CPU Cooler Cleaning Guide

👤by Michael Pabia Comments 📅26-06-20

Can you use metal polish in cleaning CPU heatsink coolers?

Aside from inquiring several brands regarding CPU heatsink cleaning, we also asked if they would recommend using metal polish. In general, a metal polish is used to remove oxidation, prevent corrosion, and create a shiny reflective surface. We acquired different answers from several brands which we will discuss below.

From Noctua:
No, we wouldn't recommend this. There is an ultra-thin protective coating on our coolers, and if you polish the cooler, you would remove this and it may get dirty more quickly afterwards. So in short, polishing coolers with metal polish is generally not a good idea. - Daniel Carter of Noctua via email

From be quiet!:

From Arctic:
As mentioned earlier, Arctic approves the use of metal polish.

We got a mixture of approval and disapproval with regard to the use of metal polish on CPU coolers. Nevertheless, our guide will include the use of metal polish which will be discussed in the following pages.

Can you wash CPU coolers?

No. Based on Noctua's Cleaning Guide, using water to clean heatsinks can cause corrosion.

I do not have compressed air; can I use a vacuum instead?

Noctua discourages the use of vacuum cleaners because it can generate strong air pressure that can damage the cooler. However, other cleaning guides such as that from MSI approves the use of vacuum cleaners. Hence, you could also use alternatives like a clean paintbrush with soft bristles.

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