Do you feel that your CPU is heating up way too much and way earlier than it usually does? Then one reason behind this could be a dried-up thermal paste. If this indeed turns out to be the case, you need to learn to clean the thermal paste. But if you haven’t done it before, you might be asking how to clean thermal paste off CPU?
However, there is no need to be confused. I will guide you every step of the way so that you can remove the thermal paste fully. However, you might be wondering:
Can Thermal Paste Dry Out?
Generally, thermal paste doesn’t dry out, and it certainly doesn’t dry out easily. But over years of use, the increased temperature in the CPU can harden it. Now, in this hardened state, it isn’t able to effectively cool down the CPU, leading to the CPU heating up.
As a result, then comes the time to remove it.
How To Remove Thermal Paste From Your CPU?
- Before we begin, you need to gather some things. These things are a microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol (99%). The microfiber cloth is needed for cleaning off the CPU, and the alcohol is the cleaner that will let you quickly do it. Some people use paper towels, but these towels tend to leave behind residue that can negatively affect your system. So it’s advised that you don’t use it.
- But if you can’t get a hold of microfiber cloth, there is no need to worry. You can also use medical alcohol wipes. However, it’s strongly advised that you opt for microfiber clothing if you have the option to. After all, it will allow you to clean up the entire CPU quickly without any residue. Know that we prefer isopropyl alcohol because of this same thing- it evaporates quickly and doesn’t leave behind any residue.
- Now that our products are ready, we can begin the cleaning process. The first step now is to switch off the main power. Of course, you need to shut down the computer first before turning off the power connection.
- After this, you need to plug out all of the cables. So look for the wires and cables attached to your CPU. You will find multiple cables coming out of the CPU. For example, there is the HDMI cable as well as the external cord connecting to your UPS. So it would be best if you took them out.
- After you have taken out the cables, it’s time to take the battery out of the case. However, taking the battery out or disengaging the power cord doesn’t mean that the CPU is free of charge. There’s still some amount of charge left in the components. So it’s essential to discharge that. For this, you need to press the CPU’s power button for about ten seconds. This should drain out the remaining charge.
- So now we are ready to begin working on the CPU. However, before you take off the CPU components, it’s advised that you wear gloves. This will prevent the oils and sweat from your hands from accumulating and affecting the system.
- Now you need to dust the area beside and around the heat sink with a light brush. After you have dusted that area thoroughly, it’s time to use a dry cloth to take out your CPU’s old thermal paste. You will find this paste stuck around the motherboard.
- But this step alone won’t get rid of the whole paste, so you need to add alcohol to your microfiber cloth and then work on getting the entire paste out. Know that you should try to get all of the paste. If the cloth isn’t getting the job done, then apply some alcohol on Q-Tips and then get the paste stuck on hard-to-reach areas. Remember that at the end, the entire space around the heatsink should look shiny. It should be as if you just brought it home.
If you follow the above steps thoroughly, you will clean the thermal paste completely. However, if you are confused about where the paste is, use the manual that probably came with your system. But if you don’t have the manual, then that’s not a big issue as well. Just Google your CPU type, and you will get plenty of PDFs detailing where various parts of your system are. So cleaning this thermal paste should be easy.
READ MORE: Which Type Of CPU Cooler Contains Heat Pipes? and Best CPUs For Arma 3 Review