How to Clean a CPU Heatsink

Now for something fun! We are going to be cleaning a CPU Heatsink! Woo! OK I lied, it’s not fun but necessary. And for those of you who do not know what a CPU Heat-sink is, drop the screwdriver right now, slowly, slowly, now hands in the air, and keep reading so you can learn.

In the Spirit of making this somewhat tolerable to read, this will be a very short post. With some pictures! Let’s Begin.

The History of the CPU heatsink.

Many years ago, the computer’s brain, CPU, ran nice and cool, but now that newer CPU’s got hotter and faster, they needed fans and bigger heatsinks to stay cooler, kind of like a car does too, except your computer is smaller, cheaper, uglier and easier to maintain, especially when it’s air-cooled like a VWbug! That’s right, today’s aircooled CPUs can get so filthy, they can act as a fluffy coat for your cpu and overheat it, causing slowdowns and crashes. No joke. But let’s get to work.

The hard part.
Open up your computer, if you don’t want to do this, fine I’ll do it for you, in fact, I’ll go one step further and take out the heatsink.

my mustache! I found it!

Ohh no, that won’t do at all. I removed the fan from the top as you can see and let’s see how the CPU is doing.

OK that’s just nasty. Whoever did this used way too much thermal paste! Either that or he just sneezed on it. Let’s clean that off and add the correct amount of CPU Thermal Paste, (Available at your local radio shack, $2.30) Keep in mind I had to remove the CPU and be careful not to bend any pins on the motherboard in order to clean it out properly. Also just in case you are wondering, the CPU is not water proof, so use dry tissues and q tips to clean it off nicely. Or some of that fancy +95% alchohol pads or rubbing alcohol may do, but it is not 100% needed. Use it if you’ve got it.

Now that’s clean! With the Heatsink, I just washed it in the sink, as you can see below.


It’s just metal people! When you are done, you slap it back and your Computer should run happy now. For more stuff you could do to clean your PC (software-wise), see my old post here.

Thanks for reading and remember! Computers are people too! They need to breathe! Or maybe they’re more like fish cause there are plenty of water cooled systems… or maybe…. (rambling on…..)


About Zerin

But can you show me the source code?

Posted on February 27, 2012, in Computers and Internet and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Blogs like these are very useful for people who are interested in good career computer service. Good details regarding cpu fan cleaning and repairing. Thanks for the post.

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