Personal computing discussed

Moderators: renee, Flying Fox, morphine

 
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3200
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Boston MA
Contact:

Is it safe to use acetone to clean microchips?

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.
 
StuG
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1471
Joined: Wed May 23, 2007 11:19 pm
Location: Florida

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

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.
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 54499
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

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

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!
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3200
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Boston MA
Contact:

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

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.
 
UberGerbil
Grand Admiral Gerbil
Posts: 10368
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 3:11 pm

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

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.
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 54499
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

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

Fri Jan 27, 2012 5:30 pm

I'd even be a little afraid of xylene. Pretty nasty stuff.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3200
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Boston MA
Contact:

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

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.
 
ludi
Lord High Gerbil
Posts: 8646
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

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

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.
Abacus Model 2.5 | Quad-Row FX with 256 Cherry Red Slider Beads | Applewood Frame | Water Cooling by Brita Filtration
 
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3200
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Boston MA
Contact:

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

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!
 
ludi
Lord High Gerbil
Posts: 8646
Joined: Fri Jun 21, 2002 10:47 pm
Location: Sunny Colorado front range

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

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.
Abacus Model 2.5 | Quad-Row FX with 256 Cherry Red Slider Beads | Applewood Frame | Water Cooling by Brita Filtration
 
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3200
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Boston MA
Contact:

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

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
 
excession
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1262
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2004 3:19 pm
Location: Nottingham, UK

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

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 | Asus H87M-E | MSI GTX 960 | 8GB DDR3 @800 | WD Green 2TB | 850 EVO 250GB | CM Masterkeys Pro L White | MX518 (original!) | Hyper 212 Evo | 6TB Ubuntu/ZFS NAS
I was going to tell a Chemistry joke, but all the good ones argon.
 
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3200
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Boston MA
Contact:

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

Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:33 pm

Yay chemistry!
 
Ryu Connor
Global Moderator
Posts: 4369
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2001 7:00 pm
Location: Marietta, GA
Contact:

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

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.
All of my written content here on TR does not represent or reflect the views of my employer or any reasonable human being. All content and actions are my own.
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 54499
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

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

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.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3200
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Boston MA
Contact:

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

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.
 
Novo
Gerbil In Training
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2020 2:44 am
Location: Dnipro, Ukraine
Contact:

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

Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:05 am

Hello everyone!

Thanks for this topic, it helped me well to choose a way to do the job.

Today's victory is my friend's Asus P5K Premium/WiFi motherboard. Asus used a lot of thermal adhesive there. Most motherboards were cleaned with sharp blade but this one was some kind of die hard. So what helped me this time is a bottle of nail liquid which consists of: ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, glycerin, some colourant and fragrance. I used it on northbridge and southbridge chips. Id didn't damage neither chip's surface nor green pcb around the chip. I wonder how much of this adhesive compound used Asus in their motherboards - southbridge chip had a relly thick layer of it.
 
APWNH
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
Topic Author
Posts: 3200
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2002 9:10 pm
Location: Boston MA
Contact:

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

Sat Jul 25, 2020 7:55 am

An 8.5 year old necropost that’s on topic! Now you don’t see that every day. This episode with my old Sandy Bridge SFF build feels like a lifetime ago. Glad that the discussion was of use to somebody and that it worked out for ya.

It’s amazing that it has taken this long to experience AMD’s resurgence. I’m so stoked for my upcoming Zen 3 SFF build! I also have a hunch these days that big Navi might eat Ampere’s lunch and I might end up with a full blown red box. Too much excitement!
 
greatverg
Gerbil In Training
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:03 am

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

Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:51 am

Hey
It's an amazing idea. Hope this works well.
Good luck!
 
whm1974
Emperor Gerbilius I
Posts: 6361
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:29 am

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

Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:39 pm

I have always used rubbing alcohol since it works, widely aviable, and at low cost. It is safe to use as long you are not stupid enough to actually drink it.
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 54499
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

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

Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:35 am

whm1974 wrote:
I have always used rubbing alcohol since it works, widely aviable, and at low cost. It is safe to use as long you are not stupid enough to actually drink it.

It WAS widely available. Have you tried to buy it lately?
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
whm1974
Emperor Gerbilius I
Posts: 6361
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:29 am

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

Tue Sep 01, 2020 5:50 am

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
I have always used rubbing alcohol since it works, widely aviable, and at low cost. It is safe to use as long you are not stupid enough to actually drink it.

It WAS widely available. Have you tried to buy it lately?

No not recently. Come to think of it, the last time I brought any, was back in ~2003 solely because I had to replace a dead motherboard. I cleaned off the dried up gunk on the HSF and CPU, and reused them.

Are folks hoarding Rubbing Alcohol now?
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 54499
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

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

Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:27 am

whm1974 wrote:
Are folks hoarding Rubbing Alcohol now?

Hoarding and/or using gallons of the stuff sanitizing everything in sight. I haven't found any locally since the whole Covid mess started.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Krogoth
Gerbil Elder
Posts: 5966
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 3:20 pm
Location: somewhere on Core Prime
Contact:

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

Tue Sep 01, 2020 6:47 am

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Are folks hoarding Rubbing Alcohol now?

Hoarding and/or using gallons of the stuff sanitizing everything in sight. I haven't found any locally since the whole Covid mess started.


Ethanol works almost as well for sanitizing. :wink: Kinda surprised people haven't raided high proof spirits for it.
Gigabyte Z390 AORUS-PRO Coffee Lake R 9700K, 2x16GiB of G.Skill RIPSAW DDR4-3600, Sapphire RX 6900XT, Seasonic GX-850 and Fractal Define 7 (W)
Ivy Bridge 3570K, 2x4GiB of G.Skill RIPSAW DDR3-1600, Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H, Corsair CX-750M V2, and PC-7B
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 54499
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

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

Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:21 am

Krogoth wrote:
Ethanol works almost as well for sanitizing. :wink: Kinda surprised people haven't raided high proof spirits for it.

Typical spirits are "only" around 80 proof (40% ethanol), which isn't strong enough to be an effective sanitizer. Something like 151 proof rum or Everclear (190 proof) would work, but that gets pretty expensive.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
whm1974
Emperor Gerbilius I
Posts: 6361
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:29 am

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

Tue Sep 01, 2020 7:25 am

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Are folks hoarding Rubbing Alcohol now?

Hoarding and/or using gallons of the stuff sanitizing everything in sight. I haven't found any locally since the whole Covid mess started.

Good God, bleach and pine cleaner works better. Are people doing something quite silly like washing clothes and dishes with rubbing alcohol?
 
just brew it!
Administrator
Posts: 54499
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

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

Tue Sep 01, 2020 9:25 am

whm1974 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
Are folks hoarding Rubbing Alcohol now?

Hoarding and/or using gallons of the stuff sanitizing everything in sight. I haven't found any locally since the whole Covid mess started.

Good God, bleach and pine cleaner works better. Are people doing something quite silly like washing clothes and dishes with rubbing alcohol?

Bleach is more likely to damage things, and pine cleaner has a powerful lingering odor that many people find objectionable. Alcohol is relatively benign on most surfaces and evaporates quickly. You also don't want to use bleach or pine cleaner on your hands; I suspect a lot of people are using rubbing alcohol as a hand sanitizer, since hand sanitizer has also been hard to find.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
whm1974
Emperor Gerbilius I
Posts: 6361
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:29 am

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

Tue Sep 01, 2020 10:58 am

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Hoarding and/or using gallons of the stuff sanitizing everything in sight. I haven't found any locally since the whole Covid mess started.

Good God, bleach and pine cleaner works better. Are people doing something quite silly like washing clothes and dishes with rubbing alcohol?

Bleach is more likely to damage things, and pine cleaner has a powerful lingering odor that many people find objectionable. Alcohol is relatively benign on most surfaces and evaporates quickly. You also don't want to use bleach or pine cleaner on your hands; I suspect a lot of people are using rubbing alcohol as a hand sanitizer, since hand sanitizer has also been hard to find.

Where I live hand sanitizer is now widely available in stores. I don't know if the producers are increasing production of this product, or folks have stopped hoarding certain items after waking up realizing they don't have the room to put the stuff they been hoarding. Not to mention buying far more of the items then they can possibly use.

Since I live in a SRO, I simply don't have the room to hoard crap I don't need in the first place. Of course I was well aware that there was no shortage in the first place.
 
curtisb
Gerbil XP
Posts: 452
Joined: Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:27 pm
Location: Oklahoma

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

Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:05 am

I normally just use a high percentage isopropyl alcohol, but I've recently discovered CRC QD Electronics Cleaner. One of the reasons I went looking for something different is because I got heatsink paste in a socket like a n00b. :roll:

If you're in the US it's about half the price at Walmart and Amazon from what Home Depot wants, at roughly $5USD for an 11oz can.
ASUS MAXIMUS VIII HERO | Intel Core i7-6700 | Zotac GTX 1080 8GB Mini | 2 x Corsair LPX 8GB | WD SN750 Black 500GB | 2 x Crucial MX200 500GB | 2 x WD RED Pro 4TB | Phanteks Eclipse | Seasonic X-850 | 2 x Samsung U28E590

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests
GZIP: On