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Can I Use Everclear [190 Proof] 95% Alcohol To Clean Cpu+Heatsink?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by superstar, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    I don't have any isopropyl alcohol laying around in the house. But I do have a bottle of Everclear which is labeled as being 190 Proof, with 95% Alcohol. Here's a picture of it below:


    I have no idea if this type of alcohol is the same or better than isopropyl alcohol, or if it will just damage my cpu, heatsink, or just not clean well enough. I have no idea if this alcohol is meant for cleaning, drinking or both... LOL. My mother in law brought it for me long ago from the U.S. For a brief description of what is in this type of alcohol please read the small details of it on this wikipedia link:

    [It says something about it being a neutral grain spirit and other stuff]

    I'd like to know if I can use this to clean a used cpu that still has some old thermal paste residue, and a heatsink that I purchased?

    Thank You
  2. hrlow2

    hrlow2 MajorGeek

    Well, at least if it doesn't clean it, you can drown you sorrows.
    Just kidding. I personally use acetone from nail polish remover with no problems( except from the looks I get from the cashier).
  3. sach2

    sach2 Major Geek Extraordinaire

    I know nothing about cleaning thermal paste. So I have no advice but am interested in the answer.

    I had read that grain alcohol was better than isopropyl for cleaning cd/dvd lasers because it left less residue because it is purer. Somewhere it said that the pure alcohol solvent you buy in a hardware/electronics store is very overpriced and one should just buy a bottle of grain alcohol at the liquor store. Seemed like I would end up with a lifetime supply so I just used isopropyl because I had it on hand.

    My question would be if there were any sugars in everclear. From wikipedia it looks like the answer is probably no.

    I would think if hrlow uses acetone, than grain alcohol should be safe. But don't quote me. ;)
  4. hrlow2

    hrlow2 MajorGeek

    :wave:-DThat is what is called "covering your .....bases".
  5. xmeister

    xmeister Private E-2

    Personally I think it would be extremely rude and ungracious to use the Everclear to clean your CPU when your mother inlaw clearly gave it to you so you could get messed up on it. :cool

    Of course, if you don't like her you could do it out of spite :p

    I think it would be fine. The main reason for using alcohol is that it evaporates. I suspect the other 5% in Everclear would be mostly water which will also evaporate. Even if it does leave a little residue I doubt you'll notice. Your not working on the space shuttle. LOL
  6. Mimsy

    Mimsy Superior Imperial Queen of the MG Games Forum

    My opinion is, anything above 90% is fine on electronics... though why you would want to use Everclear when you can buy high-concentrate rubbing alcohol at any pharmacy confuses me a bit ;)

    In seriousness, I really, seriously, doubt that using 190 proof Everclear will damage your electronics. If you're worried, give it a few minutes (as in, several) and make sure you cannot see any residue on the CPU before turning your system back on.
  7. augiedoggie

    augiedoggie The Canadian Loon - LocoAugie (R.I.P. 2012)

    Heck, I used %70 isopropyl and it worked fine. Just make sure that cap is on tight as that stuff just disappears into thin air.
  8. Digerati

    Digerati MajorGeek

    You should not use fingernail polish remover because they have moisturizers, smell concealers and often coloring - use acetone instead. 70% isopropyl is okay, but not as effective at removing old TIM as 91%.

    Using Everclear to clean electronics is just plain alcohol abuse! ;)
  9. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Thanks for all of the replies... I know it's funny to say Everclear is this and that just for jokes. But I'm really serious about using it, and so far I feel as if most of you are suggesting that I use other stuff and plain ole just drink the Everclear or sell it. I'm actually serious about using it!

  10. augiedoggie

    augiedoggie The Canadian Loon - LocoAugie (R.I.P. 2012)

    All joking aside man, use it as there's not much else cleaner. It'll work just fine.:) What you do after with it is your own business.:-D Just use a lint free cloth.;)
  11. xmeister

    xmeister Private E-2

    Yeah sorry, we're all just having a bit of fun with ya. :)
    If I had it sitting there I'd use it too.

    I once used olive oil to thin out the last of my thermal paste so I could get my CPU back on and start gaming again so compared to that Everclear is quite normal I would imagine :p

    Xmeister and subsidiaries do not recommend the use of olive oil for the above mentioned purpose and will not be held liable for any damage incurred for doing so. Proceed at your own risk.
  12. Mimsy

    Mimsy Superior Imperial Queen of the MG Games Forum

    Hey, it's your 95% alcohol... ;) Frankly, anything that strong would be nasty to drink unless very mixed with other things. Everclear is one of those things that makes sense only if the only reason you drink is to get as drunk as possible, as quickly as possible.

    Or if you need to clean your CPU and heatsink, of course. :wine
  13. superstar

    superstar Command Sergeant Major

    Ok thanks guys and girls! I'm cleaning my cpu and heatsink right now... I know you guys were just kidding. But all jokes aside I'm throwing back a few shots of this as we speak and I feel like I'm in another dimension. Why does my keyboard have two sets of the same keys now????


  14. Mimsy

    Mimsy Superior Imperial Queen of the MG Games Forum

    Remember: FIRST remount heat sink. THEN drink Everclear! LOL

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