CPU Cooler Cleaning Guide

👤by Michael Pabia Comments 📅26-06-20
Our CPU Cooler Cleaning Guide
This will be a simple and straightforward approach to cleaning a typical CPU cooler or heatsink. For this guide, we will be using Noctua’s NH-D15S CPU cooler.

Materials Needed
- Cloth or tissue paper
- Isopropyl alcohol or other approved cleaning liquid
- Compressed air, vacuum cleaner, or clean paintbrush

Step 1: Cleaning the Base and Disassembly

After uninstalling your CPU cooler from your computer, cleaning the base if the first step in order to avoid smearing the thermal compound everywhere.

Dampen a piece of clean cloth or tissue paper with isopropyl alcohol or cleaning liquid.

Wipe off the thermal compound until clean. May require several wipes to achieve the desired outcome.

Next, simply remove the cooling fan(s) installed from the heatsink and shroud if any. Coolers like the Noctua NH-D15S uses fan mounting clips to fasten the fan(s) to the heatsink. However, some coolers have a shroud that needs to be removed first or a different fan mounting mechanism. Hence, it is best to check your cooler’s manual for disassembly.

Step 2: Cleaning the Fan(s), Heatsink Fins and Heat Pipes

If you are using a can of compressed air or vacuum, simply push the dirt build-up trapped between the fins until clean. If you do not have a can of compressed air or a vacuum, a clean paintbrush will help you achieve the same outcome.

Using a paintbrush, gently brush the dirt build-up between fins. Do the same with the fans.

Like the base, dampen a piece of cloth of tissue paper with isopropyl alcohol and wipe the cooler’s top fin and heat pipes to remove dirt and fingerprints.

Step 3: Reassembly

After cleaning the fans, heatsink fins and heat pipes, simply assemble the CPU cooler by installing back the cooling fan(s) and it's ready to be installed again to your system.

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