Is Isopropyl Alcohol to safe to use on Motherboard PCB?

number69

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
1,646
I have an old motherboard I don't use and am going to sell it. It has some dirty spots that air isn't cleaning. Is Isopropyl Alcohol(70%) safe to use on it? Will it damage the varnish? I was told that it's safe to use on motherboards and won't damage or remove any of the varnish. Is this correct? I have used it in the past on a video card I had and it didn't seem to damage anything or remove any of the varnish at all from what I recall. Just wanted to double check.
 

McCartney

Gawd
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
861
Alcohol on silicon is completely fine. Silicon is nearly bulletproof (not physically) to chemicals due to it's metalloid structure.
 

drpeppir

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
165
Might wanna go with 90% alcohol on PCB board, what's a better solution is getting electronic contact cleaner or flux remover from fry's or similar store and spray it off, plus it dries in seconds.:cool:
 

swatbat

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 25, 2001
Messages
12,965
I use to use 90 or 92% when cleaning boards when I had to repair them in the past. Worked great.
 
Z

Zinn

Guest
Yeah I routinely use rubbing alcohol to clean electronics. It's a lot cheaper than using special electronic / contact cleaners and does the same thing.
 

BrainEater

Gawd
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
991
Isopropanol wont hurt anything on a motherboard :





Thats actually running in 99%iso. :D

---------------------
Don't use 70% !! make sure it's 99%.

There is one thing you don't wanna get near Iso tho , and thats anything made from lucite or plexiglass.If iso touches it , it'll be a million cracks.
 

Michael Daly

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
1,212
Yeah I routinely use rubbing alcohol to clean electronics.
Be careful with rubbing alcohol - it may contain something other than alcohol and water; check the ingredients list.

Rubbing alcohol is usually just 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water but sometimes they include other compounds like witchhazel, oil of wintergreen and other things for massages.

I'd personally go with 99% isopropyl. It's more expensive but I don't mix water with electronics.
 

BrainEater

Gawd
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
991
It's one of my computers....test rig basically. :D

--------------------------

Yea rubbing alcohol should be avoided...The rubbing alcohol I see is typically 70% isopropanol,25% water and 5% methanol , and it does not evaporate cleanly.
 

number69

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
1,646
Isopropanol wont hurt anything on a motherboard :





Thats actually running in 99%iso. :D

---------------------
Don't use 70% !! make sure it's 99%.

There is one thing you don't wanna get near Iso tho , and thats anything made from lucite or plexiglass.If iso touches it , it'll be a million cracks.
I always thought Isopropyl alcohol was conductive...apparently it's not, lol.

By the way, thanks for all the responses.
 

Oline61

Gawd
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
869
I spilled 70% all over my motherboard while cleaning thermal grease off my northbridge one time. I waited for it to dry, reassembled everything and it still works perfectly.
 

BrainEater

Gawd
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
991
The one thing I should probably delve in to a little ;

The various manufacturing processes involved in the building of motherboards will inevitably leave small amounts of oil / non-water-soluble compounds.

As well , every single sticker on the motherboard will come off right as rain. ;)

For these reasons ,dunk stuff twice.Once to remove , once to rinse ....

I generally use boiling Iso in the remove part... :D
 

Michael Daly

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
1,212
FWIW, IBM's board cleaning technology (in their board making facilities) is water based (converted from CFC-based years ago). If the other manufacturing processes use water-soluble materials (fluxes etc) then everything literally comes out in the wash. The waste water is relatively easy to clean up and reuse.

It might be worthwhile finding out what the major Taiwanese manufacturers are using and that might mean that water (distilled, not tap) would work fine for most clean up provided you do a proper job of drying the board afterwards. Water will work fine on lots of spills like cola, coffee and stuff. Oils can be cleaned with soap (not detergent) in water. Not sure about stuff like CPU thermal goop or your kid stuffing Play-doh into the computer case.
 

BrainEater

Gawd
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
991
That's a good point.

From what I've read , nearly all board makers use the water systems now.

-------------

On a side note ; Isopropanol dissolves most themal compounds.Make damn sure you remove it before soaking anything in iso.Especially arctic silver.you do not want a thin coat of semiconductive film all over the mobo. ;)
 

Ragenrok

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
May 15, 2007
Messages
4,209
I use 99% ISO that I buy form the pharmacy in walmart to clean off TIM from my CPU and to clean contacts as it works very well and evaporates in seconds.

I just dip a Q-Tip in the bottle and use that to clean, that or I put some on a coffee filter both work well.
 
Top