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Cleaning a motherboard (and other components) with de-mineralised water. Problems?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Tommygunn, Oct 14, 2011.

  1. Tommygunn

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    I've just acquired a second hand motherboard that needs a good clean. Apart from the usual vacuum cleaner and make-up brush routine would it be okay to give it a bath in de-mineralised water to shift the dirt?

    Tom.
     
  2. erixx

    erixx

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    I wouldn't! Take cotton sticks (for ear cleaning) wet in (pure) alcohol and clean as you like!
     
  3. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    you can throw it in the dishwasher without soap, so I don't see why you would have issues. Just give it more than ample drying time as not to destroy with a short what you just cleaned!
     
  4. Tommygunn

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    Erixx,
    Why wouldn't you?

    Sneeky,
    The dishwasher method sounds very dodgy and does not allow any control at all. You know that dishwashers are loaded with salt to aid in the wash, at least ours is.

    Tom.
     
  5. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    It will be fine, but make sure you drain the caps and remove the battery first. You absolutely must dry it completely first though, otherwise your flat will smell of nice crispy chips smell.
     
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  6. Completely Bonkers New Member

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    I've cleaned keyboard and mainboards using a regular bathtub. Half filled with warm water using a small amount of mild detergent. Immerse for 10 minutes to soak. Then agitate underwater to wash out all dust. Stubborn marks, like dirt stuck to keycaps, use an old rag or cloth to wipe while item still immersed underwater.

    If you didnt use too much detergent, no need to even rinse. But you can just use the shower head to rinse off.

    Important, is to reasonably quickly dry it. Dont let the wet sit there for days. I SHAKE off excess water. Then let the thing sit at an angle on a warm radiator so the warm air circulates and dries. One day later it is usually dry.

    A hair drier on cool is another option.

    SHAKE AGAIN to make sure no water reappears from under connectors or behind keys.

    I've done this many times. Regular tap water, regular bathroom in various countries across Europe. Note that the water is considered drinking water, and not that nasty stuff you sometimes get in the states out of the faucet!

    Mainboards and keyboards are quite robust. Make sure no batteries of course! And remove fans and their motors.

    WARNING: dont do this to your HDD! LOL :pimp:
     
  7. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    Was more of a generalization to make you feel more at ease of your attempt with de-mineralised water.

    http://www.google.com/#q=cleaning a....,cf.osb&fp=1e4bc34154dc3a50&biw=1066&bih=562

    lots of videos, some with soap even;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  8. Tommygunn

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    Here in Italy we've still got some half decent sun left over from the summer. Would it be okay to prop the board up on the patio and dry it by that method without any risk of warping or other weirdness?
    Thoughts.

    Tom.
     
  9. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    lay it flat and you will be fine. It would have to get really hot to warp in my opinion.
     
  10. Tommygunn

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    Cool.
    I think what I'll do first is blow the loose crud off with my compressor and then run a function test. Then I'll soak the board in some detergent and warm water, for twenty minutes or so, rinse with tap water and then give it a final bath/swill in de-mineralised water.
    Lastly, I'll blast off any remaining water and stick it outside to dry thoroughly.

    Tom.
     
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  11. stinger608

    stinger608 Dedicated TPU Cruncher & Folder

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    Yep I have done it many, many times! I take distilled water and put it in a stainless steel pot and warm it up on the stove and then pour it into the sink. I have an old paint brush that I use in this scenario to help clean in between the caps and mosfits as well. Once I am done I usually will set the motherboard upside down for 24 hours to insure that everything is dry.

    The biggie here is to make sure you pull the onboard battery! I usually pull the battery and let it set for around 5 minutes or so before submersing in the distilled water. That is usually how long it takes for the water to warm up on the stove and me to pour it into the sink LOL.
     
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  12. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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    I put my keyboard through the dishwasher once, when I still had one. I'm typing on it now.
     
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  13. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    I agree, but OP referenced salt in his DW water. I cant recommend it knowing he would be using salted water, that just can't be good!
     
  14. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Yeah those times I accidentally dump water all over my cards or board when working on my loop I just chalk it up to a nice de-dusting and find something else to do for a couple days. :)
     
  15. erixx

    erixx

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    thanks to all that opened my eyes. Yet... it's like a taboo.

    Any why not a HDD? They are sealed! :)
     
  16. n-ster

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    You crazy bastards! :p

    idk if I'm overcautious, but any electronics I clean with Isopropyl alcohol @ 91% or higher. Definitively a safer method IMO, not costly, and less chances of damaging your mobo
     
  17. Derek12

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    Don't use a (standard) vacuum cleaner as it produces lots of ESD and can damage the components. If your vacuum cleaner is battery powered then it's fine. I usually use canned air to get the dust out. I also use 90ยบ alcohol or 0 residue contact cleaner that dry faster and they are fine.
     
  18. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    You are not fit to have your pair of balls, give them to someone who deserves them more :laugh:

    Really, this is a bit like overclocking, the first time it would be like "omg its going to kill my computer, isn't it?", second will be "well, first one went fine, so lets do this again" and then some time later "there is a f**king speck of dust in my rig, washing time!"
     
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  19. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2011
  20. (FIH) The Don

    (FIH) The Don

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  21. Chevalr1c

    Chevalr1c

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    I have put that in my signature. :)
    Yes I know that water "works", yet I have always thought more towards the tap.
     
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  22. Derek12

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  23. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Duh........ its window cleaner good catch. you knew what I was thinking though :)
     
  24. Derek12

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    It's screen and case cleaner. Read the description. Not for clean motherboards and circuits. The product I linked is a PCB cleaner. Suitable for motherboard and any PCB circuit as far I know.
     
  25. Jetster

    Jetster

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    I was referring to the ingredient "Ammonia" aka window cleaner

    And bty I was admitting to my mistake
     

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