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Blow or Suck? How do you clean your rig?

Weezy
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I notice Linus uses compressed air to clean out a dusty PC in a lot of his videos. I've heard it's better to use a vacuum, that using compressed air can push dust and debris into areas where you don't want them. How do you de-dust yours?

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7 minutes ago, Weezy said:

I notice Linus uses compressed air to clean out a dusty PC in a lot of his videos. I've heard it's better to use a vacuum, that using compressed air can push dust and debris into areas where you don't want them. How do you de-dust yours?

I blow off dust with a compressed air, and get at caked-on stuff with a paper towel and toothbrush. A vacuum simply doesn't suck off dust as easily as compressed air blows it off.

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@Weezy I personally use both, depends on how bad it is. But if you are worried about debris getting into places you can buy an anti-static vacuum. Buy one of those so that you don't build up a ton of static in and around your case. Or if you have caked on dust in the bottom of your case and other places you can just use a micro-fiber cloth. But all depends on what you are comfortable with.

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16 minutes ago, Weezy said:

How do you de-dust yours?

just buy a new pc

i normally blow, sucking requires u to get close to it to get similar effect

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Blow. I use an electric duster, it blows much harder than a vacuum sucks and can dislodge dust in places a vacuum can't get good suction on. Downside is you need to take the PC outside to do it if you don't want to blow dust all over the room where a vacuum will just suck it all up.

 

30 minutes ago, Weezy said:

I've heard it's better to use a vacuum, that using compressed air can push dust and debris into areas where you don't want them.

Not really a problem with an electric duster. There's enough pressure that it blows any dust clear of the PC. I'm not sure about cans of compressed air and how much pressure they have. You'll always get dust building up in little nooks and crannies as those are just the places where it will naturally settle and in my experience blowing will do a better job of getting rid of it.

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52 minutes ago, Schnoz said:

compressed air

Do you mean sub-zero toxic chemicals pressurized in a can?

One of the most common chemicals in those cans is LIQUID PETROL.

Quote

 Liquefied petroleum gas is used as fuel gas in heating appliances, cooking equipment, and vehicles.

I once inhaled petrol and suffocated from it,at least i didn't inhale much of it...

 

I looked through as much cans as i could in shops online and offline - all of them had really bad chemicals.

 

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17 minutes ago, Vishera said:

Do you mean sub-zero toxic chemicals pressurized in a can?

One of the most common chemicals in those cans is LIQUID PETROL.

I once inhaled petrol and suffocated from it,at least i didn't inhale much of it...

I looked through as much cans as i could in shops online and offline - all of them had really bad chemicals.

I frequently use canned "air", but I plan to switch to an air compressor once my current supply runs out.

 

 

Most brands of canned air aren't liquid petroleum; they contain difluoroethane and a bitterant to prevent inhalation. Though, it is still toxic at high concentrations, and it's bad for the environment. Had I known about this beforehand, I would have definitely purchased an air compressor instead.

 

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Both, first suck off the heavy dust with the vacuum cleaner, after that blow it out with canned air... using a brush with it for sticky dust... 

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Canned air FTW

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I use my air compressor which is regulated to 150psi so with an air gun every bit of dust goes away.

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13 hours ago, Weezy said:

that using compressed air can push dust and debris into areas where you don't want them

then go outside it won't be a problem then.

 

 

 

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I have used vacuum, although don't quite recommend it. It works on some parts like the outside or cover of said parts.

but it's harder and you need more force compared to blowing and then be able to clean if one needs to.

 

also when blowing, there is some cans that suck **** or doesn't do it's job, but if you do have a blower then that should be a lot easier and of course do it outside or in a room you don't want to mess up. More so if the parts are NOT yours with dust you don't know where it comes from or where it has been. As it will lay in the air for a bit, if you blow it inside a room.

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13 hours ago, Vishera said:

Do you mean sub-zero toxic chemicals pressurized in a can?

One of the most common chemicals in those cans is LIQUID PETROL.

I once inhaled petrol and suffocated from it,at least i didn't inhale much of it...

 

I looked through as much cans as i could in shops online and offline - all of them had really bad chemicals.

 

 

In the USA and probably Canada as well they're filled with R152a.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/1,1-Difluoroethane

You have to intentionally misuse it or release an unreasonable amount into a small unventilated area to cause health issues. I can't speak for the rest of the world and what they use.

 

I have an air compressor and use that with a fine tipped blow gun. I can get things pretty clean with it, anything left would need mechanical cleaning with a soft brush.

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I use a dry-vac with the hose on the blow side to blow the dust out. Blowing dust out does a much better job at cleaning dust off than sucking. 

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I blow, and use a super soft toothbrush for anything I can't blow. Work very good on small fan like laptop fan.

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Appreciate all of the replies, wanted to make sure I was doing any possible damage by blowing it out. 

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Bought a compucleaner blower for use on fans and heatsinks. Clean filters using a soft brush. Got some harder brushes for stubborn dust.

Used to use cans of air which were great to clean my old blower card but the price just adds up, ditched the cans and the card 😛

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If you have something heavier than regular house dust, you either aren't cleaning often enough or you have bigger issues. In latter case, try to fix the bigger issue first.

 

I use combination. Canned air to get dust moving and vacuum to suck it from air, filters and such. And ofc regularly cleaning the whole room.

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My trusty compressor blows away anything it wants to. All tho im a bit of a "nazi" on the fans so i tape them down so they dont spin the wrong way.. Might just be me from previous bad experiences when i worked as a IT-guy. Never vacuumed, never really seen the point outside having small crevases or small spaces.. But then again KOMPRESSSORRR XD

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Ideally, it's a 2 person job, one person using a vacuum IVO where you are working, and you--using a high-power compressor jet of air--blowing dust/debris free.  Unless of course, you have one of those gucci workbench setups with an overhead vac that can constantly be pulling air away from where you are working...

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Both for sure. Suck the dog hair out and then blow the dust.

 

Either way I like a little pep in my step when cleaning gear!!
 

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Bring PC outside. Blow.
Take off the cooler if needs be, brush up the fan blades with an old toothbrush if the caked up dust doesn't want to go away...

Dust filters on the intakes of your PC also help a lot.


Vacuum can create ESD (get one that specifically says it is ESD safe), especially if you use that nylon brush at the end of the handle to brush up the dust before sucking it away.

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On 12/7/2021 at 1:32 AM, Weezy said:

I've heard it's better to use a vacuum

Where did you hear that? Pretty sure that is not what they say... if you care about ESD.

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Blow is better, as long as it's just air.  Well, I'd suggest a mix of blow and sucking. 

 

If you use a vacuum, you are kinda forced to bring the vacuum close to the components and use a brush or something to release the dust and then have it sucked by the vacuum.

It's a really bad idea to touch the board or components with the nozzle as the materials in the nozzle can build up static electricity. Also, besides that, vacuum can be powerful enough to break off surface mounted components. or you could have an accident where the nozzle slips from your hands and hits the component breaking something on the part.

 

I prefer to use a brush to release the most stubborn dust and then use a vacuum cleaner to suck air from around 10-20 cm (5-10 inches) away from components 

As for heatsinks, I usually take them off and run water through them - I have a shower head with multiple "presets" and I can set it on the high pressure very concentrated jet "preset" and run water through the fins.

Then use a hair dryer to dry them out,  or I just leave them 10 minutes or so by the stove while I'm cooking something.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Weezy said:

Appreciate all of the replies, wanted to make sure I was doing any possible damage by blowing it out. 

As long as you use a clean source of air you'll be fine. Hold your fan when blowing them so they don't spin past their rated speed. Use a filter at the exit of your air compressor to trap any water. Canned air is good but, it may not be recycled. Always nice yo have one on hand to clean your keyboard or some like blow from time to time.

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