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How To Clean The Dust From Your Pc

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by keakar, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. keakar

    keakar

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    How To Safely Clean The Dust From Your PC

    HOW TO SAFELY CLEAN THE DUST FROM YOUR PC

    cleaning tools: soft 1" long bristle paint brush/ compressed air or "air in a can" / floor fan / dust mask

    I recommend that you bring your computer outside or into the garage so that all that dust your about to stir up isn't left in your room flying around because that dust is just waiting for a chance to get right back into your clean computer. It’s a good idea to put a floor fan behind you set on low speed to blow the airborne dust away from you and the computer and it is advised that you wear a dust mask while doing this or you will be sneezing all night lol.

    You can use a compressed air tank to blow out the dust as long as you don’t get too close with the nozzle so stay at least 8-12" away from everything at all times and you keep it under 30lbs of tank pressure so it wont bend capacitors or hurt anything. its much safer to use a shop vac on the blow setting or a leaf blower on the low/soft setting if you feel the need to blow it out

    Before starting you should count the number of jumpers on mobo if yours has then and take note of the tiny connector pin locations in case one should come off during the cleaning process.

    Use a good soft 1" long bristle paint brush and wipe clean the motherboard itself along with any wires, empty ram or pci slots, pci cards or video cards. Take your time to brush out all your heat sink fins very well removing the fan to clean it and the heat sink better.

    Also brush off all wires, fans and fan blades, its like dry washing it and you should clean everything to get rid of all dust. If the brush gets dusty blow it off with the air and wipe it on a dry towel to clean it off.

    Now remove the front faceplate on the case to clean it and the front side of the frame and don't forget to clean the inside of the case itself (floor, top, sides, and case fans) with the paintbrush and some air.

    NOTE: if you cant or don’t want to bring your computer outside or to the garage then it can be cleaned with a shop vac and attachments but be carefull because a vacuum can, if you are not careful, pull the small wires loose from the motherboard pinouts or suck the jumpers off of the board so make a note of where and how everything is plugged into.

    Another big negative to vacuum cleaning is of course it makes a lot of noise. anytime you use a vacuum cleaner the air causes some friction as it moves against rough or uneven surfaces so I also duct tape a small piece of old rubber hose (I use old garden hose) onto the end of the vacuum hose to further insulate it from possible static charge buildup. Use a hand held brush to do the actual cleaning then the vacuum to remove the loose dust and to clean the tough spots. Sometimes the brush gets trashed but it’s the gentlest way to really get aluminum block heat sink fins clean and for cleaning fan blades.

    For cleaning those big radiator finned heat pipe cpu coolers, when they get really bad with dust you just take them off and let soak for an hour under warm soapy water and all that dusty film comes loose and it will wipe clean with just a soft paint brush passed back and forth like brushing teeth. To remove any remaining residue to finish cleaning, just put it in the sink with the spray nozzle and hot water. It will come out like new again.

    Now is a good time to add more shine to your computer by just using automotive car wax on the painted parts of your case. It shines and it will help prevent scratching. Remember to watch the dust when you’re wiping it off so that it doesn’t get into your clean computer.

    NOTE: you can also open the PSU to clean it if you have to but it should always be avoided if you don't have to and if you are going to open it remember that it can hold a charge for a long time and it can KILL YOU so its not something to do just for the heck of it. when opening it turn off the power and unplug the cord and wait a full 24 hours to be sure the power has been discharged and even then some capacitors may be holding a charge so when working on it you still are supposed to be wearing rubber gloves just to be safe so you don't get shocked.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2013
  2. MicroUnC

    MicroUnC New Member

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    Thanks
  3. keakar

    keakar

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    i wish to thank "Namslas90" for reminding me about the jumpers

    thank you :toast:
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2007
  4. Fuse-Wire

    Fuse-Wire New Member

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    thanks, was useful, mind you i only use very small and fine brushes and nothing else, they seem to do the trick amongst heatsinks but i wouldnt use them for ANY chip on a MOBO due to the risk of a bristle getting lodged into the system and causing some trouble
  5. Yin

    Yin

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    I use alcohol swabs to clean the chips =/
  6. Fuse-Wire

    Fuse-Wire New Member

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    never tried that before
  7. jtleon

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    Carburetor Cleaner and Brake Cleaner works great on memory modules

    It may sound crazy, but I have successfully eliminated memory errors by cleaning DDR memory modules with carburetor cleaner or brake cleaner (those varieties that claim to leave no residue). These cleaners are typically available at any auto parts store.

    Just a word of caution, please don't smoke or light one up while spraying off the modules, unless you or your DDR's like to catch fire! (kinda defeats the purpose of cleaning!)

    Regards,
    jtleon
  8. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    i use a long bristled brush and my hoover to do my psu.i dont want to open it :s

    nice little guide tho'

    the only thing that ever buuged me,was the arctic graphics card coolers clogging with dust.thats why i switched to a zalman vf900.
  9. jjnissanpatfan

    jjnissanpatfan

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    I take my whole pc outside set the air compressor to 100 psi and get it done!!!
  10. keakar

    keakar

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    be very carefull, Carburetor Cleaner and Brake Cleaner works great on removing paint and the coating on circuit boards too. anything like that can eat away the coating on the circuit boards so make sure you use electrical parts cleaner because it is safe not to dissolve the coating on boards.
  11. keakar

    keakar

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    i hope your joking, hate to see pc parts flying accross the road lol.

    as long as you dont blow away any jumpers and dont get too close with the air stream to damage anything but you definately are taking chances doing that. :slap:
  12. WarEagleAU

    WarEagleAU Bird of Prey

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    Thank you very much for this little how to guide and your other guides. I really appreciate the work you have put in and if you dont mind, Im gonna sticky this on my own HDD. Thanks again its much appreciated.
    keakar says thanks.
  13. keakar

    keakar

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    go right ahead, i never set out to tell anyone how to do anything but as i find i know a simple way to do something i just post it so everyone else can know it too.
  14. a111087

    a111087

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    what I do, is take a paper towel, make it a little wet, then carefully wash the dust ot the components.
    but you need to wait some time so it dries, only then turn it on... :D
  15. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    a wet paper towel :eek:
  16. marsey99

    marsey99

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    what you dont clean yours in the dish washer? thats were im going wrong then :nutkick:

    sorry couldnt help it :D (if your not sure i mean ignore that first line)

    if you remove the power cable from the back of the psu and hit your power button a few times it will drain any residual power from all the caps, i do this any time i take anything out of my system including dust as you can never be too careful.
  17. Batou1986

    Batou1986

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    as a side note OD quick drying contact cleaner works wonders on dusty fans.

    sometimes you find that your fans are making a lil noise or running slower than normal just spray the coil area with contact cleaner and it will nock all the dust and grime that builds up in there
  18. panchoman

    panchoman Sold my stars!

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    Another excellent guide by Keakar! thanks man!
    keakar says thanks.
  19. nailzer New Member

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    Which would make me ask "Just how often do you clean the dust from your computer"?
    :eek:
  20. membreya New Member

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  21. Basard

    Basard

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    I've got a cat, and I smoke.... What I need is one of them alcohol bathes so i can just take my mobo out and dunk it in there.
  22. 3991vhtes

    3991vhtes New Member

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    Moving dust can create static electricity, and we all know what static does. ZAP goes a component.

    I usually just dust my heatsink and fan, not the case fans, graphics card fan, mobo, RAM, etc.
  23. Scrizz

    Scrizz

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    i take my pc apart clean it and put back together again
  24. TheShadowFL New Member

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    I just took in on trade, a computer I built for one of my customers in 2000.
    The Thermaltake CPU cooler was wailing!
    I removed the entire assembly from the PC....removed the fan from the cooler and carefully cleaned each blade with a damp cloth till the entire fan was nice and clean. Then I cleaned the heat sink fins with a toothbrush.
    The noise was coming from a very dry bearing in the fan.

    I use a hypodermic needle, filled with a very fine machine oil to re-lubricate my fans.
    I stick the end of the needle right through the seal on the back of the fan, that covers the bearing, and inject a small amount of oil right into the bearing cavity.
    Then I spin the fan by hand to work the oil into the bearing.

    This 7 year old Thermaltake cpu cooler is now running just like it did when new, seven years ago.

    Now for the ram. Yup, ram gets dirty too, sitting so close to the CPU. Dirt getting down into the tiny gaps between the legs on the ram chips can cause them to short out and fail.
    I've saved hundreds of so-called bad ram sticks by just removing them from the computer and thoroughly cleaning them. That can range from brushing them off with a dry tooth brush and cleaning the edge connector with a dry scouring pad, to scrubbing them with soap and water at the kitchen sink. If you use water, which doesn't bother them at all, by the way, you must rinse them thoroughly with denatured alcohol to remove all the water then allow them to air dry,,,,,over night if possible.

    In one case when I was in a big hurry, I scrubbed the ram totally with alcohol and dried it with a hair dryer. It worked perfectly when reinstalled in the PC. Total time for the cleaning, less than 15 minutes.

    I never throw out a bad ram stick before I've tried to save it with a good washing. I've saved over 90% of the bad ram I've seen in the last 27 years, by just cleaning it.

    Whenever cleaning cpu or PSU fans with compressed air, use a small stick or screwdriver to prevent the fan from turning while it's being blasted clean. If the compressed air is allowed to spin the fan, the blades can fly off or the bearings can be over-reved and cause premature failure. I've seen both happen and it ain't pretty.

    Also, be very careful when using a vacc. cleaner inside of a PC.
    The inrush of air at the tip of the cleaner tool can cause very high static charges to develop, in the thousands of volts. Never vacc. a mobo or IC chips.
    Reserve the vacc cleaner for the case and parts that cannot be destroyed by static electricity.

    Happy Computing and Merry Christmas everyone!

    The Shadow :cool:
  25. splitter New Member

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    Very fine tips mate.
    What I use as of now are fine brushes and a blower sometimes. and nothing more... I do regularly clean my case a I have faced some over heating problems and that was due to non cleaning of case for months.

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