How can my friend clean his dust encrusted mobo?

Hi, hope i'm doing this right.
My Friend, jose loeza has purchased a dell dimension xps b800r computer, used. the motherboard is encrusted with so much caked on dust that it is furry and virtually unrecognizable as a circuit board at all.
he has tried compressed air cans and battery vacuuming but the mobo is still in bad shape.
is there a safe and effective way to vlean the motherboard with a liquid?
if so, what would be the best way to go about the process?

thank you in advance for any help on this problem.
8 answers Last reply
More about friend clean dust encrusted mobo
  1. i would have said compressed air, as a few quick strong blasts usually does the trick. Hmm, you could try isopryol alcohol (70% and above, 90% is better). Make sure when you use it, to let it dry before turning on comp.
  2. thanks, the dust in his machine is that kind of greasy, clumping, sticks to everything dust you find along baseboards behind desks that haven't been moved in years and all over the back and blades of your box fan if you don't clean it every month or so.
  3. Yeah alcohol is a good option if you make sure the board is dry before you switch on.
  4. Isopryol alcohol 99.99% is best. Do not put it into dish washer.
  5. pcgamer12 said:
    Isopryol alcohol 99.99% is best. Do not put it into dish washer.

    Rats. Ruined my best suggestion.

    @ zwatcher, your chances of getting some iso above 90% are pretty slim unless you know a pharmacist, or have connections to a chemical company. At the risk of improving my chances of skin cancer, there are some f12 based solvents (CRC comes to mind) that will do the job quite nicely and will be evaporated before you are ready to re-assemble. Not cheap, but good for what they do.

    Otherwise, iso at the best percentage you can get is next on the list. Try to avoid getting liquid (or gunk) into your various slots, or the CPU carrier. Let dry for a day or two, then good luck. (hint: a soft toothbrush and a small bowl of iso...)
  6. my friend says that back in Cancun he used to use a chemical for cleaning car engines but he doesn't remember the name, only that it is an oily textured substance that he brushed on then let evaporate inside a box with light bulbs to provide heat source.
    does this sound familiar?
  7. Sounds similar to a product called 'Gunk'. I'd not recommend it for PCB's.

    Back to the iso, small container and toothbrush method I'm afraid.
  8. I use "perfect duster" a product sold at Fry's electronics. I got it for around $5 on sale for 3 cans. It contains compressed air with some kind of solvent that evaporates. It should clean any board safely. I don't recommend rubing anything on your board, including isopropyl alcohol. It's usually not pure, so it may leave a residue that doesn't evaporate quickly.
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