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How to Clean the Motherboard?

Cleaning the computer is essential for the device’s smooth functioning.

One of the parts of a computer that requires cleaning is the Motherboard, as the dust and debris accumulation may impair the connection.

You can clean the Motherboard using  Isopropyl alcohol 99% and compressed air. In addition, avoid using a vacuum cleaner or water to clean it. 

There is no need to worry if you are unsure of how to clean a Motherboard.

This article will teach you how to clean Motherboards safely at home.

How Often Should You Clean Your Motherboard?

The Motherboard is very sensitive and is like a brain to the computer. You will notice dust building up inside your computer as it ages.

Your PC may overheat and stop functioning. To protect from such malfunctioning, you need to clean the Motherboard regularly.

Cleaning your Motherboard every three to six months is a good practice, depending on where you keep your computer.

However, if you keep your PC off the carpet or the floor, dust will not accumulate, and you will not need to clean the Motherboard as frequently.

Continue reading to learn how often you should clean your computer.

Material Required to Clean the Motherboard

Here is a list of the tools we will need to clean the Motherboard.

Soft Brush
It removes loose dirt and prevent motherboard from any kind of scratch and damages.
Microfiber ClothIt absorbs 10x liquid from the surface and clean the area effectively.
Isopropyl Rubbing AlcoholIt has very few/no amount of water and non-corrosive in nature.
Water ContainerIt holds alcohol for submerging the motherboard.
Compressed AirA spray release the pressure, turns the liquid into gas and clean the dust particles.
Cotton Swab
To clean the sensitive part of motherboard.

Things to Consider Before Cleaning a Motherboard

Here are some factors that you need to keep in mind before proceeding.

  1. Make sure the power supply is completely turned off. Also, unplug every wire connection from the power source.
  2. Use gloves and goggles when using the IPA (Isopropyl Alcohol) solution.
  3. Always use IPA solution 99% only. It will minimize the risk of minor damage.
  4. Use a soft cloth to apply the alcohol to the dusty area of the Motherboard.
  5. lady holding rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth
    You must use a soft cloth to clean the Motherboard.
  6. Do not scrub the Motherboard; wipe the surface very softly.
  7. Never clean the fan area of your PC, as it may cause breakage or soft damage.
  8. Dry the Motherboard completely before setting/installing it onto the PC.
  9. When cleaning the Motherboard, avoid touching its circuitry.
Disclaimer: If your computer is under warranty, you should contact the manufacturer before applying isopropyl alcohol to the Motherboard, as this may void the warranty.

How to Clean the Motherboard?

Cleaning a Motherboard with alcohol and compressed air is a simple and effective way to clean it.

Here are some worthy methods to clean your computer’s Motherboard.

1. Routine Cleaning With Compressed Air

Performing routine maintenance on your PC does not require you to extract the Motherboard.

When cleaning your Motherboard with compressed air, you must take safety precautions with patience because it may take longer.

To keep your PC clean and healthy, you must clean your Motherboard every 2 to 3 months with compressed air.

Follow the steps below to clean the Motherboard with compressed air.

  1. You only need to open the side panel to clean your PC with compressed air.
  2. inspect the cables for any visible damage
    You can open the side panel of your PC to clean the Motherboard.
  3. Use compressed air to remove the dust particles from your Motherboard. If some of the particles are sticky or hard to remove, just use a soft brush to rub them.
  4. It will loosen the dust particles and use compressed air to remove them.
  5. Next, set the Motherboard on your PC and turn it on.

Make sure the compressed air can tip does not touch the Motherboard directly.

Maintain a safe distance of at least an inch from the air compressor tip while cleaning the Motherboard. 

Here are the best-compressed air you can use to clean your Motherboard;

Item(Compressed Air)Features
Canned Compressed AirRechargeable and provide with hundreds of hours of cleaning time.
Dust-Off Compressed GasIdeal for cleaning and dust removing.
Compressed Air 3.0It can be used for any electronic devices, multi-use, non-toxic,
and inexpensive.
ABS Plastic Electric High Compressed Air DusterHigh pressure air to clean dust, multi-use, strong and effective.

Continue reading to find out how to clean the computer without using compressed air.

2. Deep Cleaning With 99% Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA)

Sometimes compressed air may not work if your computer’s Motherboard is sticky and extremely dusty.

It is better to use Isopropyl Alcohol 99% to clean electronic devices.

Isopropyl Alcohol 91% is also effective but never use Isopropyl Alcohol 70% on the Motherboard.

cleaning motherboard
You can clean your Motherboard using 99% isopropyl alcohol.

Furthermore, you can also use thinner to clean your Motherboard. It does the same work as alcohol.

IPA is best for cleaning and removing dust as it has less water, so it evaporates quickly.
  1. Before proceeding, you need to take off the case. The case may be held together with screws. You can separate it using a screw and nut driver.
  2. If dust particles are on the Motherboard, soak a cotton piece in the IPA solution. Then, dab the dusty area of the Motherboard. It allows you to remove dust quickly.
  3. You can use a nylon brush/toothbrush to clean it gently after putting in isopropyl alcohol. Do it carefully; otherwise, you will damage the delicate and small components of the board.
  4. You can dry the Motherboard with some soft dry clothes or cotton.
  5. Keep the Motherboard outside to dry fully for at least 24 hours before setting it to your computer.
  6. Now, reattach the case as you dismantled it before with a screw and nut driver.
  7. Plug in the power supply and all the wires, and turn on your PC.
Pro Tip: If your Motherboard is very dirty, wash it with an IPA solution. You can use a container with an IPA solution and then submerge the Motherboard. It will automatically loosen the dust and clean your Motherboard. But this process is not recommended unless necessary.

If you face any issues with your PC after cleaning the Motherboard, take your PC to a professional technician to visualize the problem.

The Bottom Line

The best way to clean Motherboard is with isopropyl rubbing alcohol rather than compressed air.

There is no residue left behind, and it evaporates quickly.

Moreover, do not forget to clean your Motherboard every 6 to 12 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Clean the Motherboard With Water?

Yes, you can clean the Motherboard with distilled water. Distilled water is good for removing dust particles and water-soluble flux residues.

However, you should avoid cleaning it with normal water as it is dangerous and contains conductive ions.

You will notice white or other discoloration if you have cleaned the Motherboard with water.

Can I Use Petrol and Acetone to Clean the Motherboard?

Never use petrol and acetone to clean your Motherboard. Petrol is toxic, inflammable, and sticky liquid. It attracts dust particles rather than removing them.

Similarly, acetone dissolves the plastic after getting in contact with it. It may dissolve the circuit components of the board.

How to Check if Your PC’s Motherboard is Damaged?

Blue screen of death and window error are the symptoms of a damaged Motherboard. Your Pc may freeze for no reason.

The first step is to inspect the Motherboard visually.

The bending of the capacitor heads on the board indicates that the capacitors have blown. Examine the capacitor head for damage.

Can I Vaccum the Motherboard?

No, you cannot use a vacuum to remove dust from the Motherboard, except it is a specially-designed vacuum cleaner for electronic circuits.

Vacuums create static electricity, which may damage sensitive electronic components of the Motherboard, such as the transistor.

Can I Clean the Motherboard with Vinegar?

Never use Vinegar to clean your Motherboard and other PCBs too.

Vinegar has 80-90% of water and other impurities(light acid) and is corrosive  It will damage the wiring and soldering joints.

Can You Fix a Corroded Motherboard?

A motherboard repair is a hardest and most complicated repair to perform.

The extremely corroded Motherboard is hard to fix, but you can fix this.

Leave some solution(Isopropyl Alcohol or baking soda) on the corroded area and wipe it off after some time.

Related Article: How to clean RGB mousepad?

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