How to Clean a Motherboard

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If you spill something on your computer, or notice that it's not running as smoothly as it used to, it may be dusty and in need of a good cleaning. Cleaning a motherboard should only be done by someone who knows how to take a computer apart. It takes precision and time to ensure that it's cleaned properly without damaging any other components.

Things You'll Need

  • Compressed air
  • Soft bristled toothbrush
  • Distilled water
  • Lint free cloth
  • Remove the motherboard from the computer case. Then take off any fans, memory cards or video cards from the motherboard.

  • Spray the motherboard with a can of compressed air. This can be bought in office supply stores and are also called air duster. Spray this over the motherboard to remove any loose dust or debris that's caught in the motherboard.

  • Wet a soft brush, like a new toothbrush with soft bristles, with distilled water. Do not use regular tap water because the minerals could cause build-up or damage to the motherboard components. Brush any areas that the air compressor didn't clean very lightly. Scrub too hard and you risk damaging or breaking your motherboard.

  • Take a lint-free rag and blot the motherboard with rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol will remove any leftover debris or dust particles and because it's more pure than even distilled water, it will clean up any residue left behind.

  • Set your motherboard out to dry. You can blow dry it on a light heat setting for a few minutes to dry all the alcohol and water, but it's still best to let it sit out at least overnight to ensure it's completely dry.

  • Re-install the motherboard once you're sure it's dry. Attach all the fans or other components you originally removed and then put the motherboard back into the computer case.

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