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Can You Use Alcohol Wipe On CPU? [A Surprising Answer]

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Latest posts by Sidrah Ramzan (see all)

Despite the abundance of its moving parts, your PC is usually sitting in just one location for long periods of time.

This means that its internal components are susceptible to dust build up. Therefore, it is a good practice to keep your high-touch surfaces like your keyboard, mouse or CPU disinfected all year round.

Don’t think cleaning your computer is important? Well, think again, because it is hosting 400x times more bacteria than a toilet seat!

Thus, it is a good practice to keep your monitor, keyboard, and CPU surfaces germ-free. Cleaning agents, like alcohol, are available for this purpose. But can you use alcohol wipe on CPU?

Yes, you can use alcohol wipe on the CPU but you want to make sure that the cloth you are using is dry and lint free. For wiping, you can also use a coffee filter soaked in alcohol.  

While that’s a concise and direct answer to your question, there are a few details that cannot be answered in a single paragraph.

So, in the following article, we will discuss some safe methods to clean your personal computer.

Without further ado, let’s begin.

Clean Your PC Like a Boss: Can You Use Alcohol Wipe on CPU?

Sometimes your CPU can go crazy and make noises like beeps, grinds, buzzes, and clicks. It is mainly because the CPU fan is dirty and jammed up with dust.

a man cleaning his PC

Here are three of the safest methods that you can use to fix this problem. It works on expensive CPUs but also on cheap ones, that you can usually find under $200.

Method 1: Use Isopropyl Alcohol

When your CPU slows down and shows all signs of being dirty, you need to open up your computer and clean the fan using isopropyl alcohol. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Take a soft, lint-free cloth and soak it in rubbing alcohol.
  2. Now unplug your laptop and put the CPU at such an angle that it is easy to clean.
  3. Clean the fan surface with alcohol-soaked cloth.
  4. Dip the cloth in clean water and wipe the surface again.
  5. Lastly, use a dry cloth to wipe the entire surface.

For more practical info, watch the cool video below:

Method 2: Use Compressed Air

Compressed air is not readily available in daily routine but if you have access to a hardware store, you can use this method:

  1. Turn off the PC and unplug it from the electrical outlet.
  2. Open the CPU and use compressed air to dust the internal components.
  3. Make sure you use compressed air in short bursts.
  4. Keep your fingers at least two inches away from the processor and motherboard while cleaning.
  5. Lastly, move to the exhaust fan side. Here, hold the fan wings while cleaning it, so as to prevent it from spinning.

Method 3: Use Silicone Blower

Silicone blower is a cheap alternative to air compressor that is available in pretty much every household.

silicone blower

Here’s how you can clean the CPU with it:

  1. Open up the CPU and squish the silicone part on components.
  2. Move from one direction to another while relying on the grip of your hand.
  3. This will clean pretty much all residual dust off of your CPU.

Frequently Asked Questions: Cleaning Your CPU

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding cleaning CPU with CPU:

Can rubbing alcohol damage your CPU?

No, rubbing alcohol does not damage the CPU as long as you are not using something like a paper-towel or napkin to clean because those clothes can tear and leave little pieces of residue in the CPU.
As long as you are using a microfiber cloth and not overclocking, your CPU will be perfectly fine.

Is it OK to use 70% alcohol wipes to clean the CPU?

Yes, it is absolutely fine to use 70% alcohol wipes to clean the CPU. Just be aware that it has quite a bit more water in it, so it will take longer to dry. In ideal cases, it is recommended to use 90% isopropyl alcohol. It is better suited to clean CPUs because of its evaporation qualities. But you can use 70% alcohol wipes too.

Can you use isopropyl alcohol to remove thermal paste?

thermal paste

Yes, you can use isopropyl alcohol to remove thermal paste. Isopropyl alcohol has superior properties as a solvent which is why it is more effective in removing thermal paste as compared to other cleaning agents like ethyl alcohol. When cleaning your CPU, start by applying a small amount of isopropyl alcohol. The reason is that you don’t want to oversaturate the cloth to a point that alcohol is gushing out. We recommend using the thermal paste in circular motion and repeating the process until the thermal paste has been cleaned off.

Author’s Recommendation: Safest Way to Clean Your CPU

You can use a hair dryer or a vacuum cleaner to clean up your CPU too.

But is it safe?

And most importantly, does it even work? Using an air compressor, vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, or a silicone blower, can work great at cleaning surface area dust.

But if you are focused on deep cleaning your CPU, here’s the author’s recommendation for you.

People often ask, ‘can you use alcohol wipe on CPU?’. Of course, you can! In fact, it is the best method to clean your multitasking CPU. Isopropyl alcohol is the safest, and best method for cleaning CPU because of its fast evaporation that ensures your CPU remains dry and spot-free. Due to its properties, alcohol is ideal for industrial and consumer cleaning of electronics.

But, here are a few precautions that you need to take care of when using isopropyl alcohol:

  1. It is a highly flammable liquid so be sure to keep your device turned off when cleaning.
  2. Use microfiber cloth only when cleaning so no residue is left behind.
  3. Keep it away from ignition sources and use it in small amounts.
  4. Do NOT overspray alcohol as it can trigger a reaction.