[2021] Expert guide on how clean thermal paste from CPU and apply it again

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clean thermal paste from CPU

Heatsink cooling performance can be affected by old thermal paste. So in this article you will find step by step guide to clean thermal paste from CPU and also how to apply again thermal paste again on CPU.

Here are some ways to get rid of it.

Everyone who has worked with computers knows that they heat up when in use. The thermal paste helps to remove any space and air particle between heatsink and processor for better transfer of heat. The thermal paste will dry after some times and need to be replaced regularly. This is an easy task in computer repair. To avoid causing damage to your computer processor, it is important to take safety precautions. It’s then time to clean out the paste and apply a new paste.

Also whenever you are upgrading the CPU the only problem is the thermal paste leftover from that junk processor. You have something shiny and new, which makes the old junk obsolete. The amount of time that thermal paste has been used can make it very hard. If you notice an increase in temperature, the paste has likely dried out.

You will need to dispose of any leftovers before you can mount your cooling fan again and start the work with your System. To do the job, you will only need a cloth or rubbing alcohol. It is crucial to choose the right cloth as some paper products, such as toilet paper, can contain fibers that hinder heat transfer. A microfiber cloth is the best choice, but a paper towel can be used in an emergency. It leaves much less material than a toilet paper. The higher the concentration of rubbing alcohol is, the better. Because it evaporates quickly. A  99% alcohol based cleaner is best and try to avoid using any other cleaners to clean your heatsink or CPU. They are conductive and may leave behind residue.

First, wipe off the TIM with a dry cloth. This will remove any large chunks. Apply a little alcohol to the cloth. Although it is not necessary when using the heatsink, this is a good idea to prevent any mess. Reapply the thermal paste as necessary. When you are done, it should be as shiny as when you first bought it.

Here is a step-by-step guide to clean thermal paste from CPU

clean thermal paste from CPU

All power must be turned off

 Open the main menu from the home screen if your computer is on. To turn off all power, select “shutdown” or an equivalent. Do not trust the power button to turn off all power. This will most likely put your computer into sleep mode.

All cords and devices must be unplugged

 Unplug your computer if it is plugged into a power outlet. Unplug your laptop’s charger if it is plugged into a power outlet. Remove any other devices connected to the computer.

Remove the battery

 Turn your laptop over if it is a laptop. Locate the battery compartment. To remove the lid, release its latch. Remove the battery and place it in a safe place.

Press the power button

 After powering down your computer and removing the battery, you can expect some electricity to remain in it. Keep the power button pressed for at least ten seconds. Any residual electricity should be discharged.

Use safety gear

Put on some latex gloves before you start to work on the computer’s insides. Your skin oils could cause problems with normal computer operation.Wear anti-static bracelets as well to protect your components from static electricity.

It’s time to Remove the Paste

For more information, refer to your manual

Depending on the type of computer you have, accessing your computer’s heatsink or CPU may be difficult. To identify, access, remove and reinstall the parts, refer to your System manual. You can search the manufacturer’s site for an online copy if you don’t have one.

Clean the heatsink’s vents

After you have removed the heatsink safely, clean out its vents. You can use a small brush or a can compressed air to clean the heatsink. Make sure you do this away from other parts of the computer so that any dust does not end up in places it shouldn’t.

Take out any old paste

Locate the copper cores of your heatsink. Use the flat end of your spudger, a small tool that can be used to manipulate computer components, to scrape as much thermal paste off  as possible.You want to make sure you don’t scratch any parts. If you are nervous about this step, skip to the next.

If you are concerned about scratching the components, you can also use a paper towel or dry cloth to rub it off.

Remove any residue

Even if you used the spudger to remove the paste, it won’t be able to completely get rid of it. You can skip the previous step, but you should still grab some coffee filters. Use rubbing alcohol to clean them or use a cleaner made for thermal materials. Next, use the wet side to moisten and loosen the paste. You can repeat the process as many times as you need using fresh filters, cloths or q-tips.

Once all traces are removed, you can repeat this step to prepare the new thermal paste application surface.

This is why cleaners are often called TIM cleaners (thermal Interface Material).

Continue with the processor

It would help if you inspected it for a thermal paste that may contact heatsinks. You can clean any thermal paste that is found on the surface using the same steps. To reduce scratching and other damage, you should only use a plastic spudger to remove the paste. Don’t try scraping if you don’t own one.

Pay attention to where the paste ends up. It’s important not to accidentally remove the old paste from your processor once it has loosened.

You can do the same wherever else thermal paste is spilled

Use the same technique to clean up any thermal paste that dried on other parts. Use q-tips or paper towels to clean up any other fragile parts. If the paste is dried in hard-to-reach places, you can also use a compressed can of CFC (chlorofluorocarbon-based) automotive electronic cleaner.

Now Its time to Applying a new paste

clean thermal paste from CPU

Allow the heatsink to air dry

 After removing all traces of the old paste, wipe down the heatsink with a second application of rubbing alcohol. After removing the old paste, do not apply the new paste. Allow them to dry completely before applying a new paste.

Use paste to coat the core of your processor

A small amount of paste can be applied directly to the surface. It should be about the same size and shape as a rice grain. You don’t need to do the same thing to the heatsink unless the owner’s manual says otherwise.

Thermal paste can be purchased online or in stores that sell computers and other electronic products.

Spread the paste on the core’s surface

Switch to a new pair if you have been using latex gloves. Wrap some plastic wrap around the finger. Spread the paste using your fingertip.

It is best to avoid getting it in the greenery, but don’t panic if you do. It will still work. There will be more work to do next time.

Connect your computer

Once the paste is evenly spread on the core of the processor, you are good to go. Now, assemble your computer. For specific instructions about your model, refer to the owner’s manual.

I hope this guide will help you in the complete process of thermal paste cleaning from your CPU/Processor and Heatshink

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