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Remove old thermal paste without alcohol?

Is it OK to remove old hardened thermal paste with nail polish remover(acetone) ? Or just wipe it with tissue?

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Between you and me: in a pinch, just use a lightly wet cloth and make sure it dries up properly.

The alocohol is better at cleaning and also dries up almost instantly, so for sure, if you have any kind of rubbing alcohol, use it.

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Why? Alcohol is so easy get, even at pharmacies.

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I usually use windshield wiping liquid or whatever its called, works like a champ!

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DO NOT WIPE IT WITH A TISSUE!

 

You'll leave fibers behind and can damage your CPU.

 

Use medicinal alcohol swabs, you can find them at many local chemists. I personally just use 99.8 (yes .8) alcohol and it works like a charm.

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DO NOT WIPE IT WITH A TISSUE!

 

You'll leave fibers behind and can damage your CPU.

 

Use medicinal alcohol swabs, you can find them at many local chemists. I personally just use 99.8 (yes .8) alcohol and it works like a charm.

 

Buying medical swabs, usually labelled 'pre-injection swabs', and having thermal compound in the form of a syringe, never looks good to people that see you with them. Or at least it didn't for me, fuckers in my house thought i was taking steroids when they seen them.  

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Thanks for advice , guess I will use alcohol to clean.

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The whole point of using these substances is to make the thermal compound easier to remove. It's not strictly necessary to use anything of the like, but it will make the job considerably easier. Isopropanol is the prefered substance to use, but it can be hard to get hold of, and ethanol will do the job just as well. Acetone is also fine, but it will dissolve some plastics, so I'd be careful with it. Even plain water could work, but you'd have to be very sure it's completely evaporated before you switch the component back on, and since water doesn't automatically evaporate very quickly at room temperature, this makes it less than ideal, and not particularly advicable.

 

The most important thing, however, is not the actual solvent you use, but the substances that are mixed in with them. Try to use the highest concentration solvent that you can get your hands on, and avoid any solvent that has odorants, colourants or similar substances mixed into it, which can be a concern when using nail polish remover.

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Thanks for advice , guess I will use alcohol to clean.

don't bother, just use nail polish remover it does the exact same job as alcohol 

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DO NOT WIPE IT WITH A TISSUE!

 

You'll leave fibers behind and can damage your CPU.

 

Use medicinal alcohol swabs, you can find them at many local chemists. I personally just use 99.8 (yes .8) alcohol and it works like a charm.

Ummm?.....

 

Tissues are fine. They won't damage the CPU.

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One of those times I actually reply to these. I use only soft paper towels to remove thermal paste. If its bit hardened I have PC running for few mins and try again. Never had issues.

Alcohol makes things easier. But recommending it as only option is just snobbish. Even @Slick has admitted using soft paper towels while cleaning paste on test benches. Also, paper towel don't leave anything behind. Even I wouldn't use cloth for it. Not while using alcohol either. Those tend to leave fiber behind. And if they leave something behind, few blows of air will clean it good.

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don't bother, just use nail polish remover it does the exact same job as alcohol 

ehhh no, nail polish remover is acetone, it will work but you don't want that stuff on any plastic/painted parts... isopropyl alcohol is safe r.

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I never used alcohol, just a piece of kitchen roll or thick toilet paper.  Blow any fibers off afterwards and you're good to go. 

Never had an issue, never had temps that were any higher than people who use alcohol.

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You don't really need anything for removing thermal paste.

Isopropanol will help get the last tiny bit of residue off the CPU but it isn't enough to make a meaningful difference.

Just use some lit free paper/rag (coffee filters are a cheap and easy to find lint free item) to wipe off as much as you can and you'll be fine.

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Here's a flier for some of you.

I use small amounts of brake cleaner. Sounds crazy, but has worked well for me, and I always have a can laying around!

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toilet paper. works fine.

 

If your leaving large chunks of tp fibre behind, your doing it wrong.

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You can definitely get away with not using isopropyl alcohol, but for caked in thermal paste, it helps a lot.

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I just cleaned my old Corsair H60 ( first edition) and put on a new air cooler. It was seriously easy to clean with 91% isopropyl alcohol. Bag of coffee filters and $5 later I cleaned my processor spotless. It takes maybe 5-10 passes of the alcohol but it really does the trick. You can get it at your local drug store for cheap. Dropped my temps more than 16C on a new cooler with new paste and on air. Its worth the time and hassle to get some and do it right, which isnt much.

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When I'm stuck I just scrape it off using paper towels with my finger nails as the "tool".

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Thermal paste is grease, so you can use anything that will cut grease - even dish detergent or spray household cleaner.  Just use it sparingly, and be sure to clean it off fully with water.  You do not want to leave a residue behind.

 

Acetone works great, as does spot remover (naptha.)

 

Or you can just not worry about it.  Physically removing the old paste with a coffee filter until none visible remains is perfectly fine.  Yes there will still be a microscopic layer of the old paste adhered to the case, but it will simply dissolve into the new paste once it all warms up under operation.  The effect will be -practically speaking - negligible.

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