Using Ethanol To Remove Thermal Paste?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by phorkz, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. phorkz

    phorkz Limp Gawd

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  2. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    Yes, it's safe to use.

    Ethyl alcohol consists of 2 carbon atoms while isopropyl alcohol has 3 carbon atoms. Ethyl alcohol is produced when ethene is hydrated or when sugar is fermented by yeast cells. ... Ethyl alcohol is suitable for drinking while isopropyl is toxic when ingested. Both perform the same as a cleaning agent.
     
  3. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

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    Yeah, for the cpu/ heatsink it won't matter what you use. I replaced an old pentium in an optiplex 760 USFF with an E8600 C2D the other day. I didn't have any 90% rubbing alcohol left but had some 50% wintergreen alcohol. The heatsink became minty fresh. just let it dry good
     
  4. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    On my test rig using same TIM for all testing I usually just wipe cooler and CPU clean. Trick I learned from an old gentleman is to cut paper towels into small squares (5cm ish) and use one side, fold wipe again and put in nearby plastic bag lined garbage can. This way I rarely find any TIM on anything except CPU and cooler. I know TIM is infested with gremlins and can jump a meter or more to get onto other things. ;)
     
  5. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    Yes and for anyone reading acetone also works fine just beware of printed numbers on some CPUs etc.
     
  6. doyll

    doyll Kyle's Thermocouple is HOT

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    Anyone thinking of using acetone please keep in mind it desolves many kinds of plastic, so keep it way from anything with plastic in it.
     
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  7. Azrak

    Azrak Gawd

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    I do this as well. No mess, no fuss and very little waste. A single towel can do both the CPU and heatsink no problem. I also use a few cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to do the CPU if I am not taking it out of the socket. It can do the sides of the CPU if any paste got there.
     
  8. somebrains

    somebrains Gawd

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    I use rubbing alcohol and coffee filters.
    People using paper towels and standard concentration rubbing alcohol don't set anything on fire, so don't worry about it.
     
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  9. Keljian

    Keljian Gawd

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    I use tissues and PCB circuit board cleaner, works..
    NA1008-electronic-circuit-board-cleaner-spray-canImageMain-515.jpg
     
  10. MaZa

    MaZa 2[H]4U

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    Acetone is effective but AFAIK it also leaves a film behind so it is better to do a quick wipe with alcohol afterwards. Correct me if I am wrong?

    Isopropyl, or any strong rubbing alcohol, works fine. Dry contact cleaner (no lubricants) also work as it is a combination of rubbing alcohol and other solvents and some deoxidizer, which does nothing in this case but doesn't hurt either.
     
  11. threehundredsixftw

    threehundredsixftw n00b

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    i know of an IT consulting company that used to buy a handle of everclear and take the label off to use for "cleaning off heatsink compound" and maybe that little extra kick monday morning ;) lol
     
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  12. Dullard

    Dullard 2[H]4U

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    I've used ethanol to put thermal paste ON a few times.
     
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  13. Susquehannock

    Susquehannock 2[H]4U

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    Ethanol is fine. Used it to clean TIM many times. Rather surprised it would contain that. Especially higher than 95%/190 proof. ATF tends to keep track of such things.

    ^^ this. Not a good choice for cleaning computer components. They make 'LectraMotive' for that. Also bear in mind Acetone is one of the few things that goes through Nitrile gloves like it is not even there.
     
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  14. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

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    That is an Au product, so no US ATF regulations. I think Ethanol is cheaper to make.. ISO HEET ( red bottle ) automotive antifreeze is 100% Isopropyl Alcohol, if you can't get 90% plus rubbing alcohol locally. I just use whatever store brand of 90%+ usually
     
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  15. Susquehannock

    Susquehannock 2[H]4U

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    Ahh, missed 'Au' in the link. Wonder how it would go trying to ship that to USA.
     
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  16. matt167

    matt167 Gawd

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    it would fly under the radar I'm sure
     
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  17. Susquehannock

    Susquehannock 2[H]4U

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    Maybe so. Funny how these things work. My hot pepper seeds sent overseas get confiscated. Potential biological threats et all.

    Not long ago I did use some Acetone in small dabs to melt the thermal adhesive pad on a server board chipset and sink. Alcohol wouldn't touch it.
     
  18. Azrak

    Azrak Gawd

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    I use WD40 to remove adhesive residue. But then you have to use alcohol to clean up the WD40. I'm not Tech Yes City.
     
  19. Parja

    Parja [H]ardForum Junkie

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  20. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    Sue them for false advertising.
     
  21. Panzer_X

    Panzer_X n00b

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    That should work. We used to use that and a coffee filter back in the day to take off thermal paste.
     
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  22. capt_cope

    capt_cope Gawd

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    I've always had good luck when I used everclear (190 proof) and a coffee filter. I don't think you want to soak your board in ethanol since it can cause some rubber compounds to swell (the seals on old electrolytic caps come to mind) but brief exposure should be fine.
     
  23. viivo

    viivo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Don't tissues leave behind lint?

    I've always used 99% iso, Q-tips, and eyeglass cleaning cloths. Toothbrush dipped in alcohol works really well for cleaning thermal paste off tiny components on GPU/CPU dies.
     
  24. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    Better yet, drink some and go to the hospital. They advised falsely causing bodily harm.
     
  25. threehundredsixftw

    threehundredsixftw n00b

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    not really a big deal on cpu heat spreader IMO. cleaning a PCB with tissues is a huge PITA though.
     
  26. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I just use Windex and Bounty paper towels to wipe it off (Windex evaporates just like alcohol, so there's no residue). Then just blow with an air can afterward to make sure it's lint-free.

    For application, I just wash my hands wit soap and water then airdry, hand apply the TIM. There's no need for gloves if your hands are oil/dirt/water-free.

    You don't have to be Mr Perfect,with purpose-purchased chemicals and gloves.. I've been doing it that way for twenty years, and I usually get the 5-8 years out of each application.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019 at 4:15 PM
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  27. Keljian

    Keljian Gawd

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    Nope, not if it is dissolved and you are careful
     
  28. funkydmunky

    funkydmunky 2[H]4U

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    I use the Heads&Tails of my Moonshine. Other then starting bomb-fires or disinfecting whatever, what the hell is it good for?
    Works like a charm eh!
     
  29. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    Ok then what is the mass of 4 moles of EtOH? But wait there's more!! What is the amount of energy necessary to evaporate 1gram of pure etoh from a solution of 1 liter of water and 500ml of EtOH? Specific heat capacities are widely available including heats of fusions for each on google. Answer must be in nanojoules so scientific notation is allowable. Is it possible for EtOH to sublimate as to avoid the use of distillation? Ooh a trick question to see if you paid attn to all the years of lecture.

    Enjoy

    Typical test question style from back in my undergrad crap. I hated my Chem prof. Biochemistry and chemistry degrees were a rough road.

    I got really creative on the sublimation part and he gave me bonus points for making him laugh.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019 at 6:13 AM