In the UK Maplins sell some special stuff thats called CPU & Heatsink TP Remover its made with citrus and i have used it a lot the bottle is massive for a small price enough for a life time of a home user! Or you can use rubbing alcohol to be safe.
First try to remove thermal paste with a bit of plastic or something if theres a hard blob and when you have it just have left some parts left you cant get and to make it great for the new stuff...
Apply some of the liquid to a bit of kitchen roll seen as that doesnt break (Dont use toliet paper) or a clean lint free cloth and put it ontop of the bottle quickly tip it onto the tissue, paper or cloth and back again and rub it slowly on the cpu / heatsink leave it for a few moments and then get a clean dry peace and whip it off. Done and smooth as a babies bum lol!
Then to apply you put a BB Bullet size (or a bit smaller) of thermal paste onto the CPU and use a credit/ debt card or a small piece of plastic to make a smooth even layer or you can do my personal way that is great everytime.. get your heatsink and place it onto of the thermal paste and rotate it 45 degress left and right this will then make it even by itsself and everytime is perfect
NEVER PLACE THE HEATSINK ON THE PASTE AND REMOVE IT. You will have to reapply as this will "break" the seal from the cpu to the heatsink and decrease its efficiency!
I hope this is ok for you. If you need anymore help drop me a line on msn (firstname.lastname@example.org) and ill guide you though it some more.
Here is what I have:
And can be found for purchase or more information here: http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?...aplin&doy=11m2
A store in the US which sells it: http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/akticpuhecl.html
You will notice they tell you to do what i have done but in less detail which is:-
1. Remove as much loose deposit of TIM as possible.
2. Apply solution with a clean dry cloth.
3. Leave for 1-2 minutes.
4. Wipe clean with dry cloth.
If you find this helpful i would like to remind you of the Rep button
Again hope this helps and good luck!