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  #11 (permalink)  
Old October 22, 2007, 08:36 PM
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AFAIC nothing, and I mean nothing cleans hard-to-reach surfaces better than a good soaking with an aerosol contact cleaner. Probably not the most environmentally friendly solution, but it does seem to do the trick.
Word willy

Kinda OT I was recintly reading a thread on another forum about useing water to clean PBC's, and there was some good arguments on both sides, think I will start a thread about it since we have some pretty educated members here.
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Old October 22, 2007, 11:34 PM
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Water won't hurt electronics as long as its dried off well and no moisture is left on the piece of hardware. I have used water many times to clean something and never had any ill effects.
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Old October 23, 2007, 12:06 AM
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Water won't hurt electronics as long as its dried off well and no moisture is left on the piece of hardware. I have used water many times to clean something and never had any ill effects.
what he said. i build electronic components at my job...PCBs of all all shapes, sizes, complexity, etc.. after boards come off the SMT (surface mount technology) line, they go through the wash which is a chemical and water pressure bath followed by hot air drying.

if there are through hole components, they hit the wave or versa flow next for another round of soldering via machine followed by another pressure bath in water/chemical cleaners.

depending on the job they then go onto secondary where additional components are soldered on by hand and as you may have already guessed...into the wash.

the point of this story is this. most all of the components in your computer at one point or another have been washed a couple times at least. the key is to fully dry them...fully fully dry them. if you let PCBs soak in water too long they will retain water and cause damage, but hosing them off and then drying with compressed air (oil free of course) and/or some time in a very low heat oven or simply letting them sit in the sun for a day or two is usually okay.

of course there are always exceptions to the rule with metal and other things like that but yes...don't be scared of water. just get rid of it completely...even the water you can't see, before you use the electronics again. HTH

(oh and just to answer the question you have in your head...yes i use the wash at work for my motherboards.)
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Old October 23, 2007, 12:21 AM
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what he said. i build electronic components at my job...PCBs of all all shapes, sizes, complexity, etc.. after boards come off the SMT (surface mount technology) line, they go through the wash which is a chemical and water pressure bath followed by hot air drying.

if there are through hole components, they hit the wave or versa flow next for another round of soldering via machine followed by another pressure bath in water/chemical cleaners.

depending on the job they then go onto secondary where additional components are soldered on by hand and as you may have already guessed...into the wash.

the point of this story is this. most all of the components in your computer at one point or another have been washed a couple times at least. the key is to fully dry them...fully fully dry them. if you let PCBs soak in water too long they will retain water and cause damage, but hosing them off and then drying with compressed air (oil free of course) and/or some time in a very low heat oven or simply letting them sit in the sun for a day or two is usually okay.

of course there are always exceptions to the rule with metal and other things like that but yes...don't be scared of water. just get rid of it completely...even the water you can't see, before you use the electronics again. HTH

(oh and just to answer the question you have in your head...yes i use the wash at work for my motherboards.)
Yah you just need to becareful in spots where water might get under a chip or heatsink and blow those spots out very well.
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Old October 23, 2007, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3oh6 View Post
what he said. i build electronic components at my job...PCBs of all all shapes, sizes, complexity, etc.. after boards come off the SMT (surface mount technology) line, they go through the wash which is a chemical and water pressure bath followed by hot air drying.

if there are through hole components, they hit the wave or versa flow next for another round of soldering via machine followed by another pressure bath in water/chemical cleaners.

depending on the job they then go onto secondary where additional components are soldered on by hand and as you may have already guessed...into the wash.

the point of this story is this. most all of the components in your computer at one point or another have been washed a couple times at least. the key is to fully dry them...fully fully dry them. if you let PCBs soak in water too long they will retain water and cause damage, but hosing them off and then drying with compressed air (oil free of course) and/or some time in a very low heat oven or simply letting them sit in the sun for a day or two is usually okay.

of course there are always exceptions to the rule with metal and other things like that but yes...don't be scared of water. just get rid of it completely...even the water you can't see, before you use the electronics again. HTH

(oh and just to answer the question you have in your head...yes i use the wash at work for my motherboards.)
I would suggest that an industrial "water/chemical" wash is not the same as using water at home to clean off your PCB. Not only is the mix designed specifically for the task, it's also done under controlled conditions which cannot be replicated at home.

And yeah, if a person has enough patience to make absolutely sure that it's completely dry and all water has evaporated it'd probably be OK, but, how many home users (especially those who don't understand how important this step is) would follow that to the letter?

My concern would be somebody thinking that this would be a good procedure for cleaning off the TIM on their CPU every time they change the heatsink. IMO, depending on how often you change the heatsink, this stands a great chance of building up trace mineral/metals on the socket.
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Old October 23, 2007, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
My concern would be somebody thinking that this would be a good procedure for cleaning off the TIM on their CPU every time they change the heatsink. IMO, depending on how often you change the heatsink, this stands a great chance of building up trace mineral/metals on the socket.
no come on, give the average joe more credit than that

my whole point was simply to explain that water doesn't damage components when properly used and that all your hardware has had a bath or two already in its day...thats all.
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Old October 23, 2007, 10:47 AM
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I've rinsed my video card with a little distilled water and then blow dried it on low- I'm not too worried. While sometimes I engage in risky behaviors with regards to my hardware-(tempting the gods to force me into an unscheduled but not entirely unwelcome upgrade), I don't think I am taking any great risk there, and after hearing 3oh6, I'm even less concerned
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Old October 23, 2007, 11:59 AM
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Ive soaked hardware 100 times myself when benching and although Im not recommending it, I havent had too many issues. The reason to use good insulation or something to protect the board like liquid elect tape (LET) is to prevent shorts if the boards gets condensation when running. There is where stuff gets fried. With LET, the condensation or moisture sits on the LET instead of getting into the board. Its a bitch to clean off properly tho heh and is only necessary with phase or dice/LN2 benching.
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Old October 23, 2007, 06:22 PM
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Yeah Q-tips are my weapon of choice as well, you can clean a suprising number of things with just dry Q-tips. If you have some sticky thermal paste, dab the Q-tips in some rubbing alcohol (100% is best though) and go to work.
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Old October 23, 2007, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Asspigeon View Post
Yeah Q-tips are my weapon of choice as well, you can clean a suprising number of things with just dry Q-tips. If you have some sticky thermal paste, dab the Q-tips in some rubbing alcohol (100% is best though) and go to work.
Just have to be careful with q-tips that they don't leave little pieces of fuzz behind :P
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