Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Discussion of all forms of processors, from AMD to Intel to VIA.

Moderators: Flying Fox, morphine

Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:48 pm

I want to replace the NB cooler on an ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT motherboard. The gunk I found on the back of the stock heatsink does not clean off with isopropyl (which is what I use to clean electronics) but dissolves amazingly with acetone. I just want to make sure applying acetone to the Z68 will not damage it.

I was finally able to get google results by searching "cpu" along with acetone... it seems like I need to keep it the hell away from any plastics. But nobody provides info for its effect on silicon...

I suspect that my rubbing alcohol isn't doing a good enough job possibly because the bottle's been around for years so it's likely evaporated to be even less than the 70% it started out as...

I'm gonna carefully give acetone on a q-tip a try if nobody chimes in soon.
Silverstone SG06: 2500K@4.5Ghz on Corsair H80 Push+Pull Scythe Kama Flow 2, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670, ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT, 16GB Patriot DDR3-1600 @1T, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3161
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Burlington MA

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:15 pm

You really only want to use 95% Rubbing Alcohol. This is because most other cleaners that are similar to this, like acetone mixes, are going to contain other contaminants (typically isopro chemicals/oils) that will leave behind a residue and actually hurt the cooling dissipation. This is what I have been told, whether it is true or not I have never tested.
StuG
Graphmaster Gerbil
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1457
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:20 pm

I would not use acetone on anything that is not metal or ceramic, and I would follow it up with isopropyl alcohol. While it ought to be safe for silicon per se, there may be some plastics and/or adhesives used in the chip packaging which could be damaged by the acetone!
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37516
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:21 pm

Yeah, I will be picking up the highest percentage iso I can find, next time I'm at the store.

The bottle of acetone I have here is labeled "100% pure acetone" and in slightly smaller font below it "Nail Polish Remover". I'm fairly sure the 100% means there's no oils and such, but that means it's less suitable for actual use for nail polish removing on actual fingers. Not that I'll ever need to use it for that.

Alright I'll just leave the mobo alone till I get the replacement heatsink, maybe by then I'll have some real iso.
Silverstone SG06: 2500K@4.5Ghz on Corsair H80 Push+Pull Scythe Kama Flow 2, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670, ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT, 16GB Patriot DDR3-1600 @1T, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3161
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Burlington MA

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:22 pm

The OEM pads are often TIM in a wax-based carrier, which melts during the first burn-in. It makes it easy for them to assemble but kind of nasty to remove. The Arctic Silver folks say it is best to remove that with
a xylene based cleaner (Goof Off and some carburetor cleaners), or high-purity isopropyl alcohol and a LINT FREE cloth (a lens cleaning cloth or a coffee filter). If you use Goof Off or another xylene based cleaner always follow up with a cleaning of high-purity isopropyl alcohol.
I'd try that before messing with something like acetone, which could do real damage to the motherboard if you're not extremely careful.
UberGerbil
Gerbil Khan
 
Posts: 9973
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 3:11 pm

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:30 pm

I'd even be a little afraid of xylene. Pretty nasty stuff.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37516
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:32 pm

I don't have any xylene, I do have some Goo-Gone though, which i know is different, but still have no idea what it is.
Silverstone SG06: 2500K@4.5Ghz on Corsair H80 Push+Pull Scythe Kama Flow 2, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670, ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT, 16GB Patriot DDR3-1600 @1T, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3161
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Burlington MA

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:38 pm

Goo-gone is usually some sort of citrus oil blend and leaves an oily residue.

Acetone loves all things plastic or otherwise organically derived. Munch, gulp, burp. I've used it to melt old foam speaker surrounds and polymer adhesive when repairing speaker drivers; the softer the plastic, the faster it will go, so when working with materials that melt at dissimilar rates you can usually get away with it as long as you quickly clean the residue and you're not just pouring the stuff all over everything.

However, given the consequences when damaging a motherboard, I would exahust the supply of other organic fuels, first. If a fresh solution of 90%+ isopropyl alcohol doesn't do the trick, try butane fuel, and if that doesn't work, try white gasoline (camping stove fuel). Both of those will also rapidly evaporate while leaving behind little or no residue.

This stuff here is designed for electronics and is quite amazing, but at that price it had better be.
He who laughs last, laughs first next time.
ludi
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5410
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:42 pm

Butane? I have a can of that right here but it's gotta be pressurized to stay liquid. There's no way to actually apply that!
Silverstone SG06: 2500K@4.5Ghz on Corsair H80 Push+Pull Scythe Kama Flow 2, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670, ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT, 16GB Patriot DDR3-1600 @1T, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3161
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Burlington MA

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:59 pm

APWNH wrote:Butane? I have a can of that right here but it's gotta be pressurized to stay liquid. There's no way to actually apply that!

If it comes out of the can in a high enough volume, you should be able work with it for a brief period before it evaporates.
He who laughs last, laughs first next time.
ludi
Gerbil Elder
 
Posts: 5410
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:03 pm

I guess this stuff probably would work well, and isn't too expensive. http://www.amazon.com/ArctiClean-60ml-K ... B0007TOR08
Silverstone SG06: 2500K@4.5Ghz on Corsair H80 Push+Pull Scythe Kama Flow 2, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670, ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT, 16GB Patriot DDR3-1600 @1T, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3161
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Burlington MA

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:11 pm

That Arcticlean stuff is pretty average compared to propan-2-ol ("isopropyl alcohol"). Xylene is a nonpolar solvent where propan-2-ol is polar so what one doesn't shift, the other might well.
i5-4670 @stock | Asus H87M-E| Asus HD6850 840/1100 | 8GB DDR3 @800 | Caviar Black 640GB | Agility 3 120GB | Unicomp Customiser 105 | Logitech MX518 | CM Hyper 212 Evo
I was going to tell a Chemistry joke, but all the good ones argon.
excession
Graphmaster Gerbil
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1171
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:33 pm

Yay chemistry!
Silverstone SG06: 2500K@4.5Ghz on Corsair H80 Push+Pull Scythe Kama Flow 2, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670, ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT, 16GB Patriot DDR3-1600 @1T, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3161
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Burlington MA

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:46 pm

UberGerbil wrote:carburetor cleaners


Love it. Used it for years now, always following up with isopropyl after. It's amazing really. Pretty impressed with automotive electrical cleaner as well.

just brew it! wrote:I'd even be a little afraid of xylene. Pretty nasty stuff.


It's not exactly good for any part of your body, that's for sure.
"Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends. We're so glad you could attend. Come inside! Come inside!"
Ryu Connor
Global Moderator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 3506
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Marietta, GA

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:55 pm

Ryu Connor wrote:
just brew it! wrote:I'd even be a little afraid of xylene. Pretty nasty stuff.

It's not exactly good for any part of your body, that's for sure.

Yes, I know. After nearly destroying one of my wife's good pans a few years ago (long story...) I became intimately acquainted with the stuff. Let's just say it is one of the few things that seems to do an adequate job of removing charred rubber from stainless steel. And the fumes will make you a little bit loopy after a while.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37516
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

Postposted on Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:23 pm

I don't know how you can be so sure that that's what I did, but you're right... :-?

My 2500K is en route, I'll find out if I broke the mobo tomorrow, hopefully, but UPS is saying Wednesday.

I really should have left the thing alone till I could try it with a CPU first, but I started taking off the stupid cover glued on the NB cooler covering the fins and it just went from there. :x At least it isn't a $200 mobo...

Edit/Update: Well, turns out acetone will not eat away the chip. I think this chip's actually the Southbridge. Anyway, board is running solidly. Machine is fast as hell.

That said, the consensus seems to be to use pure isopropyl alcohol (as high a percentage as possible) for cleaning. So don't do what I did.
Silverstone SG06: 2500K@4.5Ghz on Corsair H80 Push+Pull Scythe Kama Flow 2, Gigabyte Windforce GTX 670, ASRock Z68M-ITX/HT, 16GB Patriot DDR3-1600 @1T, OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3161
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Burlington MA


Return to Processors

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests