How To Clean A Motherboard? (Your Perfect 2022 Guide)

The same way we clean our house or car, the motherboard also needs maintenance to remain in good condition. Every electrical equipment needs periodic maintenance, and your motherboard is no exception. So, How to clean a motherboard?

Since it tends to accumulate dust and lint inside, these elements can cause long-term damage to your equipment.

Therefore, it is necessary to clean your motherboard with a liquid such as alcohol or use a blower to clear the dust. Cleaning your computer’s motherboard is an important part of computer maintenance which can extend the life of your computer

Cleaning the inside of your computer helps prevent overheating and keeps the motherboard from experiencing an electrical failure caused by dust particles.

When cleaning your computer, be careful not to damage the internal components of the machine while they are exposed, and make sure your computer is unplugged.

It is advisable to regularly clean your motherboard to remove dirt and dust build-up; however, when it comes to getting rid of sticky substances, it can be tricky.

To clean your motherboard in the safest way possible, follow these instructions.

Best Ways How to Clean a Motherboard?

How to Clean a Motherboard

Motherboard cleaning with a liquid or spray is among the best ways to clear the dust and dirt from the interior of your PC.

Cleaning your motherboard should be done periodically, and the first thing you should know is that you will have to disassemble every last cable from your PC for a pristine cleaning.

General Motherboard Cleaning

Being gentle on electrical appliances and boards is something you would want to practice to avert any unfortunate situation.

For routine cleaning, we are going to remove the side cover of the chassis of our computer; we can clean the motherboard right there or completely remove the motherboard from the chassis; this at your choice.

Next, we have two options for clearing the loose grime, dust, and dirt. The first thing you can do is blow it out using compressed air, and the second is to use a vacuum cleaner. 

If you are going to choose compressed air, be aware that it could cause damage to your computer, so it is important to hold the can several inches away from the motherboard. 

Also, if the dust settled on the motherboard is too sticky, the ideal would be to use a soft brush and remove it as much as possible before using the compressed air.

Cleaning Motherboard with Isopropyl Alcohol

Cleaning Motherboard with Isopropyl Alcohol

If there are a lot of thick dust and sticky substances that are difficult to remove, you’ll need to use a motherboard cleaning liquid. 

However, you need to do this with great care since spilling a lot of liquid on the motherboard can cause serious damage.

Using liquid to clean a motherboard is never recommended, and great care must be taken not to cause any damage. 

However, if this the option you want to pursue, the most recommended thing to use is isopropyl alcohol (if possible, avoid common alcohol), which dries very quickly and does not cause short circuits.

Dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and gently wipe off the sticky substance. The alcohol will help remove dirt and will evaporate quickly to decrease the chances of electrical damage.

Let the motherboard dry completely before reinstalling or turning it back on. Here are the detailed instructions to do this task.

Things You Will Need

  1. Compressed Air Sleigh
  2. Cotton Swabs Rubbing
  3. Motherboard cleaning liquid (Isopropyl Alcohol)
  4. Screwdriver

Instructions

  • Turn off your computer and let it cool for 30 minutes. Unplug the device from the power outlet and unplug any peripherals connected to the computer.
  • Using a screwdriver, open your computer case to expose its internal components.
  • Insert the straw supplied with the compressed air cartridge into the spray nozzle. The straw helps to concentrate the airflow from the box and will make cleaning your computer’s motherboard easier.
  • Spray your computer’s motherboard using compressed air. Remove dust from the motherboard using short, targeted blasts of air from the box. Use the straw to direct the jet of air into hard-to-reach places, such as narrow slits between components.
  • Spray your processor heat sink with compressed air to remove any air trapped between the grill and under the fan. The heat sink protects the CPU from dust and prevents it from overheating.
  • Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe off any dust spots that could not be removed by compressed air.
  • Close your computer case and connect any peripherals removed from the machine. Plugin your computer and use it normally.

Cleaning Motherboard With Water

Cleaning Motherboard With Water

Before using any liquid cleaner, make sure the computer is completely turned off. It is important to carry out all motherboard cleaning processes with the computer completely turned off, directly disconnecting the plug from the power socket (not simply turning off the computer from the power button).

Things You Will Need

  1. Compressed air
  2. Soft toothbrush
  3. Distilled water
  4. A lint-free cloth

Instructions

  • Remove the board from the computer case. Then take off fans, memory cards and video cards from the motherboard.
  • Spray the motherboard with a can of compressed air. This can be purchased at office supply stores and is also known as an air cleaner. Spray on the motherboard to remove any loose dust or debris that is trapped on the motherboard.
  • Dampen a soft brush, such as a new soft-bristle toothbrush, with distilled water. Do not use tap water because minerals could cause build-up or damage to the components on the hob. Brush the areas that the air compressor does not clean very lightly.
  • Remember not to scrub too harsh, or else you run the risk to damage your motherboard. Take a lint-free cloth and dry the motherboard with alcohol. Alcohol will remove any leftover dust or debris particles, and because it is purer than even distilled water, it will clean up any residue left behind.
  • Give some time to let all the alcohol and water dry from your motherboard, or to fasten the process; you can dry it on a light heat setting. But it’s still best to let it sit at least overnight to make sure it’s completely dry. Reinstall the motherboard once you are sure that there is no water or alcohol left.
  • Attach all the fans or other components that you initially removed and then put the board back into the computer case.

The best tools for this job are a clean stiff bristle brush, a vacuum cleaner, and a cleaner-degreaser. Use the brush to remove the dust adhering to the components so that the vacuum cleaner can remove it in turn. 

Although all the dust that is inside the system should be vacuumed as far as possible (without exaggerating when removing bridges, heatsinks attached by glue or staples, etc.), special emphasis should be placed on the following areas:

Cleaning Components Within A Motherboard

When it comes to cleaning the motherboard, you will also need to remove the dust and grime from its ports and other parts prone to accumulating dirt.

When cleaning the motherboard, make sure to clean your CPU fan and ports to improve their performance and longevity.

Cleaning CPU fan

Cleaning CPU fan

The CPU fan can collect almost as much dust as the power supply, and since the CPU generates too much heat, it is important to keep the fan clean to keep its cooling capacity in good condition. 

Therefore, if at first glance it is noticeable that it has suffered deterioration over time, or you have noticed that it produces excessive noise, it will be necessary to clean it since excessive heating in the CPU can cause the fan to overwork.

Cleaning Expansion slots (ISA, PCI and AGP)

Cleaning Expansion slots

Keeping dust out of these slots ensures a good connection quality if you habitually use peripheral devices. Once you clean the excessive dust from these ports, you can plug and pull a device from the slot with a degreasing substance to prevent small residues of grease from causing early accumulation of dust.

Conclusion

Cleaning a motherboard can be quite difficult if you are doing it for the first time. However, the instructions above can help you clear the dust, grime, and dirt from your motherboard and its associated ports.

Also, when using a motherboard cleaning spray, make sure that you are spraying it too close to the circuit board since it can cause permanent damage.

You should also be aware that applying any liquid to the motherboard will likely void the warranty, so keep this in mind.