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How to Remove Thermal Paste from CPU Pins?

Accumulation of dirt and dust can affect any CPU producing a lousy connection in general. Proper cleaning must be applied, although there is a correct way to do it. Here are the steps needed to do a good job. Avoiding mistakes means avoiding spending money on a new CPU.

How to Remove Thermal Paste from CPU Pins? – Step by Step

How to Remove Thermal Paste from CPU Pins?

Before starting the procedure, it is necessary to have essential elements. On no occasion should a minimal amount of water be introduced as this can result in the death of the CPU? Each item used for this procedure must be dehydrated and free of moisture.

  • Thermal paste cleaner
  • Surface purifier
  • Cotton swabs
  • Extra fine toothpicks
  • Magnifying glass
  • Lint-free cloth

1. Have the Necessary Space

Before starting this procedure, the motherboard must be removed from the PC. If this procedure is not done, there may be too little space, which increases the chances of making a mistake.

In itself, thermal paste does not provide any disadvantage or damage to electronic devices in general. However, it can hinder a good connection between the socket connectors and the CPU.

Each of the components related to the motherboard should be removed carefully. One wrong move could generate some unexpected damage that is very costly to repair.

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2. Knowing the CPU Pins

On the one hand, the user will find a socket with holes to insert pins or a PGA socket. On the other hand, the user can also find a socket with pins to seat the CPU or LGA socket. The first of these options may be easier to clean but is more time-consuming.

The second option requires more care as the pins could be bent. However, it is much less time-consuming, and cleaning is done more efficiently and quickly.

3. Dealing with the LGA Socket

It is possible to notice that the pins can always protrude at a 45° angle. Because these ends bend very quickly, great care must be taken when applying cleaning. The cleaning should be used, considering the direction of the bend of the past and not in the opposite direction.

In case of any difficulty, bright light can be obtained, and a magnifying glass with a 45° angle can be used. The different shades of the ends will indicate the correct direction in which you need to clean. People who have finished this step or do not have this LGA Socket should proceed to the next step.

4. Apply the Thermal Paste Cleaner

Using the magnifying glass, incorporate the thermal paste cleaner, specifically where the thermal paste is located on the CPU socket. The cleaner must be correctly applied, always considering the spaces between the pins and all the holes.

Also, please do not overdo it with a cleaner as this can be detrimental. Instead, it is much more convenient to apply a small amount and then perform a second cleaning.

You only need to wait 5 minutes for the thermal paste cleaner to combine on a molecular level with the thermal paste. This is so that the surface of the thermal paste can be separated without producing any damage in the procedure.

5. Applying the Cleaning

To perform the cleaning, a swab should be used in the direction of the pins. At no time should the brush be brushed in the opposite direction. This can cause damage, as mentioned above. Nor should any pressure be applied to clean more effectively.

It is also recommended to use several swabs to remove thermal paste build-up during this procedure. Using the same swab repeatedly means that the thermal paste will continue to build up in one place.

This procedure should be performed slowly and accurately with any CPU socket type. In case of any resistance, you should check what the obstacle is avoiding to produce any kind of force.

In this step, the thermal paste must be cleaned and the excess cleaner that we have applied. Once the cleaner has done its job with the thermal paste, it is a component that must also be removed. Here the procedure can be more straightforward as you only need to let the absorbent cotton rest. 

The cotton only needs to rest on the cleaning fluid to absorb all these components. Along with this, a swab should be used to remove as much of the liquid in each orifice found.

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6. Correct Drying Time

Before performing this step, it is recommended to perform steps 4 and 5 to complete a complete job. It can be somewhat tricky to remove all the thermal paste altogether. However, as long as a better job is done, a better connection can be obtained.

In this case, the important thing is that the different pins can make proper contact. So this means that excellent work here is not a mandatory requirement. It is also necessary to have a dry and warm place free of humidity for about 24 hours.

7. Apply Purification of the Surfaces

The contact surfaces must be treated with the surface cleaner. Unlike the previous steps, here, a swab should incorporate a couple of boots of this solution. Again the direction of the pins should be taken into consideration.

When the user visualizes some thermal paste, the above steps should be performed again to ensure that this material has been completely removed. When it is PGA Socket, a little pressure should be applied to each hole with the swab and purifying solution.

8. Clean and Finish

Using a dry swab, wipe off all traces and excess of the purifying solution. Also, allow 24 hours to allow all these parts to dry.

Once enough time has passed, the CPU should be reinstalled and the components tested for proper operation. If the procedure is not complete, it can be repeated.

Final Words:

Performing a proper cleaning of the CPU pins allows the user to obtain a better connection quality at all times. This procedure is very suitable for the correct maintenance of any PC. However, care must be taken to avoid any beginner mistakes.

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Arshad Saqib is a Computer Science Graduate and passionate about Technology. He loves to write about gadgets, computer devices, etc.

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