A heatsink is a necessary part of your PC’s thermal management. You might clean your PC regularly with a can of compressed air from time to time, but if you’ve ignored the heatsink for too long, dust and dirt can build up inside the fins that won’t. are normally not accessible. How to properly clean the heatsink?
If there is too much dust and dirt buildup, your heatsink will not be able to dissipate heat normally. Your CPU will begin to thermally throttle. Your games will drop fps, sudden and unpredictable stutters will occur, and in some cases, your PC might suddenly crash. The Question How to properly clean the heatsink? is quite common.
How to properly clean the heatsink?
To avoid these problems, you should clean your radiator periodically. But since it is a component connected to the processor, you may not know how. That’s why we wrote this article for you so that you can properly clean your radiator.
Things to consider before you start
Expect dust all around you when trying to remove it. With that in mind, here are some things to consider when cleaning the heatsink:
- Set up the cleaning area outside your home.
- Wear a mask as some dust particles can be very fine and accidentally inhaling a large amount is not good for the lungs.
- It is also expedient to wear gloves and secure glasses.
Cleaning the heatsink
Cleaning the radiator is a multi-step process. You will first remove the heatsink, clean its components individually and thoroughly, reapply thermal paste, and then reinstall the heatsink. Here are the detailed steps for each process involved:
Remove the heat sink
Turn off the computer and lay it flat on its side.
1. Open the side panel.
2. Discharge static electricity from yourself, use an anti-static wrist strap.
3. Unplug the CPU fan header from the motherboard.
4. For Intel processors, take a flat-blade screwdriver and use it to rotate the pins counterclockwise 90 degrees.
5. For AMD processors, use the flat-blade screwdriver to unscrew the four screws connecting the heatsink to the backplate.
6. Hold the heatsink all the time as it may fall or slip on its own once unscrewed.
7. Remove the cooler.
8. Note: It is possible that the heatsink is stuck to the CPU IHS due to dried thermal paste. Gently rock and twist the heat sink from side to side to disengage it in this case.
Remove the heatsink fan
- release the screws connecting the fan to the heatsink and it will come separate.
- Some heatsinks may have fans attached by clips, in which case you can turn and pull on each clip to loosen the socket.
Clean the radiator
If you clean and maintain your PC regularly, including the heatsink, there won’t be much dirt buildup. However, if the last time you cleaned it was a long time ago, there may be a thick layer of dirt on the heatsink, on the fan, as well as on the inner border of the heatsink.
- For regular cleaning, you may be able to step away using compressed air to blow away dirt. Spray the compressed air from multiple angles and do it in small, quick bursts to avoid damaging the CPU fan and other delicate components.
- If your heatsink has a thick layer of dirt built up all around it as well as inside the fins, you can clean it by just placing the aluminum block under a running water faucet. Be sure to detach fans and other electrical components first. Use a brush to gently scrub if necessary. When the heatsink is fairly cleaned, let it dry for some time.
- If it’s been a while since you last cleaned the heatsink, it’s possible that in addition to dirt buildup, you may also find sticky, grime-like substances lining the heatsink. . In such a case, you will need to clean the heatsink (just the aluminum block, remove the fans and electrics first) with soap water.
- Inspect the inside of the fins to make sure they are properly cleaned. If there is still dirt left, take some cotton swabs, douse cotton ends in isopropyl alcohol, and push them inside the fins to clean the residual dirt.
Clean the CPU fan
1. Gently brush the dust from the fan.
2. Brush both sides of the fan blades and housing. Make sure not to use too much force when cleaning the fan blades.
3. Then, use a clean cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol, 70% solution) to wipe down the blades. Do this one blade, forward and backward at a time.
4. Also, wipe down the fan housing and the cable up to the fan connector.
5. Let it dry for some time.
Note: The cloth should be lint-free so as not to leave fibers after cleaning. You can also apply a microfiber cloth for this.
Reapply thermal paste
Make sure the heat sink is dry. Next, reassemble the heatsink and prepare the thermal paste for application. If you’re using an Intel CPU cooler, be sure to reset all four pins first by rotating them 90 degrees clockwise.
- Remove the old thermal paste from the IHS CPU by rubbing it with a clean cloth dampened with 90% isopropyl alcohol.
- Make sure the surface is smooth and free of any thermal paste residue.
- Repeat this process for the heatsink base that contacts the IHS.
- Apply pea-sized thermal paste using a syringe to the top of the IHS.applying-thermal-paste-on-the-CPU
- • Install the heatsink on the upper of the CPU. Make sure the base of the cooler is just above the IHS and apply gentle but firm pressure to press it down onto the CPU.
- Install the heat sink on the motherboard. Secure the screws in place by pressing the pins or screwing them in, diagonally.I try to explain to you How to properly clean the heatsink?
You have finished! You have successfully cleaned the heat sink, and all your PC needs now are to close the back panel and turn it back on. Please enjoy the improved performance with yours. Now, How to properly clean the heatsink? is not difficult for you.
Hope You know the answer now: How to properly clean the heatsink?
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