How To Remove The Thermal Paste From CPU Pins?

If you are worried about thermal paste getting on your CPU pins, don’t fret, as it can be cleaned. This guide will explain the procedure for removing thermal paste on Intel CPU pins. It’s crucial to follow the specific steps outlined here to ensure that you do it correctly.

Removing the thermal paste from your CPU pins is necessary if it’s preventing your computer from turning on. First, determine whether the thermal paste is electrically conductive or not. This information is essential because the cleaning process will be different depending on the answer.

If the thermal paste is not electrically conductive, it won’t short-circuit other components on the motherboard or processor while cleaning.

For example, non-conductive thermal paste can be removed with a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol, while conductive paste should be cleaned using a cotton swab dampened with isopropyl alcohol.

How To Remove The Thermal Paste From CPU Pins?

To remove thermal paste from the CPU pins, check if it has spread onto other components besides the motherboard and processor pins. Once everything is clean, select the appropriate cleaning agent to remove the thermal paste from the CPU pins and motherboard. It’s crucial to use the right cleaning agent; do not use water.

Isopropyl alcohol is the best cleaning agent to use in this case. It should have a 90% alcohol content. If you can’t find isopropyl alcohol, acetone is another commonly available ingredient that can be used to remove thermal paste. It’s often used to remove nail polish and thermal paste.


Other required materials for Thermal Paste Cleaning: 

  • Magnifying glass
  • Toothpicks (skinny ones)
  • Cotton buds (in case)
  • Q-tips

Cleaning Thermal Paste on CPU pins:

It is essential to follow the steps correctly as it is the most sensitive part to clean, so you need to be careful while doing so.

Thermal paste in CPU socket AM4: 

Firstly have Q-tips and magnifying glass to give you a clearer picture, as the pins are small. Use the cleaner and Q-tips gently and remove the paste from the processor pins. Make sure you go slowly, as the nails are susceptible to touch and could break if you go harshly. Read more about CPU Hierarchy 2022 | An Ultimate Guide

The angle of the pins is around 45-degree and not straight or down. So that’s why I suggested you use a magnifying glass to ensure you see in which position the pins are and clean it accordingly.

You can soften the thermal paste by first applying the cleaner on it and leaving it for a few minutes to melt down. Once the cleaner does its work, you can remove the paste then. Then go for cleaning the holes in the sockets of the CPU. Those holes could be cleaned by having very thin toothpicks. Keep repeating it until all the paste is removed successfully. Read about AMD FM2 CPU guide.

Purify the surface of the motherboard and CPU:

As the cleaner used in this process has alcohol involved, you need to purify the surfaces of the motherboard and processor after successfully removing the thermal paste. This process may take around 12 hours to complete as you will need to use fresh pieces of cloth or a microfiber cloth to clean all the surfaces.


It would help if you made sure that the components are dried pretty well before you boot your computer system. As you know, all the parts require electricity; hence kicking it without drying out the surface could be very dangerous.

This process was for Intel processors, which can also be used for Thermal paste on CPU pins in Ryzen.

And Thermal paste on CPU pins AMD processors. The sizes and dimensions of different brands of processors are different, but the process will remain the same. So keep in mind, do this process gently so that the components are not damaged. Read more about CPU computations guide in this post.

And also, make sure to dry them all up before starting your computer. If you cannot find the cleaners mentioned above, you could use their replacement, asking the chemist if they have the same formula and the percentage of alcohol.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to clean thermal paste off the motherboard?

It would help if you chose a thinner which doesn’t damage the motherboard, and isopropyl alcohol is the best pick in this case. Apply it on the pieces of cotton clothes and then on the thermal paste. Use a cotton cloth that doesn’t leave fibres on the surface; for that, you can use a microfiber cloth as per my recommendation. You can also use thermal paste cleaner.

How to clean the CPU socket?

After cleaning most thermal paste (See the process in the guide), you can scrub the CPU socket with a toothbrush. It can also be done through cotton buds if the socket is smaller. 

Final words:

I hope this guide: How to remove the thermal paste from CPU pins, helped you get information and terminate the paste correctly. However, it feels stressful seeing thermal paste spitted on your motherboard or the pins.

But as explained in the guide, it is pretty easy to remove if you keep calm and remove it correctly. Firstly you need to calm yourself down, slow some patience and slowly collect all the necessary material to remove the thermal paste.

As mentioned in the guide, you would need an isopropyl Alcohol which would not damage the motherboard and related components. Then slowly apply so that all the paste is clean and your motherboard and processor are operational again. That is it for now; if you have more queries about removing the thermal paste, you may ask anytime.

Thanks for reading!

On Laptop Crush platform, users are able to learn more about laptop models, their features, and their issues, as well as making informed decisions based on expert recommendations.