How To Clean Your Motherboard

Keeping your motherboard clean will keep yopr PC running smoothly

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Keeping your motherboard clean is pretty much essential for maintaining the optimal performance of your computer. Over time, dust mites and gunk can accumulate on the motherboard, hindering its functionality and potentially causing overheating issues. 

It’s pretty much necessary to keep your motherboard and PC clean to prevent any thermal throttling and overheating issues from surfacing. So, here’s how you can properly clean your PC and motherboard.

Do A Routine Clean

Routine cleaning is a simple yet effective way to maintain your motherboard’s cleanliness. Doing a bit of routine cleaning can keep your PC from building up extensive dust and gunk, preventing the need for a deep cleaning in the long run. 

  1. Shut down your computer, turn off the power supply, and unplug it from the wall. Find an area that is easy to clean, as dust may disperse during the process.
  1. Open the side panel of your computer case, removing any additional panels if present, to allow for proper ventilation.
  1. Use a can of compressed air to blow away dust from the components, starting from the top and working your way down. Be cautious not to let the compressed air can’s tip touch the motherboard directly. Maintain a distance of about an inch between the can and the motherboard.
  1. Examine the motherboard for any remaining dust or debris. Gently remove stubborn dirt using a soft brush designed for electronic components. And for final touches, give the motherboard one more round of compressed air to ensure all loose dust is eliminated. Close the computer case and reconnect all cables.
  1. As a final stance, clean other components. Remove case fans and clean them, check for loose connections, and organize cables to improve airflow and system efficiency.

Extensive Cleaning

If you haven’t cleaned your motherboard in years or managed to spill a sticky liquid into it, then you can still save it by doing some deep cleaning, but a 100% safe motherboard isn’t guaranteed even after a steady deep cleaning. 

You will need lint-free cotton pads, 99 percent isopropyl alcohol, a metal tub larger than the motherboard, a brush with nylon bristles, and a lint-free drying towel. Remove the motherboard: Carefully disconnect all cables and remove the motherboard from the computer, ensuring it is the only component you clean.

If only a small area of the motherboard is dirty, place it on a lint-free towel. Wet a cotton pad with isopropyl alcohol and gently dab the dirty spots. Use a fresh pad as the grime transfers, continuing until the pad comes away clean.

For extensively dirty motherboards, fill the metal tub with 99 percent isopropyl alcohol to a depth of about an inch. Submerge the motherboard in the alcohol and gently agitate it to ensure thorough coverage. Use the nylon brush to remove stubborn dirt. Repeat the agitation process, rinsing the brush in alcohol as needed.

Remove the motherboard from the alcohol and place it on a lint-free towel. Allow it to air dry for at least 24 hours, preferably 48 hours, before reinstalling it in your computer.

A Few Tips

  • Test your motherboard before deep cleaning to ensure it functions properly and there is visible debris warranting the process. 
  • Use only 99 percent pure isopropyl alcohol, as lower purity levels may be less effective and potentially damaging.
  • Check your motherboard’s warranty before applying any cleaning solutions. Some warranties may offer professional cleaning services or advice to avoid voiding the warranty. 
  • Deep cleaning should only be performed on extremely dirty motherboards that are not functioning correctly.

In Summary

Regularly cleaning your motherboard, both through routine and deep cleaning methods, is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and preventing overheating issues. By following the recommended steps and exercising caution, you can prolong the lifespan of your motherboard and ensure a smooth computing experience.

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