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My CPU has been overheating due to the amount of dust on the radiator, how can I clean it without taking it out?

Go to solution Solved by Skiiwee29,
1 minute ago, Axgk said:

Wont that get the dust all over the rest of my pc? There's a lot of it

Some may fall on there, yes. But then you just use more canned air to blow it off that and out of the case as best as you can. Only way to clean it fully would be to remove the components and clean them individually separate of each other to prevent the dust from collecting. You could also try adding some paper towel on the components to help collect the dust as it falls and settles. 

I have a liquid cooling AIO. It has a ton of dust on the radiator, I have a ton of compressed air and want to know how I can clean it without taking it out. Thank you

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Blow said canned air through the radiator and fans to clean the dust. 

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1 minute ago, Skiiwee29 said:

Blow said canned air through the radiator and fans to clean the dust. 

Wont that get the dust all over the rest of my pc? There's a lot of it

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1 minute ago, Axgk said:

Wont that get the dust all over the rest of my pc? There's a lot of it

Some may fall on there, yes. But then you just use more canned air to blow it off that and out of the case as best as you can. Only way to clean it fully would be to remove the components and clean them individually separate of each other to prevent the dust from collecting. You could also try adding some paper towel on the components to help collect the dust as it falls and settles. 

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Just now, Skiiwee29 said:

Some may fall on there, yes. But then you just use more canned air to blow it off that and out of the case as best as you can. Only way to clean it fully would be to remove the components and clean them individually separate of each other to prevent the dust from collecting. You could also try adding some paper towel on the components to help collect the dust as it falls and settles. 

how much would it harm me to have some dust on some motherboard parts or something of the sort

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Just now, Axgk said:

how much would it harm me to have some dust on some motherboard parts or something of the sort

Should do no harm unless the dust particles somehow become super charged with static electricity, which is extremely unlikely. 

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2 minutes ago, Axgk said:

Wont that get the dust all over the rest of my pc? There's a lot of it

Get a vacuum cleaner hoze on the other side, to suck all the loose dust before it falls on components.

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Just now, Skiiwee29 said:

Should do no harm unless the dust particles somehow become super charged with static electricity, which is extremely unlikely. 

Thank you so much, what do you think about a plastic bag covering it a bit to make all the dust blow into it

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Just now, Axgk said:

Thank you so much, what do you think about a plastic bag covering it a bit to make all the dust blow into it

I use to do this at a hotel I worked at when I would clean the computers from dust with my datavac duster, stuck them in a garbage bag to collect/trap as much of the dust as I could. 

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1 minute ago, mariushm said:

Get a vacuum cleaner hoze on the other side, to suck all the loose dust before it falls on components.

Cant i just use a vacuum cleaner to begin with?

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1 minute ago, Skiiwee29 said:

I use to do this at a hotel I worked at when I would clean the computers from dust with my datavac duster, stuck them in a garbage bag to collect/trap as much of the dust as I could. 

is it ok if the plastic bag touches the motherboard, ive gotta blow out the dust on the inner side

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1 minute ago, Axgk said:

Cant i just use a vacuum cleaner to begin with?

No, its not recommended. The suction of a vacuum, especially if used on the motherboard etc can be great enough to pull SMDs off the board rendering it dead. 

 

1 minute ago, Axgk said:

is it ok if the plastic bag touches the motherboard, ive gotta blow out the dust on the inner side

I would try and avoid it touching only because most plastic bags are statically charged. 

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1 minute ago, Skiiwee29 said:

No, its not recommended. The suction of a vacuum, especially if used on the motherboard etc can be great enough to pull SMDs off the board rendering it dead. 

 

I would try and avoid it touching only because most plastic bags are statically charged. 

paper bag?

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Just now, Axgk said:

paper bag?

Paperbag will be fine. 

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4 minutes ago, Axgk said:

Cant i just use a vacuum cleaner to begin with?

A vacuum cleaner usually doesn't have enough suction to suck air through the fins of a radiator or cpu heatsink. 

Also, you need to keep any vacuum cleaner nozzle at least 1-2 cm / half inch / about a finger's width away from components or you may risk zapping them with static electricity - the air flowing through the plastic tip/head/nozzle/whatever can cause the "exit point" to charge with static electricity. Some vacuum cleaners come with esd safe nozzles (which can't build up static electricity but still safer to not touch anything with it)

Also, if you bring it too close to motherboard,  the vacuum cleaner may actually suck tiny surface mount components (resistors, capacitors, other things) from your motherboard, if those components weren't soldered very well. So it's best to keep it at least a few cm away from anything. 

 

Basically, that's how I do things when I don't feel like removing heatsink completely and take it in the bathroom to use my shower head's jet as a pressure washer.

Blow air through the heatsink fins / radiator holes and have vacuum cleaner a few inches / cm  from the exit where dust comes out ready to suck the dust.

 

What you can also do is to get a regular paintbrush and "paint" the motherboard gently, wherever there's dust... basically you loosen the dust and then you can bring the vacuum cleaner close to the board and have the dust sucked out the air. 

DO NOT touch the motherboard or bring the nozzle more than a few cm away from the board.

 

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I've been removing the dust from inside my PCs with a VAX and paint brush for decades with no part failures ever! ust use the 1 1/2 inch brush hairs to push the dust into the air, and use the plastic not metal parts of the vacuum to suck away the dust. For some parts I now also use a cheap airbrush I got to paint models to blow dust from in-between CPU cooling fins the brush can't reach.

 

Best solution TBH is fitting dust filters before you need to clean that deeply. Removing filters then cleaning those is even easier.

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27 minutes ago, Skiiwee29 said:

Paperbag will be fine. 

Is this safe to do with my pc on?

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Just now, Axgk said:

Is this safe to do with my pc on?

Not recommended, no. 

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make sure the fans dont spin

 

also, loose dust can be a fire hazard so take note of that

My PCs: Desky | Beddie | Miney | Benchie

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31 minutes ago, Skiiwee29 said:

Not recommended, no. 

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Help. Whats stoping me from using a dry papertowel

image.jpg

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The fins of the radiator will chew the paper towel up worse than yesterdays roast beef. 

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1 minute ago, Skiiwee29 said:

The fins of the radiator will chew the paper towel up worse than yesterdays roast beef. 

Worked pretty good for cleaning up excess lint

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Yo, I was using canned air for everything like this until recently and I bought this on Amazon and it changed my life:

Compressed Air 3.0

It's $50 so I was initially skeptical but I figured I could return it if needed but it's insane...it's like 5-10x stronger than canned air and covers way more surface area at a time, I can clean out a CPU fan without taking it apart and even clean under things by blowing air under it. I cleaned out my 280mm radiator in my case without removing anything by just blasting it through the vent. It will literally force all the dust back through the way it came and it blew my mind. Anyone who regularly cleans desktops or laptops needs one of these for real. Link isn't sponsored or anything I'm just enthusiastic about it...you can just Google "SIN SHINE - Compressed Air 3.0- Multi-Use Electric Air Duster for Cleaning Dust, Hairs, Crumbs, Scraps for Laptop, Computer, Replaces Compressed Air Cans (AD01-Black)" to find it on Amazon. Anyone else used this and can back me up?

 

This thing would be perfect for your situation as I just cleaned out my daughter's 240mm radiator with it that was pressed against her case because I didn't wanna pull it all out as she's terrible at cable management so I'd have to untangle everything to get to it. Hope this helps someone!

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17 hours ago, Axgk said:
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Help. Whats stoping me from using a dry papertowel

 

You are WAY over thinking this. 

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