How To Clean A Motherboard? (3 Quickest Ways To Make It Look New)

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Keeping your hardware neat and clean is crucial if you want your laptop or PC to work smoothly. The same goes for your motherboard which is by the way quite complicated to clean as any small mishap can cause it to malfunction. However, you don’t have to worry ’cause here I am to help you out. 

To clean your motherboard, just remove all the dust using compressed air, now take a small amount of rubbing alcohol or any other cleaning agent of your choice and gently pour it on your motherboard. After that brush all the stains away.

There are many different ways through which we can clean a motherboard. The choice of method depends on the extent of cleanliness that the motherboard requires. In this article, I’ve discussed all those methods that you may require for a deep cleanse of your motherboard. So just give it a 3-minute skim read.

3 Simple Methods To Clean Your Motherboard

Although cleaning the motherboard may seem to be a complex and technical task, in reality, it is extremely simple. Here are some techniques that will help you clean the motherboard in minutes.

Using Alcohol To Clean a Motherboard

Step 1 Before you begin the cleaning process, you will have to remove the motherboard from the laptop or computer. To do so, switch off the device. Switching it off is not enough, make sure that the electrical connection is also switched off so there is no risk of an electrical shock.

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power off button

Step 2 The next step is to unscrew the motherboard, remove it from the CPU, and place it on a flat surface. I highly recommend using a tray here, as it will also catch excessive alcohol during the cleaning process. 

unscrew the cpu

Step 3 Use a vacuum to blow compressed air on the dusty surface of the motherboard to get rid of dirt. You may also use a brush to get into the crevices and corners of the motherboard and remove dust. 

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clean the dust

Step 4 Now that the dust from the surface has been removed, you can gently pour the alcohol over it or dip it in the alcohol. Upon doing so, you will notice the stains will begin to dissolve. If the stains are too stubborn, you can also rub them gently after dipping the motherboard into the alcohol.

cleaning with alcohol

The alcohol will dissolve the tough stains and gently rubbing them with a cloth will remove them from the motherboard. Depending on the stains, You can dip the motherboard for a couple of seconds to a few minutes. 

Step 5 After cleaning, let the motherboard dry completely before reinstalling it into the PC.

Using Thinner to Clean a Motherboard

Step 1 A motherboard can be cleaned using a thinner pretty much the same way as using alcohol. The first step is to remove the motherboard from the laptop. Remove the lid of the CPU and unscrew the motherboard.  

remove the motherboard

Step 2 Now use a cloth to remove dust from the surface of the motherboard. The cloth will help to get rid of dust so that one can see the sticky stains beneath. You can also try cleaning the tough stains using a cloth if you wish but don’t be too forceful.  

cleaning with cotton bird

Step 3 The thinner can easily dissolve the tough and sticky stains and make them easy to remove. If the stains are small, you can dip a Q-tip into the thinner and gently scrub away the stains.  

Step 4 In the case of an extremely dirty motherboard, one should rinse it with the thinner. You can dip the motherboard in the thinner for about 5 minutes, so the stains dissolve properly.  

Step 5 Dipping the motherboard also gets into delicate areas that are hard to clean otherwise. After dipping the motherboard into the thinner, use a cloth to wipe away excessive thinner and then place it on a dry surface to let it dry.  

Step 6 Once the motherboard is completely dried, you can reinstall it into the laptop or computer.

reinstall the motherboard

Using Cleaning Spray To Clean A Motherboard 

Step 1 Turn off the power supply of your device and uncover it. After the cover is removed, you will be able to see the motherboard. Use screwdrivers to remove the motherboard from the laptop or PC whatever you have.  

Step 2 After removing the motherboard from the CPU, use compressed air to remove the dust from its surface. You can also pair compressed air with a brush to scrub away dirt from the crevices and thinner areas on the surface of the motherboard.  

Step 3 Now that you have removed it, you can use the cleaning spray to gently spray the stained areas of the motherboard. The cleaning sprays often come with a long and narrow pipe-like extension so the users can easily reach the corners of the motherboard. 

Step 4 One may notice that the stains will loosen up when sprayed. If the stain does not leave the surface entirely, feel free to reach out to these spots with a Q-tip or a cloth to remove the stain from the surface gently.  

Step 5 After you remove the stains, wipe the motherboard with a clean cloth to remove the excess cleaning spray, make sure that it is completely dry and reinstall it into your device.

4 Reasons Why One Needs To Clean Motherboard

Many people focus on keeping their PCs and laptops free from viruses and other malware. But the majority of us are not as vigilant when it comes to the cleanliness and maintenance of the laptop.  

Removes Stains 

We fail to realize it, but with the passage of time, dirt, dust, and grime tend to accumulate in different parts of the computer or even in the case of laptops like the motherboard. If not cleaned properly, the dust can also lead to permanent stains.

Prevents Corrosion  

Dust can cause corrosion and rust in several parts of the motherboard as well. This could lead to permanent damage and poor performance of the motherboard. When users put off the cleaning entirely, the motherboard may even stop working after a while.  

Saves You Money

Sometimes the motherboard can malfunction, and you might even need to replace it entirely. If you don’t take necessary care of the motherboard, the replacements may become more frequent, and the money will add up to a considerable sum. Cleaning the motherboard might be an effort, but it will end up saving you a lot of money and hassle in the longer run.  

Prevents Illness From Dust Particles

At times, the germs from the grime in the hardware of the laptop or computer can also cause illness in the users. When the cooling fans of the computer rotate, the dust particles can make it into the air. As a result, when people breathe in this air for too long (especially people with breathing issues like asthma) can get sick over time. 

Therefore, if you want to ensure maximum productivity and keep your computer running smoothly without any issues, make it a routine to clean the hardware, especially the motherboard every now and then.

Right Time to Clean The Motherboard

Now that we have discussed the need for cleaning a motherboard and also elaborated on the stepwise procedure to be able to do so, the most critical question is how often should a motherboard be cleaned.  

The frequency of cleaning the motherboard depends on the extent of use and the conditions in which you have placed the computer. If you place the CPU inside a cabinet or in a section of a computer table, in that case, the risk of dust making into the CPU and accumulating over the motherboard is considerably less. 

However, If your CPU is out in the open, dust can accumulate a lot more quickly on the surface of the motherboard. Therefore, the motherboard would require regular cleaning. Similarly, if you use the computer regularly and for a prolonged period, then your motherboard would require more frequent cleaning as compared to a computer that is not used that much.

Nonetheless, cleaning your motherboard is as essential as caring for other parts of your laptop or PC because the performance of your computer greatly relies on its efficiency.

Final words

So yes this is all about cleaning the motherboard. To put it simply one can say that cleaning a motherboard isn’t as easy as walking in the park and it isn’t a hard nut to crack at the same time. One just needs a good cleaning agent, compressed air, and proper focus so that things go the right way. 

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

  1. Can you wash a motherboard?

    Yes, you certainly can. There is no problem in using water to wash the motherboards. However, the only thing you have to keep in mind is that be as gentle as you are while bathing your newborn.

  2. Is it safe to clean your motherboard with alcohol?

    Using concentrated isopropyl alcohol (C3H80) is completely safe for cleaning the motherboard. It is even recommended most of the time because it is volatile and can evaporate quickly.

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Anthony Mark

Anthony Mark

I am Anthony Mark, and I work in IT support as a Computer Hardware Technician. I am interested in problem-solving all issues related to computer hardware and software through stepwise guides. I hope one day my guide helps you with your computer issue. Adios!