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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
70% isopropyl swabs are super cheapo, and so is 99% bottled iso, is one better than the other ?

I've been using swabs, and there does seem to sometimes be a tiny residue on the surface of CPU, but I'm not sure if that's something from the swab or just that it is difficult to truly completetly wipe the TIM off.

Plenty people seem to recommend cotton bds and bottled alcohol.

What do folk here use ?
 

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I've given up on isopropyl alcohol for cleaning up TIM. With the wide array of TIM available on the market, not all of them are soluble in alcohol. Some are better cleaned up by mineral spirits, acetone, or other solvents.

The company that makes Arctic Silver 5 also makes a TIM cleanup chemical duo called Arctic Cleaner. The primary solvent is limonene, which is the same stuff that's in Goo Gone and one of the solvents in Goof Off, both good cleaners in their own right. The second bottle contains 95% isopropyl alcohol with a surfactant to clean off the limonene and dissolved TIM that remains. Since I started using the Arctic Cleaner, I haven't looked back. =) It smells good too, and it hasn't failed to clean up even the oldest and most crusty of TIM as well as the newer generation compounds.

Greg
 

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I say the bottle with cotton balls or paper towels. I used 99% with a paper towel, got most of it off, then you need to just polish it with a lintless towel or cloth.

Cheers mate
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Alcohol is best place to start.
Acetone loves to eat plastic and anything similar so be very careful if you use it.
If you need something stronger than alcohol, fingernail polish remover is acetone based.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammong View Post

The company that makes Arctic Silver 5 also makes a TIM cleanup chemical duo called Arctic Cleaner. The primary solvent is limonene, which is the same stuff that's in Goo Gone and one of the solvents in Goof Off, both good cleaners in their own right. The second bottle contains 95% isopropyl alcohol with a surfactant to clean off the limonene and dissolved TIM that remains. Since I started using the Arctic Cleaner, I haven't looked back. =) It smells good too, and it hasn't failed to clean up even the oldest and most crusty of TIM as well as the newer generation compounds.

Greg
Actually the limonene while a solvent is present in relatively small quantities. The Goo Gone MSDS shows that it's only 5% with hydrocarbon distillates as the major component. The Articlean MSDS doesn't give the % composition and solution 1 has limonene, methyl esters of soybean oil and an unnamed non-ionic surfactant. Limonene smells nice but I suspect it's the other components that do the bulk of the cleaning. According to their website, the second solution does not contain isopropyl alcohol, but rather Dipropylene Glycol Monomethyl Ether, a hydrocarbon solvent.

I've only had to clean two CPUs that had Arctic Silver applied to them (one was a MoBo failure and the other a noisy CPU fan) and isopropyl alcohol worked fine in both cases. Additionally, isopropyl alcohol is inexpensive and a pint bottle is likely to last forever given the relatively small number of times you are going to need to remove CPU coolers. Clearly you can clean CPU surfaces using a variety of cleaning compounds but why pay more?

FWIW, I'm a chemist by education and did a fair amount of surfactant research for my PhD.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, the swabs are advertised as lintless NHS certified, getting them from ebay £2 for a hundred.
Pharma grade alcohol is about £7-8 for a litre, or £3-4 for 100ml. Probably 100ml would last a long time and be easy to keep in a drawer.
 

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I use pieces of paper towel. Cut up a bunch of 10x10cm pieces. You can fold these to wipe with. Wipe as much off first. Use the small pieces of towel to wipe once and throw away. Get a new piece and wipe than throw it away. Be careful to watch the TIM very closely. It will jump several cm to get on your hands or anything else that is close. Really! Very sneaky stuff.
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After that put a fold the 10x10's and put a little alcohol on it and wipe again... Be very careful about the jumping!! Unfold and fold the wiped side inside and wipe again... than throw away.

When you are all done let us know how much jumped onto your... Because it will!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogbiscuit View Post

Wiping gunk off your fingers are what jeans are for. Works with snot, chutney, bike oil...
Step away from the TIM!! Now!! You can wipe all kinds of things on your jeans but STAY AWAY FROM TIM! Or you will be finding it places you can't imagine for months... maybe even years!
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