How to Clean Thermal Paste Off CPU

By | July 24, 2021
How to Clean Thermal Paste Off CPU
How to Clean Thermal Paste Off CPU

Thermal paste is required while manufacturing a computer to prevent the central processor unit (CPU) from overheating. The paste is a conductive substance placed on your CPU to guarantee that the host CPU and the cooler are as close of contact as possible.

As the thermal paste dries out over time, it may be necessary to reapply to exist PCs. We’ll teach you how to apply thermal paste properly, whether you’re working on a new build or an older computer that needs the prior paste removed first.

What You’ll Necessitate

You should require the following compound to Clean Thermal Paste off the CPU.

  • A microfiber cloth (not paper towels, as they can scratch the surface)
  • Rubbing alcohol (at least 90 %)
  • Cotton swabs
  • A plastic spudger (optional)

How to Clean Thermal Paste Off CPU

There comes the point when your once-fantastic CPU loses its lustre and can no longer keep you up for those late-night gaming sessions. You’ve finally upgraded, and the only stumbling block is the thermal paste leftover from the trash CPU you just discarded. Yes, you have something new and bright, and the old thing is no longer useful.

Removing the Old Paste

Depending on what you have, gaining access to your computer’s heatsink and CPU will be different. To identify, access, remove, and replace the essential parts, see the owner’s handbook. If you don’t have a physical copy, look for a copy on the manufacturer’s website.

Only cloth and rubbing alcohol are required to complete the task. The fabric you choose is crucial because certain paper products, such as toilet paper, might leave fibres behind that prevent heat transfer.

Used Microfiber Cloth 

A microfiber cloth is an ideal option for the Clean Thermal Paste off CPU, but if you’re in a hurry, a paper towel will suffice—it leaves far less material behind than toilet paper.

The greater the concentration of rubbing alcohol, the better. (Regular rubbing alcohol, with a concentration of 71 per cent or less, not only fails to remove the thermal paste, but it also includes other contaminants, such as water, which can cause corrosion if not entirely removed.

It is possible to use rubbing alcohol with a concentration of 90% or greater). Because it evaporates rapidly, I usually use 99 %. Other cleansers, which are conductive and might leave residue, should not be used on your CPU or heat sink.

Remove the TIM

To begin, clean the surface with a dry towel to remove as many large pieces as possible. Then, straight into the fabric, apply a tiny quantity of alcohol; while this isn’t as necessary while dealing with the heat sink, it’s still a good idea to prevent making a mess.

Finally, wipe away any leftover thermal paste and reapply the alcohol if necessary. When you’re through, it should be as gleaming as the day you got it.

Examine it for any remnants of thermal paste that may have come into touch with the heatsink. If you discover any, clean the surface using the same methods. If you must scrape the old paste away with a spudger, make sure to use a plastic one to avoid scratching or otherwise harming the components. Don’t try scraping if you don’t have one.

Pay careful attention to where the old paste ends up. You don’t want to unintentionally brush it off and have it trapped somewhere in the processor after it’s loosened.

Try Using a Compressed-Can of CFC

Use the same approach to clean up any additional places where your last application of thermal paste dried. However, instead of a spudger, use q-tips, paper towels, or another soft substance, as other parts may be more fragile.

If the paste has dried in narrow, hard-to-reach spaces, consider using a compressed can of CFC (chlorofluorocarbon)-based vehicle electronic contact cleaning.

Applying New Paste

After you’ve removed all remnants of the previous paste, wipe the heatsink and CPU with rubbing alcohol or cleaner again. After you’ve done that, don’t apply new paste right away. Instead, wait until they’ve completely dried in the air.

Apply a tiny bead of fresh paste on the top of it. It should be approximately the size of a rice grain. Unless your owner’s handbook expressly indicates different, don’t bother about doing the same to the heat sink. 

The thermal paste may find on the internet and at businesses that sell computers and other gadgets. Switch to a clean, new pair of latex gloves if you’ve been using them. Wrap your finger with plastic wrap if you don’t have any. Spread the paste bead over the surface of the core with your fingertip.

Try not to get it on the surrounding greenery, but don’t get too worked up if it does. Your computer will continue to function normally. The next time around, you’ll have more to clean up.

Precautions Perform For Applying Thermal Paste Off

Switched off all electricity cables or wires

To Clean Thermal Paste off the CPU, firstly care about these points. Next, open the main menu on the home screen if your computer is turned on.

Finally, to turn off all electricity, choose “shut off” or something similar. Don’t rely on the “power” button to switch off the whole power supply. Most of the time, this will just put your computer into “sleep” mode.

Unplug your computer if it is currently hooked into a power source. If it’s a laptop, disconnect it from the charger as well. Finally, remove any additional devices that are connected to the PC and disconnect them. 

Sure Hands Safety 

Put on a pair of latex gloves before opening the computer and starting to work on the insides. Expect your skin’s oils to obstruct the components’ regular performance. Also, wear anti-static wristbands to protect your fingers from releasing static energy, which might harm the components.

What is thermal paste?

Thermal paste is a thermally conductive material that aids in transmitting heat by filling up air spaces that would otherwise exist between two surfaces, allowing for a more efficient transfer.

We use thermal paste between the CPU and the CPU cooler in computer construction to guarantee that heat is evacuated from the processor as efficiently as feasible. Your CPU would overheat and might be destroyed if you didn’t use thermal paste.


For Clean Thermal Paste off CPU When you are changing the heat sink, you should always remove and clean the old thermal compound before applying fresh thermal compound (as a general practice). It is because it eliminates cavities, gaps, bubbles, and weak sealing, as previously stated. 

The thermal paste may function as an insulator if you use too much of it. In the best-case scenario, this will render the paste useless, and in the worst-case scenario, you may damage components due to overheating. Make sure your component has a thin coating of paste on it.

Hopefully, this little instruction was helpful, and you won’t have any trouble cleaning thermal paste in the future.