How To Clean Thermal Paste Off the CPU


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If you’ve been around PC hardware for just about any time, you’ve probably heard about thermal paste. But, with time, the glue-like product your CPU cooler rests on frequently becomes old and dry out and will be challenging getting down.

Quick Answer

If you’ve ever endured to wash thermal paste away from a CPU, you realize it is difficult. Nonetheless it doesn’t need to be a pain into the throat — you must scrape away the hardened dried pieces and wipe away the residue with rubbing alcohol.

Thermal paste may be the go-to method to lower temperatures in your CPU and work out it work more proficiently. Often, the paste will get dry and be difficult to eliminate. It’s tough to log off the chip, however it may also be messy and time intensive.

In this short article, we’ll explain tips on how to take away the old thermal paste from your CPU and apply this new one in order to enhance its performance, prolong its lifespan and enhance its thermals.



  1. Things You’ll Need
  2. How To Clean Thermal Paste from the CPU
    • Step # 1: eliminate the Central Processing Unit Cooler
    • Step # 2: Clean Residue from the Cooler
    • Step number 3: Clean the top of Processor
    • Step # 4: Reapply the Thermal Paste
    • Step # 5: place the Central Processing Unit Cooler Back On
  3. Frequently expected concerns

Things You’ll want

If your CPU is heating faster than typical or your personal computer crashes with greater regularity, you may have to clean from the thermal paste and re-apply it.

But, before we dive directly into the method, there are many items that you’ll need before you begin cleansing thermal paste off your CPU.

  • Microfiber cloth.
  • Rubbing liquor (Isopropyl liquor).
  • Thermal paste cleaner (option to rubbing alcohol).
  • Cotton swabs or Q-tips.

All right, that’s about any of it! You might be willing to start for those who have these things.

How To wash Thermal Paste from the CPU

You can stick to the actions to wash the thermal paste off your Central Processing Unit and prepare it for a new application as soon as you’ve collected all of the necessary tools.

Step no. 1: eliminate the CPU Cooler

The cooler and heatsink of your CPU have to be eliminated first to wash the old thermal paste off. To achieve this, you’ll need certainly to take away the screws that hold it in position and gently wiggle it free.

The procedure can vary with respect to the model and maker of one’s cooler. But, in many situations, the cooler is held in position by four screws, and you will need to eliminate these screws to eliminate the cooler. 

Once the screws are away, grab your hands on both edges for the cooler, raise it, and set it aside.

Step no. 2: Clean Residue from the Cooler

The initial thing you can certainly do after eliminating the Central Processing Unit cooler would be to clean all of the thermal paste residue put aside about it. This way, it is possible to spotlight the key culprit later on: the thermal paste regarding the CPU.

Remove just as much old dried-out thermal paste through the heatsink as you are able to utilizing a flat spatula, ideally manufactured from synthetic, to prevent scratching. 

Rub the area with a cotton swab or Q-tip buds dipped in rubbing alcohol or a specialized thermal paste cleaner.

Finally, usage a lint-free microfiber cloth to wash the location until all of the paste is fully gone.

Step number 3: Clean the top of Processor

Now that we’ve got the CPU cooler taken care of, we could duplicate similar procedure with all the processor’s surface and wipe it clean.

First, be sure you have the proper tools. You’ll need a microfiber towel, some rubbing alcohol or thermal paste cleaner, plus some Q-tip cotton swabs.

Once you have all of the necessary materials, begin by soaking one end of one’s microfiber fabric into the liquor. Then, utilize it to rub the paste away from your Central Processing Unit carefully. 

You may also make use of rubbing alcohol-dipped Q-tip buds to wash the processor’s corners. Remember to work with little sectors until all of the paste is fully gone.

You should be mindful when cleaning thermal paste away from a CPU to make sure you don’t damage one other elements regarding the motherboard or spill such a thing regarding the electric connections.

Step # 4: Reapply the Thermal Paste

Having washed the old thermal paste from your Central Processing Unit, the most truly effective area from it should now look totally clean, without any old paste residue or streaks. The latest thermal paste are now able to be employed.

Ensure the Central Processing Unit area is completely dry before using the brand new thermal paste. Start with using a tiny bit of the thermal paste of one’s option towards the center for the CPU.

Apply a little bit towards the center for the processor’s top area, concerning the size of a grain of rice or a little pea.

If you use excessively, the paste may spill over through the edges for the Central Processing Unit and cooler and cause a brief circuit between your electric elements, causing a fried motherboard.

Step # 5: place the Central Processing Unit Cooler Back On

Having just applied the newest thermal paste to your Central Processing Unit, it is time for you to reinstall your Central Processing Unit cooler and heatsink.

Put the Central Processing Unit cooler and heatsink right back regarding the motherboard, making sure the thermal paste is properly aligned as well as in connection with both the CPU as well as heat sink.

Make certain to use an acceptable quantity of also pressure so your thermal paste can properly follow the Central Processing Unit and contains also protection. Be careful to not use excessively force, as this can damage the CPU.

Replace the screws that hold straight down the heatsink and Central Processing Unit cooler, being careful never to tighten up them excessively, or perhaps you could harm the motherboard or CPU cooler/heatsink installation.

This means, you’ll maintain even stress involving the Central Processing Unit and also the cooler. Plug in almost any cables you eliminated throughout the procedure, and you’re done.

Frequently Expected concerns

Can i take advantage of water to wash the thermal paste?

The most readily useful you can certainly do is clean with a few falls of water on muscle paper, but until you choose risking frying your motherboard, it is highly suggested perhaps not to.

How frequently can I clean down old thermal paste?

Thermal paste typically has to be replaced any 2 to 3 years, if your PC overheats, it is smart to change it as quickly as possible.


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