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How to Clean a Motherboard? – Ultimate Guide

by  Jone -  Last updated on July 11, 2022
Motherboard Cleaning

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Whenever spills and accidents happen, it’s important to quickly remove the sticky substances or spills from the motherboard. Unfortunately, cleaning a motherboard properly can be a bit difficult, especially if it is serious gunk trapped in the motherboard.

In this article, we are going to explain how to effectively and safely clean a motherboard. This includes removing regular dust that builds up over time, as well as sticky substances that can occur from spills. Keep reading to learn about all of this and more.

How to Clean Your Motherboard

Now that we have learned why you need to clean your motherboard, let’s actually learn the steps for cleaning it. There are typically two cleaning methods that professionals recommend: using compressed air or using isopropyl alcohol. Below, you’ll find step-by-step instructions for each method.

Method 1: Cleaning Motherboard with Compressed Air

The safest way to clean your motherboard is by using compressed air. It takes a bit longer than the rubbing alcohol method, but the extra time will be worth it because of how safe it is. This method is best for regular cleaning and for removing dust and dirt, not sticky substances.

For this cleaning method, the only thing you will need is compressed air. You can find compressed air at just about any big box store, such as Walmart or Target. Look for an air blower or keyboard cleaner. These products compress the air without heating it in the process.

Here are the steps for cleaning your motherboard using compressed air:

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Dismantle your computer to expose the motherboard.
  3. Use compressed air to dismantle any dirt or dust particles.
  4. Continue to use the compressed air until all dirt or dust is removed.
  5. If you are having trouble dismantling a piece of dirt, you can use a gentle brush to loosen the particles. Be
  6. careful not to put too much pressure on the brush.
  7. After loosening the particles with the brush, use the compressed air to remove the particles completely.
  8. You may need to repeat steps five and six a couple of times for particularly stubborn particles.
  9. Reassemble the computer and ensure it is in working condition.

Method 2: Cleaning Motherboard with Isopropyl Alcohol

If you need to remove some sort of sticky substance or dirt that has been caked on thick, you might want to use this second method instead. Isopropyl alcohol will be able to clean the motherboard, even stubborn stains that the compressed air couldn’t move.

If you decide to clean your motherboard with isopropyl alcohol, know that you will need to be very careful. If you use too much, you can easily damage the entire computer. For this cleaning method, you should get isopropyl alcohol of at least 90%, but 99% is best. This liquid will be able to break down stains and dry quickly so as not to damage the computer.

In addition to rubbing alcohol, you should get some type of cotton swab. This will allow you to apply the alcohol to precise locations without damaging the motherboard in the process. More so, you will need compressed air so as to remove any loose particles beforehand.

Here are the steps for cleaning the motherboard using isopropyl alcohol:

  1. Shut down the computer completely, including unplugging it from any sort of power source.
  2. Disassemble the computer so that you can remove the motherboard.
  3. Used compressed air to remove any loose dirt and dust particles.
  4. Dip a cotton swab in the isopropyl alcohol.
  5. Apply the cotton swab to parts of the motherboard that were not effectively cleaned using compressed air.
  6. If you cannot remove all of the dirt and debris using cotton swabs, you can pour isopropyl alcohol directly onto it. However, you should only do this if you have no other resources. This is much more dangerous than using a cotton swab. We generally recommend avoiding this step if you can.
  7. To dry the motherboard out quickly, use compressed air over it once again.
  8. Reassemble the computer and ensure it is in working condition.

Methods to AVOID When Cleaning a Motherboard

methods to clean the motherboard

As we learned above, the best way to clean a motherboard is with compressed air or isopropyl alcohol. In contrast to these cleaning methods, we absolutely do not recommend cleaning out your motherboard with a vacuum cleaner or cloth. Both of these methods will increase static, which can damage the motherboard completely.

That being said, if you have a cloth specifically designed for cleaning computer parts, it is perfectly OK to use that material. This material is designed so that it will not increase static or leave fibers behind that can damage the sensitive surface.

Something else you should avoid when cleaning your motherboard is using excessive pressure during the cleaning process. Using a lot of pressure can damage the motherboard by moving parts or scratching them. Instead, be gentle so that you don’t accidentally break the motherboard in the process.

Why Do I Need to Clean a Motherboard?

The motherboard is one of the most important parts of your computer. Even a little bit of dust or dirt can impact the computer’s performance dramatically. In serious cases, dirt and debris can outright destroy the motherboard.

As a result, it’s important to learn how to clean your motherboard. Only by cleaning your computer parts will you know that everything is in working condition.

Of course, you have to know how to clean your motherboard. Because the parts of the motherboard are so sensitive, you have to know how to safely clean your motherboard so that it is cleaned out effectively without damaging any of the parts in the process.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it’s important to clean your motherboard to keep it in working condition. You should routinely clean it out using compressed air. This will help remove any dust or dirt buildup. If you are dealing with caked-on dirt or sticky substances, opt for the isopropyl alcohol method instead.

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