Jump to content

Is it safe to use a Can of Compressed air to Clean Motherboard and PC ?

Shantal
 Share

do they cause any Static damage ?

and What if some water released from the can to the motherboard ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

used them for years without issue, 

personally i would spend a bit more and get a powered sprayer rather than using compressed air cans, cheaper in the long run and you wont run the risk of condensation either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

1) Static isn't an issue.

 

2) There is no water in the can.  The liquid in the can is the compressed spray gas, NOT water.

 

About the only thing that has /any/ risk is letting fans free-spin when spraying.  Just stick a finger on the fan, and don't let it free spin super high when blowing in air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, tkitch said:

1) Static isn't an issue.

 

2) There is no water in the can.  The liquid in the can is the compressed spray gas, NOT water.

 

About the only thing that has /any/ risk is letting fans free-spin when spraying.  Just stick a finger on the fan, and don't let it free spin super high when blowing in air.

Thank you for answering

I watched this video on Youtube

and as you can see in the minute 13:19 there is a good amount of liquid coming from the can on the right side of the GPU

is that normal ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just spray in short spurts and take a break to let the can "catch up" when it gets too cold or starts blowing fluid. Even if some fluid comes out of the can, it's going to boil away almost instantly. You'd have to constantly spray the fluid onto your PC parts until they got cold enough for condensation to form in order for it to be a problem.

 

The stuff in that can is a refrigerant, not actually "air". I'm not sure which compound it is now but it used to be good ol' R134a, which boils at -15 degrees Fahrenheit at sea level. When it's in the can, there's enough pressure to keep it a liquid at room temperature. When you squeeze the trigger and let it blow, the pressure drops and the liquid spontaneously boils into a gas. (This takes energy, which it draws from its surroundings. That's why the liquid is cold; the latent heat of vaporization.)

Dell owns my soul.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

don't go overboard spraying, when the can gets really cold, swap to a second can, or take a 10-15 minute break.  Let it heat back up again.

 

(Or sneak up behind someone and touch the super cold can to the back of their neck when they're not expecting it if you want a HUGE reaction)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just use a hair dryer and a paintbrush. Then you can use a vacuum cleaner or something to suck all the dust from the air. 

 

Just don't touch components with plastic nozzles as there's risk of static electricity.

 

Compressed air is OK, but keep it at a distance, I'd say maybe at least 10 inches / 30 cm away from components - the air pressure can break surface mounted components off the boards. 

Air compressors can be used, but you have to be careful and have good filters otherwise you could get oil and water from air humidity in the compressed air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

it's fine, just don't get too close (meaning less than 5-6cm from the motherboard) to avoid blowing a capacitor off.

Don't ask to ask, just ask... please 🤨

sudo chmod -R 000 /*

What is scaling and how does it work? Asus PB287Q unboxing! Console alternatives :D Watch Netflix with Kodi on Arch Linux Sharing folders over the internet using SSH Beginner's Guide To LTT (by iamdarkyoshi)

Sauron'stm Product Scores:

Spoiler

Just a list of my personal scores for some products, in no particular order, with brief comments. I just got the idea to do them so they aren't many for now :)

Don't take these as complete reviews or final truths - they are just my personal impressions on products I may or may not have used, summed up in a couple of sentences and a rough score. All scores take into account the unit's price and time of release, heavily so, therefore don't expect absolute performance to be reflected here.

 

-Lenovo Thinkpad X220 - [8/10]

Spoiler

A durable and reliable machine that is relatively lightweight, has all the hardware it needs to never feel sluggish and has a great IPS matte screen. Downsides are mostly due to its age, most notably the screen resolution of 1366x768 and usb 2.0 ports.

 

-Apple Macbook (2015) - [Garbage -/10]

Spoiler

From my perspective, this product has no redeeming factors given its price and the competition. It is underpowered, overpriced, impractical due to its single port and is made redundant even by Apple's own iPad pro line.

 

-OnePlus X - [7/10]

Spoiler

A good phone for the price. It does everything I (and most people) need without being sluggish and has no particularly bad flaws. The lack of recent software updates and relatively barebones feature kit (most notably the lack of 5GHz wifi, biometric sensors and backlight for the capacitive buttons) prevent it from being exceptional.

 

-Microsoft Surface Book 2 - [Garbage - -/10]

Spoiler

Overpriced and rushed, offers nothing notable compared to the competition, doesn't come with an adequate charger despite the premium price. Worse than the Macbook for not even offering the small plus sides of having macOS. Buy a Razer Blade if you want high performance in a (relatively) light package.

 

-Intel Core i7 2600/k - [9/10]

Spoiler

Quite possibly Intel's best product launch ever. It had all the bleeding edge features of the time, it came with a very significant performance improvement over its predecessor and it had a soldered heatspreader, allowing for efficient cooling and great overclocking. Even the "locked" version could be overclocked through the multiplier within (quite reasonable) limits.

 

-Apple iPad Pro - [5/10]

Spoiler

A pretty good product, sunk by its price (plus the extra cost of the physical keyboard and the pencil). Buy it if you don't mind the Apple tax and are looking for a very light office machine with an excellent digitizer. Particularly good for rich students. Bad for cheap tinkerers like myself.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 6/17/2022 at 5:02 PM, Vishera said:

It's not air... It's usually Aerosol,Liquid Petroleum or other stuff that are compressed at subzero temperatures.

If you spray too much condensation may occur.

  

On 6/17/2022 at 5:22 PM, Levent said:

Compressed aerosol cans usually spit lots of liquid

  

  

On 9/2/2021 at 8:10 AM, Vishera said:

when i look at the ingredients i see stuff that are highly flammable,toxic and a cold burn hazard like Liquid Petroleum,Aerosol,etc.

 

 

A PC Enthusiast since 2011
AMD Ryzen 5 2600@4.1GHz | GIGABYTE GTX 1660 GAMING OC @ Core 2085MHz Memory 5000MHz
Cinebench R15: 1349cb | Unigine Superposition 1080p Extreme: 3566
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

I seem to recall watching videos of people using leaf blowers to blow out all the dust from PC's and various electronic devices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Canned air is fine. However, I use a blower. Canned air is expensive, leaves behind a denatonium benzoate (bitterant to prevent huffing) film sometimes and looses pressure quickly. 

Be sure to @Pickles von Brine if you want me to see your reply!

Stopping by to praise the all mighty jar Lord pickles... * drinks from a chalice of holy pickle juice and tossed dill over shoulder* ~ @WarDance
3600x | NH-D15 Chromax Black | 32GB 3200MHz | ASUS KO RTX 3070 UnderVolted and UnderClocked | Gigabyte Aorus Elite AX X570S | Seasonic X760w | Phanteks Evolv X | 500GB WD_Black SN750 x2 | Sandisk Skyhawk 3.84TB SSD 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Canned air is what people use when they can't afford a proper compressor or other setup.  But you do have to deal with thermodynamics.  And the PSI isn't going to be quite as powerful as a better setup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 8/30/2022 at 11:11 AM, IPD said:

Canned air is what people use when they can't afford a proper compressor or other setup.  But you do have to deal with thermodynamics.  And the PSI isn't going to be quite as powerful as a better setup.

That is why I invested 50 bucks into a hand held blower. I use it twice a year? Maybe less? And each time it has paid for itself. I usually would need 3-4 cans to clean my computer and I have to wait for the cans to warm up again. Now it takes me 2 minutes.

Be sure to @Pickles von Brine if you want me to see your reply!

Stopping by to praise the all mighty jar Lord pickles... * drinks from a chalice of holy pickle juice and tossed dill over shoulder* ~ @WarDance
3600x | NH-D15 Chromax Black | 32GB 3200MHz | ASUS KO RTX 3070 UnderVolted and UnderClocked | Gigabyte Aorus Elite AX X570S | Seasonic X760w | Phanteks Evolv X | 500GB WD_Black SN750 x2 | Sandisk Skyhawk 3.84TB SSD 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no truly "Safe" way to use compressed air from a compressor since it picks up all the moisture from the atmosphere right along with the air it gets.
And if all that is in the tank, guess what comes out too?
All of it - Moisture included.

That's why compressors have a way to drain moisture from their tanks and if it's bad enough you'll have air AND liquid spraying from the airline while in use.
Canned air is different in that the air in the cans has been dried so you won't have this happening when you use it.

The danger from using regular compressed air is you can "Inject" moisture into a component, because the air is under pressure and cause it to fail.

Only use compressed air if you must and definitely don't hold the nozzle right up to any component you are trying to blow out.

"If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first"..... Nirvana
"Whadda ya mean I ain't kind? Just not your kind"..... Megadeth
Just remember, speaking of things being "All Inclusive", Hell itself is too.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Its safe to use an air compressor with a good quality moisture trap to remove moisture/oil/contaminants from the output air stream. Also good idea to dial down the output air pressure to 30 psi to protect components. As others have stated don't let the fans spin freely when blowing on them. You may also want to charge the compressor and drain the tank a couple of times to clear any accumulated moisture before using it on a PC.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Beerzerker said:

There is no truly "Safe" way to use compressed air from a compressor since it picks up all the moisture from the atmosphere right along with the air it gets.
And if all that is in the tank, guess what comes out too?
All of it - Moisture included.

That's why compressors have a way to drain moisture from their tanks and if it's bad enough you'll have air AND liquid spraying from the airline while in use.
Canned air is different in that the air in the cans has been dried so you won't have this happening when you use it.

The danger from using regular compressed air is you can "Inject" moisture into a component, because the air is under pressure and cause it to fail.

Only use compressed air if you must and definitely don't hold the nozzle right up to any component you are trying to blow out.

If you are blowing out a computer the nozzle being 6 inches away I am pretty sure the moisture is not a huge problem. Whenever I used an air compressor to blow out a computer I blast the nozzle a 2-3 of times in 1 second blimps. That gets most of the moisture of the line out. For cleaning out a computer compressed air is fine after that. Thow turning down the pressure isn't a bad idea. 

2 hours ago, KTown said:

Its safe to use an air compressor with a good quality moisture trap to remove moisture/oil/contaminants from the output air stream. Also good idea to dial down the output air pressure to 30 psi to protect components. As others have stated don't let the fans spin freely when blowing on them. You may also want to charge the compressor and drain the tank a couple of times to clear any accumulated moisture before using it on a PC.

For a quick blowing out of a computer the compressed air in the system will be fine. Yes, contaminants can be there but in the amount they are coming out it is not likely to cause damage unless the nozzle is like an inch or two away. Just keep the nozzle back 6 inches and your fine. 

Or just not bother with compressed air and get a blower. 

Be sure to @Pickles von Brine if you want me to see your reply!

Stopping by to praise the all mighty jar Lord pickles... * drinks from a chalice of holy pickle juice and tossed dill over shoulder* ~ @WarDance
3600x | NH-D15 Chromax Black | 32GB 3200MHz | ASUS KO RTX 3070 UnderVolted and UnderClocked | Gigabyte Aorus Elite AX X570S | Seasonic X760w | Phanteks Evolv X | 500GB WD_Black SN750 x2 | Sandisk Skyhawk 3.84TB SSD 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, KTown said:

Its safe to use an air compressor with a good quality moisture trap to remove moisture/oil/contaminants from the output air stream. Also good idea to dial down the output air pressure to 30 psi to protect components. As others have stated don't let the fans spin freely when blowing on them. You may also want to charge the compressor and drain the tank a couple of times to clear any accumulated moisture before using it on a PC.

A moisture trap does help but at the same time it doesn't catch 100% of the moisture - If it's really humid such as a rainy day I've seen compressors even with a trap have some water vapor in the lines. That's why I say there is no 100% safe way to do it with a standard compressor setup.

51 minutes ago, Pickles von Brine said:

If you are blowing out a computer the nozzle being 6 inches away I am pretty sure the moisture is not a huge problem. Whenever I used an air compressor to blow out a computer I blast the nozzle a 2-3 of times in 1 second blimps. That gets most of the moisture of the line out. For cleaning out a computer compressed air is fine after that. Thow turning down the pressure isn't a bad idea. 

For a quick blowing out of a computer the compressed air in the system will be fine. Yes, contaminants can be there but in the amount they are coming out it is not likely to cause damage unless the nozzle is like an inch or two away. Just keep the nozzle back 6 inches and your fine. 

Or just not bother with compressed air and get a blower. 

I agree - If you keep the nozzle a certain distance away from what you are trying to blow out you won't inject moisture into the components of what you are trying to blow out.
If you're not sure, a blower isn't a bad way to go - As long as it's not in an enviroment humid enough to be raining there is no risk of moisture buildup on the components.
If you still aren't sure after blowing it out, taking it inside and placing it in front of a regular fan on low-med speed works, you'll have to leave it in front of the fan overnight at least but a fan used that way does a good job of drying stuff out.
I've actually ran boards through the dishwasher to clean them up and then placed them in front of a fan like that overnight and had no issues because of it. Note when I say overnight, I mean literally right when it gets dark if not a little before that up to it's daylight again for a few hours as a minimum.

"If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first"..... Nirvana
"Whadda ya mean I ain't kind? Just not your kind"..... Megadeth
Just remember, speaking of things being "All Inclusive", Hell itself is too.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Beerzerker said:

A moisture trap does help but at the same time it doesn't catch 100% of the moisture - If it's really humid such as a rainy day I've seen compressors even with a trap have some water vapor in the lines. That's why I say there is no 100% safe way to do it with a standard compressor setup.

I agree - If you keep the nozzle a certain distance away from what you are trying to blow out you won't inject moisture into the components of what you are trying to blow out.
If you're not sure, a blower isn't a bad way to go - As long as it's not in an enviroment humid enough to be raining there is no risk of moisture buildup on the components.
If you still aren't sure after blowing it out, taking it inside and placing it in front of a regular fan on low-med speed works, you'll have to leave it in front of the fan overnight at least but a fan used that way does a good job of drying stuff out.
I've actually ran boards through the dishwasher to clean them up and then placed them in front of a fan like that overnight and had no issues because of it. Note when I say overnight, I mean literally right when it gets dark if not a little before that up to it's daylight again for a few hours as a minimum.

Dishwasher tirck I have heard works. However, I would be hesitant to use it. I know de8aur swares by it.

 

BTW, you put it in the dishwasher with out ANY soap. Let the hot water do the work. He has used it to clean vasoline off of motherboards when he did extreme overclocking. 

Either way, even thought it will work i am not willing to do that to a 300 dollar board.

Be sure to @Pickles von Brine if you want me to see your reply!

Stopping by to praise the all mighty jar Lord pickles... * drinks from a chalice of holy pickle juice and tossed dill over shoulder* ~ @WarDance
3600x | NH-D15 Chromax Black | 32GB 3200MHz | ASUS KO RTX 3070 UnderVolted and UnderClocked | Gigabyte Aorus Elite AX X570S | Seasonic X760w | Phanteks Evolv X | 500GB WD_Black SN750 x2 | Sandisk Skyhawk 3.84TB SSD 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Been doing it for years and have had no issues. Just make sure you don't let one spot get too cold from the spray

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Pickles von Brine said:

Dishwasher tirck I have heard works. However, I would be hesitant to use it. I know de8aur swares by it.

 

BTW, you put it in the dishwasher with out ANY soap. Let the hot water do the work. He has used it to clean vasoline off of motherboards when he did extreme overclocking. 

Either way, even thought it will work i am not willing to do that to a 300 dollar board.

Roman should know - He's only done it way too many times.
I do use soap but only as much as needed to help break the nasty stuff up and away.

When I have to degrease my boards I use a bit of Dawn and set it for a hot wash cycle with extra rinse. After that I either set it in front of a fan for a couple of days or pop it into the oven, pre-heated to it's absolute lowest temp (170f/84c) and let it dry out. I only do the oven if I must but can since this one can go that low in temp.
I simply pop it in right after I've switched it off and let the residual heat do the drying. 
If an oven can't go that low in temp and still function it's best not to use it.

I can't blame you for not wanting to risk a high dollar board, however you have to do it is what you need to do and be done with it.

"If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first"..... Nirvana
"Whadda ya mean I ain't kind? Just not your kind"..... Megadeth
Just remember, speaking of things being "All Inclusive", Hell itself is too.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 8/19/2022 at 8:30 AM, mariushm said:

 

Air compressors can be used, but you have to be careful and have good filters otherwise you could get oil and water from air humidity in the compressed air.

Not only oil and water, but small debris particles also.

 

The water you mentioned is usually formed due to humidity as you mentioned and collects in the tank forming rust on the inner walls of the storage tank. These particles can eventually flake off and get caught up in the air stream and basically sandblast your components.

 

Depending on the makeup of the air delivery system such as steel lines etc, can also be a source of rust debris.

 

This is also one of the dangers of blowing yourself off with compressed air. I've lost count how many times I've sunk a piece of rust in my hand while blowing off a freshly washed part.

Dell XPS 730X, Alienware 2.0 MB loaded with hybrid A11B bios, i7-990X, Nvidia GTX 980's in SLI, 12gb Critical Ballistix

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Compressors do condense moisture.  That's true.  But you're forgetting Boyle's law.  That air with moisture condensed (and drained) is under pressure.  When released, it expands and has a lower humidity content than the ambient air around it.

 

That said, I wouldn't suggest using a 6' tall machine shop compressor tank for this purpose.  This is something you'd have a small shop-vac size compressor for.  And bonus points if you actually have a shop-vac and tape the hose end near to the nozzle of your compressor nozzle; thus vacuuming up dust as you remove it with compressed air.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 9/4/2022 at 2:54 PM, IPD said:

Compressors do condense moisture.  That's true.  But you're forgetting Boyle's law.  That air with moisture condensed (and drained) is under pressure.  When released, it expands and has a lower humidity content than the ambient air around it.

 

That said, I wouldn't suggest using a 6' tall machine shop compressor tank for this purpose.  This is something you'd have a small shop-vac size compressor for.  And bonus points if you actually have a shop-vac and tape the hose end near to the nozzle of your compressor nozzle; thus vacuuming up dust as you remove it with compressed air.

I'm aware of that BUT it doesn't go away from liquid/mist to being back in the air as simple humidity instantly.

That's the problem with it, it can come out as a wet vapor and "Wet" what you are blowing out, causing moisture buildup, the moving air can also have a cooling effect on what you are blowing out, possibly causing a slight condensation effect to happen.

BTW I've worked with compressors for years, including maintaining them and I don't mean the little 20 gal setups for your own garage - I'm talking about the ones that's air or watercooled, rated in terms of horsepower with these used in industral applications.
I had three Gardner-Denver units I used to service, two were 50hp and one was 100hp with one being aircooled, the other two watercooled.

If you know compressors like I do you know even those are "Babies" compared to some out there rated at 300hp+ for example.
These were used to supply air to the conveyor system in a 1.2M square foot warehouse with about 8 miles worth of conveyor in it.
 

"If you ever need anything please don't hesitate to ask someone else first"..... Nirvana
"Whadda ya mean I ain't kind? Just not your kind"..... Megadeth
Just remember, speaking of things being "All Inclusive", Hell itself is too.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×