Thermal paste is one of the most important components for your PC to operate properly. It serves a number of important functions including facilitating heat conduction between the CPU and the cooling fins on your heatsink. However, if the thermal paste degrades due to age or other factors, it’s vital to remove it before applying new paste. If you don’t, the old paste can reduce your CPU’s heat transfer efficiency.

The best way to clean CPU thermal paste is by using a cloth or coffee filter that’s been soaked in high-percentage isopropyl alcohol (90%). This type of alcohol breaks down the glue and evaporates quickly without leaving any residue, ensuring the surfaces are completely dry and ready for the new application.

During the cleaning process, you may need to scrub the paste gently. This can be done by rubbing the alcohol-soaked cloth against the surface of the CPU and cooling fins until all visible traces are removed. You should also wipe the exposed sides of the CPU and motherboard to ensure there are no traces of grease or other contaminants.

When you’re ready to reapply the thermal paste, squeeze a pea-sized drop onto the center of the CPU lid. Then, carefully reseat the cooler so its baseplate is squarely against the top of the CPU and spreads out evenly when it’s attached. Finally, screw or clip the cooler into place and tighten it to keep it secure. After that, plug any cables back into the motherboard and reattach any that were disconnected during this step. Thermal paste removal

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