Can I Clean Thermal Paste With Water? Cleaning Or Ruining?


You may ask, can I clean thermal paste with water? NO! You shouldn’t be doing it unless you really want to risk both motherboard and CPU dying. On the other hand, you may clean thermal paste in various methods to ensure that your CPU lasts a long time. All of these are essential to know, especially if you’re a novice PC builder.

Can I Clean Thermal Paste with Water Or Not?

Whenever the thermal paste on your CPU dries out, you’ll notice a significant drop in the Pc performance. It signifies that’s the right time to clean your thermal paste and then reapply a fresh layer.

But water, is not recommended in any terms. However, a few drops mixed with vinegar can be used; that is a different talk, however. But the amount should be the least.

So, how do you clean old thermal paste, though? Alcohol is the best option to clean thermal paste off the CPU. And yes, there are many alcohol cleaners available in the stores out there to clean thermal paste.

Things Do You Need ToClean It?

Thermal paste removal isn’t challenging. However, you need to use a few elements to apply the strategy. Among these components, a microfiber cloth will be your first thing. Often, you may have noticed that people only use ordinary paper towels.

Cleaning the thermal paste with 99 percent isopropyl alcohol is advised because it evaporates quickly and leaves no residue. We don’t recommend using just any other beverage you have on hand, and ordinary water isn’t a practical option.

The best treatment we can recommend is to use Arctic Silver’s ArctiClean, which is explicitly designed to remove the thermal paste.

Although anti-static bracelets would be desirable, but not required. The suggested name prevents static electricity from accumulating in your body and potentially damaging the motherboard. That’s not mandatory, but these bracelets are inexpensive, so it’s best to be safe rather than sorry.

The cleaners, a microfiber towel, and also an anti-static wrist band are all included. You’ll get the Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste, widely considered one of the best needed thermal paste available.

To reapply thermal paste in your CPU, you should know how to apply the thermal paste and how often you should replace the thermal paste on GPU/laptop.

Cleaning Procedures: With Isopropyl Alcohol

So now that you’ve collected all of your materials and are ready to clean your CPU and heatsink thoroughly. We’ll start with the processor and go onto the heatsink after that. 

  • First and foremost, you’ll see that thermal paste has dried out considerably, leave small solid bits behind.
  • In most cases, a dried microfiber cloth will suffice to remove the stain altogether. However, if you get into problems, you can clean it off with a spudger or maybe something flatter that won’t touch the surface.
  • After that, thoroughly clean your CPU with a tiny bit of isopropyl alcohol and a cleaning microfiber cloth because each Isopropyl alcohol removes thermal paste quickly.
  • Here you go! Does the surface seem gleaming and new? We are done.

So, what will happen if you don’t have any access to the alcohol and are curious about how to clean thermal paste without alcohol? In that case,we have 2 alternatives to clean the thermal paste off CPU without alcohol, and you can give it a read once.

[Precaution: we would like to emphasize that this procedure is extremely delicate, therefore proceed with your own risk. Because removing the thermal paste from the CPU pin is a difficult task that necessitates using the proper tool.]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it necessary to clean the dust before removing the thermal paste?

Yes, before removing the thermal paste from the cooler or heatsink, we recommend wiping away any accumulated dust on the vents. You can skip this step if you’re changing the heatsink.

Is it possible to remove thermal paste using no alcohol?

If you don’t have access to alcohol, use a tiny rag to wipe the area vigorously and gently. But it’ll take a long time. Neither toilet paper nor paper towels should be used. They left paper lint in the device, which would be undesirable.

Is it possible to remove thermal paste using rubbing alcohol?

Yes, it’s possible. you can easily remove thermal paste using rubbing alcohol. But it’s better to apply isopropyl alcohol instead of using rubbing alcohol. Because isopropyl alcohol has more excellent solvent qualities than rubbing alcohol. Make absolutely sure you gently remove each thermal paste to avoid damaging your CPU.

Bottom Talks

Thermal paste plays the core role to ensure your PC perform with its fullest. But after it dries out, you need to clean and reapply that.

We hope, now you’re clear about the question, can I clean thermal paste with water or not? Additionally, this brief guide lets youknow how to clean thermal paste so that you won’t have to struggle with cleaning thermal paste in the future.

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Brian Doe

Meet Brian Doe, our Windows expert,who loves to spend most of his time working with the systems and experimenting on different chips. Basically, he’s a software engineer,and his writing hobby helps him share his computing tips and solutions with you to make you a Windows DIY guy.

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