, toothpaste, electric contact cleaner, soap and water... i'm thinking a mod should just lock this thread lol.
 
I'm really just scared of what this guy said



This makes me want to hurry more to do the clean because yea I might have nice temps but I would never know if there are air gaps or something. Also when I clean should I leave the bottom part of the CPU alone? Because I remember using alcohol there to clean some thermal paste marks but thankfully I didn't use it on the pins. Just one site around the pins. Should I just leave it alone and clean IHS and PCB surrounding it?
ecause yea I might have nice temps but I would never know if there are air gaps or something. Also when I clean should I leave the bottom part of the CPU alone? Because I remember using alcohol there to clean some thermal paste marks but thankfully I didn't use it on the pins. Just one site around the pins. Should I just leave it alone and clean IHS and PCB surrounding it?
I assume you want to change it because of using hand sanitizer initially? Just clean the thermal compound off the IHS and heatsink bottom and reapply it. Use medical grade isopropyl alcohol...70%, 90%, 99% it DOES NOT MATTER.

Or use nothing; just a plain, clean paper towel. By the time you wipe off the thermal paste so little moisturizer will remain it will be irrelevant. You're not working in a class 10,000 clean room...not even a class 100. You'll leave a layer of dead skin cells more voluminous than any remaining moisturizer. You'll be fine.

DO NOT BOTHER cleaning the bottom of the CPU or any of the surrounding PWB. It's not worth it as the possibility of doing mechanical damage to delicate parts far outweighs the potential of the moisturizer doing harm. The pins of the CPU and contacts on the socket are gold plated for a reason: noble metals are highly resistant to corrosion. The board (pwb) is fiberglass with a painted top coating. It's protected.
 
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Also can it take down other components with it if it shorts out or fails?
If it shorts out? yes of course..it could damage VRM components which in turn could damage CPU and even PSU. You'd probably have heard a loud fizzling pop (as it basically explodes underneath the cooler) and then nothing when you turned power on. That's also pretty extreme and, as I said, if your board looks anything like that picture not the case.

The damaged cap would need to mashed and punctured pretty badly, so badly that you'd have had to almost purposely mashed the cooler into it and you'd know it. It would be very obvious when you look at it.
 
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jelardz2000

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You're just compounding problems after problems, hmmm? You shouldn't have used the isopropyl alcohol to begin with, compounding that, you shouldn't have reassembled it, compounding that, you shouldn't have fired the system at all prior to getting all of the prior "moisturizer" off. You should shut down the system, disassemble the parts that you used with the solvent that had moisturizer in it, then wipe it all down with proper rubbing alcohol that does not contain moisturizer in it.

should I clean the CPU again with actual 70% IPA alcohol with no moisturizer?
Yes

because I don't have RAM right now
The system should've been in it's box, then, until you sourced the right stuff.
I had ram on hand but it turned out defective at first testing so that's my bad. What damage has it most likely done by now?
 

jelardz2000

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Most likely none.

The moisturizer in an alcohol hand sanitizer is most likely something like glycerin which is pretty benign by itself. It's biggest issue is it attracts moisture over extended time period. Just remove the heatsink and clean it with some 70% or higher IPA, reapply a quality thermal paste and you'll be fine.
Thanks, should I also clean the bottom part of the CPU around the pins? Because I remember putting alcohol there to clean off any thermal paste. and are there any more risks if i don't clean it. Because I might mess something up more
 

jelardz2000

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Normally I'd say no but without knowing the exact moisturizer it might be a good idea. But then you also have to balance the possibility of damaging or bending the pins against the possibility of residual moisturizer causing issues.

I would clean it with a soft bristle brush moistened in 70% IPA. But you might consider it a toss-up if you're not confident about being careful or feel uncomfortable about doing it. As a point of reference, you do not have to worry about cleaning minor contamination of the pins with thermal compound. It's really benign and won't cause issues. Only if it's grossly excessive, to the point it might interfere with the sockets, is it necessary to risk bending the delicate pins by cleaning.
the label says it's hypoallergenic moisturizer, is that bad? And if your are familiar with Greencross it is the branding of the alcohol. I've used the alcohol on my dead ram and it didn't seem like it left any residue and smells like pc again.
 

Jmi20

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I think most rubbing alcohol you could buy leave some sort of residue. Thats why with a lot rubbing alcohols you get a sticky feeling in your hand, cause most of them add a moisturizer of sorts. Else your hands would be very dry.

ever try rubbing some electric contact cleaner on your hand? Or worse some lacquer thinner? You’ll notice your hands would get very dry afterwards. Even rubbing something like moonshine or even san mig gin, would make your hands very dry…

i personally wouldn’t worry too much.
 
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jelardz2000

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I think most rubbing alcohol you could buy leave some sort of residue. Thats why with a lot rubbing alcohols you get a sticky feeling in your hand, cause most of them add a moisturizer of sorts. Else your hands would be very dry.

ever try rubbing some electric contact cleaner on your hand? Or worse some lacquer thinner? You’ll notice your hands would get very dry afterwards. Even rubbing something like moonshine or even san mig gin, would make your hands very dry…

i personally wouldn’t worry too much.
Yes but im really just paranoid because it's not every day you get to upgrade to a decent CPU. I will get hold of 90 percent or more IPA alcohol the next time I clean or clean paste
 

jelardz2000

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I think what you want is 90% iso it's sometimes called surgical fluid.
It does not leave a residue behind.
Your local drug store should have some.

Since the effects of what you applied are unknown go back with the 90% and clean it off.
If I leave the alcohol what might be the dangers of it? And will it affect lifespan of a cpu
 

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