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Digital Paradox

Best Cleaning/Preperation Method for used CPUs/Heatsinks

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Ok, this is kind of a perfectionist question about the optimal way to prepare a processor/heatsink for the thermal compound, if they have been used for a long time. Mainly i want to know what is the best cleaning solution and the best tool to apply it (I have always used cotton balls and the strongest % isopropyl alcholol i can find, 91%, sold at walgreens.) I have heard to use 99% alcohol but am open to suggestions on where to find it. Also, i have noticed that my pure copper heatsinks tend to tarnish over time, even on the base. Isopropyl alchohol does nothing to tarnish, so i have used Tarn-X in the past. I always use the tarn-x first then apply the alcohol.

So,

1. Are regular cotton balls ok for applying my solutions?

2. Is it ok to be using tarn-x to remove tarnish?

3. Is 91% alcohol ok, should i be using 99%, or is there something superior(maybe found at a hardware store?)

3. If so where do i find 99% alcohol(or something better)?

5. Is there something that could clean as good as alcohol, plus remove the tarnish without leaving any residue?

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zerospace    0

Well, since I haven't tested every possible method for doing this, I can tell you what I've done that's worked pretty well:

I've used lighter fluid (yes, lighter fluid :))to clean off the thermal compound left behind by those awful pads that come on stock heatsinks (at least on some of the Intel heatsinks). Lighter fuel can pretty much clean anything and if it doesn't clean it off, chances are, nothing will.

After the lighter fluid, I'll clean anything left behind with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol. I prefer to use a cloth of some kind (sometimes just a paper towel) to apply the solution since cotton balls/q-tips, etc. usually come apart while I'm working.

As for tarnish, you're probably better off using a tarnish remover for copper or whatever metal you're working with. I used to know a really good polish/tarnish remover, but I can't think of it at the moment.

BTW - I NEVER EVER put the lighter fuel directly on the cpu -- onto the cloth first and then wipe. :)

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Pattmyn    0
Lighter fuel can pretty much clean anything and if it doesn't clean it off, chances are, nothing will.

If the fuel doesnt work use a lighter and light it...you'd at least have a funky fire :lol:

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zerospace    0
If the fuel doesnt work use a lighter and light it...you'd at least have a funky fire :lol:

:lol: hmmm... sounds like something a pyromaniac would do. But, seriously, lighter fluid does actually work.

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Wacft    0

im sure lighter fluid does clean it, however im not sure if its appropriate to use. flamable + very hot + electrical components = very bad.

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Karma Ghost    0
im sure lighter fluid does clean it, however im not sure if its appropriate to use. flamable + very hot + electrical components = very bad.

But no spark is created.. unless you have a gas engine computer...!

As long as it is cleaned off thoroughly, I would agree to use lighter fluid.

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Johan    0
im sure lighter fluid does clean it, however im not sure if its appropriate to use. flamable + very hot + electrical components = very bad.

But no spark is created.. unless you have a gas engine computer...!

As long as it is cleaned off thoroughly, I would agree to use lighter fluid.

Muahahaha...

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Osiris    0
im sure lighter fluid does clean it, however im not sure if its appropriate to use. flamable + very hot + electrical components = very bad.

But no spark is created.. unless you have a gas engine computer...!

As long as it is cleaned off thoroughly, I would agree to use lighter fluid.

Muahahaha...

I think ill stick with alcohol :D

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zerospace    0

lol -- you guys are too much -- I know someone who's suggested using even worse stuff than lighter fluid (like brake cleaner - it would eat thru the PCB if you're not careful!)

I've been using lighter fluid to clean adhesives and other similar stuff for a long time and I have yet to set anything on fire. Besides, it would be pretty tough to start a fire with lighter fluid unless you've got a spark - and there's something seriously wrong with your computer if you've got sparks in there. Oh well... :D

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