[SOLVED] What can I use to dust my PC?

Oct 30, 2019
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I have used cans of air duster before and it is pretty good however I am looking to buy something much more long term. What can be recommended?
 
I have used cans of air duster before and it is pretty good however I am looking to buy something much more long term. What can be recommended?
NO to compressed air in a can.

Use this or this instead.

They make a small air compressors specifically made to clean electronics. Depending on where you live, places like Harbor Freight here in the US sells them. You can also get them online from any of your favorite electronic sites.

Do you have an air compressor in your garage? Gentle low PSI "blasts" from 18" away. The problem with using a compressor though, is condensation buildup in the tank which you then blow thru the lines onto the PC. Common sense & paying attention, is Key. If you don't have an air compressor, you can use a ShopVac or similar on "blow". Depending on it's exhaust PSI, you can use it much like an air compressors air attachment. You'll of course want to make sure it's filter is CLEAN so you don't blow crap INTO your PC lol.. If you don't have a ShopVac you can use a regular hair dryer in a pinch, like the one your mom/wife/daughter/you use. Same principle.

Depends on how thorough you want to be. Every 6 months I disassemble my PC completely and then clean everything with a superfine bristle brush, using a Qtip to clean the back side of the fan blades. Things of that nature.
 
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rubix_1011

Contributing Writer
Moderator
Canned air works in a pinch, but often makes more of a mess than you began with.

Most standard vacuums generate a large volume of static electricity, so make sure you are well grounded and don't allow the nozzle to contact sensitive components.
 

NightHawkRMX

Titan
Ambassador
I personally use a standard shop air compressor and turn down the PSI. I use the nozzle from a foot away from the hardware at least, unless dusting a fan directly.

I don't use any water trap as I haven't seen the need for one. Maybe since the compressor sits next to a dehumidifier.

Not sure if this is considered "best practice" but it has worked well for me on several laptops and my desktop.
 

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
This was helpful.
I've been using the canned air you find in Walmart's electronics department - they suck; good for a few short bursts, after which they become useless, and I end up cleaning it mostly by hand.

Wasn't aware there was an issue with the fans spinning while using canned air either.
 

tennis2

Judicious
I think the biggest caution is that you could spin a fan MUCH faster than its rated RPM while blowing air across it with an air compressor or leaf blower. Not good for the bearing. Also creates a back-charge? (voltage/current spins the motor, but spinning the motor also creates current like a wind turbine)
 

Gyalden

BANNED
Oct 17, 2019
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Use a lint-free cloth or can of compressed air to clean the dust from any dust filters, as well as any obvious collections in the base of the case.
Use a can of compressed air to clean the dust from any heatsinks like your CPU or graphics card cooler.
Here are a few steps of "How do you clean dust out of your PC?"
Step 1: Turn off your computer and unplug it from the electrical outlet or surge protector.
Step 2: Open up your computer's case.
Step 3: Using compressed air, dust the internal components of your computer with short bursts of air. Try to remain at least a few inches away from the surface of the motherboard, memory, processor, and expansion cards.
Step 4: Remove the dust buildup on your case fans with a can of compressed air. Hold the fan with your finger to keep it from spinning while you're blowing the compressed air onto it. Fan blades can be delicate and may crack if spun too quickly. You can use rubbing alcohol and wipe the blades with a cotton swab for the finishing touches. If the fans are hard to reach or extremely dirty, feel free to remove them from the case for easier cleaning.
Step 5: Remove the dust buildup from the power supply using a can of compressed air. If your case has a dust filter underneath the power supply, be sure to clean the filter too.
Step 6a: The heat sink and fan that's mounted on your processor should be cleaned as well. Again, with a can of compressed air and using short bursts, blow the dust away from the heat sink and fan. If the buildup is too heavy, you may need to remove the heat sink and fan from the processor to get it thoroughly cleaned. Just remember to clean the thermal grease off of the processor and the heat sink, then apply new thermal grease before reattaching the heat sink to the processor.
Step 6b: To remove the thermal grease, moisten a lint-free cloth with 99 percent isopropyl alcohol, then wipe away the thermal grease from the processor and the heat sink. Less concentrated alcohol will also work but may leave a residue that could reduce the efficiency of the thermal paste or grease. A commercially available thermal material remover, called ArctiClean, can be used instead of the isopropyl alcohol, and coffee filters can be used instead of a lint-free cloth.
Step 7: Finally, dust off all the ports on the computer with compressed air and clean all the exterior vents with rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab.
 

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
I think the biggest caution is that you could spin a fan MUCH faster than its rated RPM while blowing air across it with an air compressor or leaf blower. Not good for the bearing. Also creates a back-charge? (voltage/current spins the motor, but spinning the motor also creates current like a wind turbine)
I'm using 3000rpm Noctuas, so that's PROBABLY a non-issue with these weak canned air products... I already figured using a compressor or leaf blower wasn't a great idea.

Don't know about this back-charge though.
 

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