Thermal paste removal

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by cluthz, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    So, I'm gonna reapply thermal paste on my sisters aging macbook pro and my old iMac G5 since they are starting to heat up quite a bit.

    My question is if I really have to buy things like arctiClean or can I just use alcohol, like MEK (methyl-ethyl-keton / butanone) which I already have.
  2. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    I used my finger to wipe it off the processor on my old Compaq laptop. Re-applied the new paste and the thing runs like a charm 7 years later :D
  3. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008
    Have you cleaned the fan(s)?
  4. cluthz thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
    Yeah I have, at least on the iMacG5, the thermal paste there is probably almost dry.
    I promised to fix up my sisters macbook, cleaning it, upgrading HD and such, and since it's running pretty hot with fans pretty much spinning quite a lot even with moderate tasks I'd replace the thermal paste too while I'm on it.

    I just got a tube with arctic ceramique and it's 2g so that should be enough for about twenty CPUs so I'd figure I'll take both the mbp, iMac and my two P4s :D
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    I usually use a little rubbing alcohol on a paper towel, but your finger probably would suffice.
  6. iaymnu macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    If it is the first time removing then probably alcohol would be enough.
    Articsilver takes a few wipes after applying if you want to remove, but alcohol still works.

  7. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    You don't need anything fancy.
    I just use an alcohol swab (yes from the first aid kit) and that works fine for me.
    I'm sure Windex will work just fine too.
  8. ouimetnick macrumors 68020


    Aug 28, 2008
    Beverly, Massachusetts
    I use a CC to remove the solid chunks of thermal paste from the heat sink, but cotton pads and rubbing alcohol to get it off the fragile CPU die. then I clean the remainder thermal paste off the heatsink with rubbing alcohol. I make sure there are no dust particles or thermal paste, then I apply some Arctic Silver 5 to the exposed CPU core, and pop the heatsink on, and screw it down. I let the heatsink spread it for me. DO NOT touch the CPU or Heatsink mating areas with a finger, as the oils from your finger will ruin the heat transfer.
  9. Bill Gates macrumors 68020

    Bill Gates

    Jun 21, 2006
    Use isopropyl alcohol to clean up the residue after removing the majority with a cloth.
  10. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    That is the best way to do it. That how I cleaned off the thermal paste off the PC I built 6 years ago when I had to replace a bad MOBO and then used AS5. Since then I have pulled the heat sink to test parts for a friend. Same meathod as list above every time.

    Do take note on AS5 it takes a little while before the temp will drop all the way. It has to burn in paste so to speak.

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