How to Clean Thermal Paste Off CPU | Updated Solution 2022

Are you familiar with thermal paste? Thermal paste is a chemical mixture that is usually used to be an interface between the heat elements in a device. Thermal paste is known by different names, such as thermal gel, heat paste, thermal interface material, thermal compound, etc. And most importantly, your pc contains thermal paste, which is essential for the CPU.

But, How can you clean thermal paste off the CPU? By using rubbing alcohol and a cloth, you can remove the thermal paste from your CPU. Removing thermal paste from your CPU isn’t a tough job. The isopropyl alcohol, q- tips, and a paper towel will make the process easier for you.

There is much more to know. You will get enlightened about the whole cleaning process, required ingredients, and alternative options too! So, let’s get started!


How to clean thermal paste off CPU?

Cleaning thermal paste off the CPU isn’t a tough job. It’s pretty simple to clean thermal paste off a CPU. We would like to show you how you can clean the thermal paste off your CPU. Let’s have a glimpse at the required ingredients first:

Paper towel (White)
Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol
A dry and clean cloth
Spirit (additional)

So now, let’s begin the cleaning process!

Editor’s Note: Check out our Buying Guide For the 5 Best CPU for RX 580 Reviews

Step 1: Gather the ingredients

First, gather the ingredients you need to clean the thermal paste off your CPU. We have mentioned all the stuff that you are going to need above. So, you need to take some isopropyl alcohol, q- tips, and a paper towel. You will find isopropyl alcohol in any pharmacy or grocery shop.

Step 2: get your CPU

Pull your CPU out of your PC build and open the area where the thermal paste is smeared. You will find that area right after pulling the CPU out of your PC.

*Caution: don’t forget to turn off the pc first.

Step 3: Clean the initial

Now grab the paper towel and clean off the speck of thermal paste. You just have to rub the paper towel over the thermal paste for a while and get the bulk of the thermal paste off. You will see the silver thermal paste coming off with your paper towel when you start rubbing. But there will still be some amount of stubborn thermal paste there.

Step 4: use isopropyl alcohol

After cleaning off the most thermal paste, you will still see some remnants. If you want that area clean, you must grab one q-tip and put that q-tip into the isopropyl alcohol.

Isopropyl alcohol will help you to get more cleaner surface there than before. After dunking the q-tip into the alcohol, you have to dab it off in the paper towel so that the isopropyl alcohol doesn’t split over the motherboard.

*Caution: spilling off the alcohol in the motherboard will ruin it forever. So work with extreme attention.

Step 5: the final step

After dabbing the extra alcohol, you have to rub the q-tip across the area of the CPU to clean off the extra thermal paste from that area. Rub the q-tip until you discover a neat and clean area.

By following this simple process, you will be able to clean off the thermal paste of your CPU. With only these few things, you can wipe off the thermal paste from your CPU. Moreover, these things are found almost in every house. So you don’t have to worry about anything while wiping off the thermal paste.

Editor’s Note: Check out our Buying Guide For the Best CPU’s for GTX 1080 & 1080 Ti

Can I remove the thermal paste from the CPU?

Removing thermal paste from the CPU is not a tough job. It is a very simple task that requires only a few ingredients. Even you won’t need any expert help to do that. Also, those ingredients are found in every house. You just have to gather some stuff, which are q-tips, dry cloth, and a very little amount of rubbing alcohol.

Then you must use them step by step and wipe off the thermal paste smoothly. Read above to know the steps. And always remember that you have to work carefully with alcohol because if anyhow you spill it off, you will ruin the motherboard.

Can I clean the thermal paste without alcohol?

We know removing thermal paste requires rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. But if you can’t find rubbing alcohol nearby, then don’t think you won’t be able to remove the thermal paste from your CPU. You can still clean the thermal paste using different ingredients.

Having no rubbing alcohol isn’t a huge deal. You just have to wipe the area of thermal paste with the hardest paper towel. You have to rub the surface of the thermal paste with the hard paper. In this case, you can use an alcohol-based hand rub if you want.

But to let you know, wiping off using a hard paper towel won’t clean off everything properly. So, if you want the perfect cleaning, you must get alcohol.

Does thermal paste expire?

The answer to this question depends on the ingredients of the thermal paste. The different thermal paste includes different ingredients. So different thermal paste has different lifespans. The majority of thermal paste lasts at least two years.

But if the quality of the ingredients of the thermal paste you are using is very low, then your thermal paste may expire sooner. Also, the lifespan of the thermal paste depends on the storing process. If the thermal paste is created perfectly and you store it perfectly, then your thermal paste will last for a long period. You won’t have to replace the thermal paste sooner.

Can too much thermal paste overheat?

Yes. The thermal protection does very well for your CPU. But if you apply too much thermal paste, then it will harm your computer. You will find your computer overheating. It’s better always to use the minimal amount of thermal paste that can help your CPU, not ruin it.

Though we usually use thermal paste for balancing the heat between the CPU and heatsink, overusing it will cause your computer to overheat or even shut off. Using too much thermal paste will be exactly the opposite of what we expect thermal paste to do. Most of the time, we ignore the correct amount of usage, and then we regret it.

Wrapping up

Having thermal paste in your CPU helps a lot. The extreme heat becomes balanced between the CPU and the heatsink. Your computer remains good to use because of the thermal paste. But for many reasons, we must remove and replace the CPU’s thermal paste.

Wiping thermal paste off of your CPU isn’t a difficult job. You just have to find some formal elements capable of rubbing, cleaning, and taking the thermal paste off your CPU step by step.

So, read the steps again and get on to work! 


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