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how to remove thermal paste

You need to remove thermal paste after it expires. The point is how long does thermal paste last and how to remove thermal paste. Don’t worry about that! MiniTool would explore these questions and make a supply.

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What Is Thermal Paste

Thermal paste is also called compound paste, conductive grease, thermal grease, or conductive paste. It is made out of polymerizable liquid matrix and some electrically insulating conductive fillers. It is used to prevent your computer’s central processing unit (CPU) from overheating.

The thermal paste is mainly used as an interface between a chip and a heatsink to eliminate air gaps and maximize heat transfer and dissipation. Then it can boost the conductivity and connection between the CPU and heatsink. Without the addition of thermal paste, your PC would overheat and could be damaged.

However, it doesn’t mean that the more thermal paste you apply, the longer time it lasts. On the contrary, excessive paste on a chip may last less and could damage your processor.

How Long Does Thermal Paste Last

Does thermal paste expire? The answer is for sure. The thermal paste would expire after a period of time. The standard thermal paste lasts about five years on your CPU or any other chips. However, the number can change to three or increase to tenbecause of the climate, the computer’s cooling system, usage, and the compound’s quality.

How long does thermal paste last in the tube? Generally speaking, thermal paste can last 2-5 years when it is still in the tube. As a rule of thumb, non-metallic compounds tend to last longer in the package.

Tip: The most common types of thermal gels are metal, silicone, ceramic, and carbon. The performance, function, and durability of them are different.
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When You Should Remove Thermal Paste

You should remove thermal paste in the following cases.

  1. The thermal paste becomes expires.
  2. You have overclocked the computer.
  3. You are a gamer and often run graphically demanding games on your computer.
  4. There’s a temperature rise in your PC, especially in the motherboard area. You should ensure there’s nothing wrong with the fan or cooler.
  5. Once you make a component replacement, the thermal paste will unstick and you need to remove and apply it.

How to Remove Thermal Paste

How to clean off thermal paste? Here’s the full guide.

At first, you should prepare the following items before the operation.

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Cotton swabs
  • Plastic spudger

Besides, you also need to make sure that your workspace is clean (without lint, dust, or debris).

Now, follow the guide below on how to remove thermal paste to start the operation.

Step 1: Let your computer run 15 minutes or so. As this operation will soften up the thermal paste, it would be easier to remove the CPU cooler. Cold thermal paste is much more likely to keep the CPU and heatsink cemented together.

Step 2: Turn off your computer and open the case of your PC. If you use a laptop, you can unscrew your laptop chassis to open its case.

Step 3: Unplug everything including the CPU cooler power cord or heatsink.

Step 4: Get some alcohol and a microfiber cloth.

Step 5: Dip the cloth in the alcohol and rub it gently on the rear of your CPU cooler to clean the residual paste. Rub it until there’s no sign of dried thermal paste. Alternatively, you can also use a plastic spudger or a cotton swab to get hardened particles out.

Tip: You can try using a clean partition of the microfiber cloth or paper towel to remove any remaining thermal paste. The alcohol will evaporate almost immediately on its own.

By following the above steps, you can clean thermal paste off CPU easily. Clen off any thermal paste stuck to the heatsink with the same process. If you want to apply thermal paste again, please move forward.

Step 6: Let the CPU dry. The specific time it takes to dry depends on the solution applied. If you apply a thermal paste remover, refer to its instructions. Generally speaking, you should wait for an hour.

Step 7: Take the thermal paste and apply it in the middle of the CPU.

Note: You should take a pea-size drop of the paste and spread it with a cotton swab evenly.

Step 8: Place the heatsink back as flat as possible on the CPU.

Step 9: Then put everything back and restart your computer to check if the temperatures are cooler.

How to clean thermal paste off CPU? The detailed steps are offered in the post. You can do that with the given steps in the post.

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