Questions on removing thermal paste.

I have a core i5 3570k, msi z77a-G45 motherboard, and Hyper 212+ heatsink. I need to remove the thermal paste that is on my CPU and heat sink, and I have a couple of questions.
1. I intend on using 90% alcohol to remove the paste, but what should I remove it with? Is a q-tip ok? I've seen some people say something about coffee filters as well.
2. Should I remove the paste from CPU while it is in the motherboard socket, or should I take it out? It seems like there's a risk of damaging socket pins if I'm applying pressure on the CPU while it's in the mobo with (say) a q-tip or towel of some sort (is this a legitimate concern?).
Any other advice you have is also welcome. Thank you very much.
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More about questions removing thermal paste
  1. Remove the CPU from the socket, use something without linen in it (Coffee Filter is a good example), and use rubbing alcohol to clean it ALL off. Make sure there is NONE of the old paste on your CPU. Then apply a dot about the size of a pea in the center of your CPU and press your fan/heatsink down gently but firmly to spread the thermal compound.
  2. I use a Q-Tip and then use a couple coffee filter to wipe most of the paste at the beginning and then at the end to wipe off any fibers off. You can remove the processor or just use the alcohol on the Q-tip to break up the paste and on the processor as long as dont touch contact points on the processor or socket. Also unless you are about to break the board by applying that much pressure you really dont need to worrry about the socket.
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