Cleaning FX-4170 Cooler?

To start with, I'm not entirely sure this is the right section for this question, so my apologies if it's not.
About 6 months ago, I got an AMD FX-4170 for a new computer I was building. It works just fine, but recently when I looked inside to check on the dirt levels, it was absolutely filthy. I would clean it, except for the fact that I can't see any way to get to the dirt. Here's a picture of the heat sink I found on the internet:
From what I can tell, it's identical to what I have. It's still been running fine, even though the surface of the heat sink under the fan is covered in thick dirt. The fan almost completely obscures the dirty part, and I can't see any way to get the fan off of the heat sink. There are four holes in the top, but they don't lead to screws - just straight to the heat sink. If anyone could give any suggestions - either on removing the fan, or cleaning the heat sink with it on - it'd be very appreciated.
As a side note, if I remove the heat sink, should I re-apply more thermal paste?

And as another side note, what are some good methods for reducing dirt buildup, aside from water cooling? I suppose frequent vacuuming/keeping away from carpet could help, but is there anything else I could do?

Thanks for the help.
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cleaning 4170 cooler
  1. Best answer
    The plastic shroud is just clipped on the heatsink.
  2. It's probably just me being too timid with it, but I couldn't seem to get it off. I'll try again later, though. Thanks.
  3. Did you try just blowing it out with compressed air? (you can buy canned compressed air at Fry's or Radioshack)
  4. Best answer selected by Dustin64.
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