Thorough cleaning

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by mattspace, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. mattspace macrumors 65816


    Jun 5, 2013
    So I'm getting the feeling my temps are running higher than before, and it's been a bit over a couple of years since upgrading the CPUs and using Arctic MX-2, which I think has that sort of service life. Just did a quick dust-out, and there's a fair few dust bunnies hiding in the fans, including the cooler block fans, also the CPU board has a fine film of dust that's got a tacky adhesion to the board. Most of it is gripping on hard enough that the can of compressed air can't dislodge it.

    What's the best cleaning product? Isopropyl? I recall someone posted a nice restoration thread with a careful clean recently, is there anywhere that shouldn't get "wet" during the cleaning?
  2. Slash-2CPU macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2016
    New Orleans, USA
    Really, you have a much greater chance of doing more harm than good with aggressive cleaning. The usual end result is trapped moisture causing shorts or electrolysis or worse yet, dislodging a couple tiny surface mount capacitors.

    Blow the dust bunnies out. Leave the thin film alone unless it’s causing a real, definite problem.
  3. flehman macrumors 6502


    Feb 21, 2015
    I recall reading that the areas with film might be from capacitors leaking. It is pretty common and not much to be done about it unless/until one actually goes, which might or might not ever happen.

    Last time I cleaned mine out was when the Northbridge rivets blew. I took it outside and hit it with compressed air. Anything more aggressive could do damage.
  4. barmann macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2010
    I use a soft paint brush on the more delicate inner parts of my cMP , but very gently .

    Sometimes I'll also use adhesive tape to get dirt off - not the very sticky kind or anything that leaves residue, masking tape works well . Again, gently does it .

    Or putty - but only if you have the stuff that leaves no residue whatsoever .
  5. adonis3k macrumors 6502

    Apr 15, 2012
    I recently did this when upgrading the CPU on my nMP and it made a hell of a difference to the fan running louder! I used a small soft brush aswell and cleaned up alot of crap in there.
  6. Macschrauber macrumors 6502


    Dec 27, 2015
    Block the fans from spinning. Spinning fans will generate electricity and will harm the electronic in the fan or the board. I know it makes funny sound but thats not worth it :)
  7. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    I use a damp paper towel on areas like the top/bottom of the memory cage, floor of the PSU and optical areas. Also, damp q-tips on the blades of all fans including GPU's. Air only on logic boards, the PSU and PCIe slots. This is done 2x a year.

    Spring Cleaning 2.jpg
  8. Slash-2CPU macrumors 6502

    Dec 14, 2016
    New Orleans, USA
    Some of the film on the CPU tray is from the thermal pads on the VRM’s.
  9. W1SS macrumors 6502


    Aug 20, 2013
    I clean my logic and processor boards once a year using MG Chemicals 824 99.9% isopropyl alcohol electronics cleaner with a soft antistatic brush to remove/dislodge dirt then fully spray the boards one last time to let all the dirt and dust particles drip off the board. I then leave the boards to dry off naturally for 20 to 30 minutes followed by a final blast of warm air using a hair dryer.

    Result: boards that look brand spanking new!

    As for the case and fans, I first disconnect the fans then use an air blower to remove all the dust afterwhich I use a slightly damp cloth to clean the fan blades and case.

    I also clean the power supply by taking it apart and cleaning its internals thoroughly. I haven't had an apple part fail on me due to wear over the past 12 years so I must be doing something right!

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8 December 23, 2018