I just purchased a new processor for my laptop. There's a lot of excess thermal compound on it, and I was wondering if it's safe to clean it off. (It's on the side of the heat spreader, as shown in the picture) Will isoprophyl alcohol damage the green part of the chip?
I doubt iso would damage the pcb if used sparingly.
Personally i would just use an old gift/credit card to clean up the excess on both sides.
Concern myself with cleaning the cpu.
I doubt any paste residue left on the pcb will harm anything.
I'm not sure I would use 95%, but I always use isopropyl alcohol for cleaning compound. In my experience, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. I have used to clean stuff off of PCB before. Any electronics really.
I use cotton swabs.