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Removing old thermal paste with a paper towel

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November 20, 2010 11:04:31 PM

So, I'm having some serious issues with heat, my GPU idles at 90C, my CPU is no better idling at 60C and hitting 75C under load.
I'm after ordering an aftermarket cooler for the graphics card, I've ordered a heatsink for my processor too.

It's going to be a "poor man's project" as I'm broke at the mo and have no intention of getting any cleaning agent for removing the old thermal paste. I'm planning on simply rubbing that fecking thing off with a paper towel...

Any thoughts about that? I expect it to be quite easy to clean the CPU since its surface is quite smooth, I'm not too sure about the GPU though. I've read on the net that a bit of lemon juice would help, the idea seems a bit crazy to me though as lemon juice contains some sugar...

So, my question is: will I get away with a paper towel only? ;) 
November 20, 2010 11:27:22 PM

isopropyl rubbing alcohol... 70% by volume... costs about 2$ at the grocery store...

use it on the paper towel then use the paper towel to schmear the stuff up...

g'luck to you!
a c 197 K Overclocking
November 21, 2010 2:16:16 AM

Isopropyl alcohol is one of the best things for cleaning heatsinks - works well, inexpensive, and easily available.
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November 21, 2010 5:14:37 PM

Believe it or not, your fingers will clean it just fine. Our company manufacturers parts measured in microns and the first thing we learn is that a persons clean finger cleans better than any rag and doesn't leave behind residue as your skin soaks them up.
a c 121 K Overclocking
November 21, 2010 5:29:09 PM

Rubbing alcohol works to soften the old material.

I would not use a paper towel. It can leave small specs of lint. Instead use a paper coffee filter.
a c 190 K Overclocking
November 21, 2010 5:44:59 PM

And 'borrow' some of a females nail polish remover if you can't buy some Ipa,
high alcohol content right there, just make sure theres no residue on the chip
Moto
a b K Overclocking
November 21, 2010 5:45:25 PM

^ If our contination guy wasn't such a nice guy, I'd pass that on to him, but I think he would have a heart attack. What about the Oils, and skin that flakes off. As to skin soaking up means it may enter the body - no thanks

I use 100% Isopropyl, barring that I'd spring the extra 50 cents for 91 % alcohol a piece of old lint free material (ie one of my old tee-shirts).
November 22, 2010 8:22:27 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

Isopropyl alcohol is out of the question. I've done my research and it looks like it's not so easy to get it here in Ireland. I mean, you can get a 0.5l bottle in some chemistry shops, but it looks like I would have to do a lot of driving around to get it and frankly I can't be bothered. Besides, I don't need a half a litre of it... maybe, if I could drink the rest of it it would be a different story. :D 

What about using lemon juice? Any thoughts on that?
November 22, 2010 8:52:48 PM

well after a bit of searching on some english drugstore websites i must admit that i cannot find anything about rubbing alcohol either.

can't imagine why not.

anything with a high alcohol percentage should work (i.e. vodka or similar) dab just a bit on a bit of cotton cloth (t-shirt rag etc) and use that to wipe up the old stuff.
(a little tiny bit) your not trying to get your computer tipsy and take advantage of it.

heck who know's perhaps your computer will run even better then.

the whole reason to use a high alcohol content items is because alcohol dries very quickly, and there fore wont pose a conductivity risk.
i would stay away from the lemon juice..... anything that has a high water content like that....... moisture + electronics = bad idea
!