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#1 absolution183  Icon User is offline

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Cleaning CPU with microfiber cloth?

Posted 17 April 2015 - 09:58 AM

Is it ok to wipe the insides of the CPU with microfiber cloth? I also saw somewhere on the Internet that used fabric softener dryer sheets work because they don't cause static electricity. I tried it but they don't really do a good job getting all that dust out. I'm wondering if microfiber cloths are better, or safe to use.
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#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cleaning CPU with microfiber cloth?

Posted 17 April 2015 - 10:09 AM

What do you mean 'insides of the cpu? The CPU is the chip under the giant heatsink.

If you mean inside the computer box in general then the best best is compressed air.

I certainly wouldn't use dryer sheets that may leave a residue or something along those lines.
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#3 absolution183  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cleaning CPU with microfiber cloth?

Posted 17 April 2015 - 10:19 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 17 April 2015 - 10:09 AM, said:

What do you mean 'insides of the cpu? The CPU is the chip under the giant heatsink.

If you mean inside the computer box in general then the best best is compressed air.

I certainly wouldn't use dryer sheets that may leave a residue or something along those lines.

Yeah, I meant the computer box, not the processor chip. I didn't use new sheets, by the way. I used used ones. Ah yes, I remember now that I saw this on Lifehacker.

http://lifehacker.co...puter-case-fans

For compressed air, I'll have to take it outside, right? No way I'm blowing all that dust in my room. Also, I don't think it's gonna remove the dust that stays on the case, the one which only wiping will remove.
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cleaning CPU with microfiber cloth?

Posted 17 April 2015 - 11:07 AM

Sure.. outside is best - no reason to return your dust to where you are in. A decent breeze or fan should keep it from settling again. Maybe parts of the case itself I'll wipe down, but certainly not the exposed components (hard drives and PSU excluded).
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#5 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cleaning CPU with microfiber cloth?

Posted 21 April 2015 - 10:38 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 17 April 2015 - 01:09 PM, said:

What do you mean 'insides of the cpu?

You know, the computer. Sometimes referred to as the cpu, the hard drive, or the modem.
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#6 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Cleaning CPU with microfiber cloth?

Posted 24 May 2015 - 05:31 AM

I don't worry about what kind of cloth I use so much. I'm probably going to use an old T-shirt or sock.

I start with the compressed air and will use cloth and some sort of cleaner if I need to go further. Usually air is enough for circuit boards. Fans and things tend to cling to dust a lot more and you don't have to be too careful with those.

Isopropyl alcohol works wonders. I might use the household stuff, but I have some pure isopropyl for cleaning CPUs. (Actual CPUs as in the chip.) That stuff is amazing. You mostly don't want to short out any circuits by leaving a residue as an electrical path. There is no such thing as a perfect conductor or insulator. Water is actually somewhat of an insulator. It has a reputation as a conductor because of the contaminants in it. Alcohol dries almost instantly and should not leave any real residue behind. It's used for cleaning electronics a lot.

Pure isopropyl is almost magic in it's ability to remove thermal paste from the back of the CPU. I've even used it on the electrical contacts. I managed to get thermal paste on the wrong side of the CPU once and thought that was the end of that chip, but I cleaned the circuits with pure isopropyl and fired it right back up. In fact, that's the CPU I'm writing this on right now and that was about a year ago.

The main thing is to try and ground yourself and avoid introducing any static electricity. I try not to touch circuits and contacts at all if I can help it. A lot of the parts are not really at all sensitive to how you clean them like the fan blades and the case itself.

Anything you do can introduce static or short a circuit if you are not careful. Even blowing dust around with compressed air can blow dust on to the circuit instead of away from it. Probably the biggest danger with dust though is that it may prevent heat from escaping which is generally what fries a circuit board. I've seen some computers that were covered in so much dust they looked like they'd been pulled from an Egyptian tomb, but the still worked. None the less, I like to keep mine fairly dust free and this one's been going for something like 6 years now after a new video card and a new CPU cooler.

This post has been edited by BBeck: 24 May 2015 - 05:35 AM

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