How to Remove Thermal Paste [Easy-to-follow guide]

Muhammad Bilal
Muhammad Bilal
How to Remove Thermal Paste

Here I present you with a nightmare. Let’s say you are sitting on your cozy chair, playing Call of duty Warzone. And then, your system throttles and shuts down immediately. You are absolutely disgusted and might throw a fit anytime soon. You turn on your PC and then start diagnosing it. And then your eyes, for a fleeting moment, fall over the CPU/GPU temps. These components are about to simmer! Yes, you can pretty much boil eggs on them. Isn’t it awful? To me, it is; I might never open my PC again due to the fear of it burning down to cinders. Verily, this sight will always kill the buzz. But don’t you worry because I will be giving tips to remove the thermal paste and reapply it again if needed.

Not to mention, today, I will be explicitly talking about the most searched topic, “How to remove the thermal paste.” After reading this guide, I would recommend you to have a look at “How to apply thermal paste,” as I have pitched in detailed bulletins to follow. So, without any further ado, let’s begin!

Prerequisites of removing the thermal paste

  • Some cotton Swabs (if required)
Some cotton Swabs
  • Microfiber cloth (don’t use normal clothes, as these can shed small particles on your chipset)
  • Isopropyl Alcohol with 90% composition (only 10% should be water)
Isopropyl Alcohol with 90% composition
  • A decent thermal paste (Grizzly suits the best, though and only required if you are having a repasting session)
  • An anti-static bracelet is optional
  • Paper towel if required.
Paper towel if required

Steps to follow when removing the thermal paste

  • Take off the side panel from your PC.
  • Unlatch the heatsink that is directly attached to the CPU, aka CPU cooler (and if it’s GPU, simply takes off the fan).
Unlatch the heatsink that is directly attached to the CPU
  • To clean the heatsink (if it’s CPU), get a cloth and dust off anything sitting atop it.
  • When you are done cleaning the heatsink (and if it’s GPU, clean the fans), put it aside.
  • Now, in front of you, will behold the chipset with dried-over paste on it.
  • To remove the paste, you have to apply the isopropyl solution. I would recommend applying only a little of it because it’s more than enough. Do not spill more than the required quantity; otherwise, it will take ages for the water to evaporate if it’s the 30% water solution.
  • Take the microfiber and start rubbing it on the chipset. Make sure you are not volatile or capricious while cleaning the chipset, as it can lead to inherent damages to the component.
  • Let the chipset dry (prefer to leave it under the sun, though not in the scorching sun, please).
  • If it’s too hot outside, I would recommend leaving it just where it is. The fans inside your room will dry up the water.
  • For checking purposes, swipe your finger on the chipset. If it looks dry and shiny, bingo, you did it!
  • See, it was easy, right? Now, you can apply the new paste to the component (use the grain of rice method or the cross one, it doesn’t matter).
Now, you can apply the new paste to the component

Things to avoid while removing the thermal paste

Kindly do remember these bulletins when removing the paste.

  • Don’t be strenuous on your components. Be gentle when scrubbing off the dried paste.
  • Do not use a solution that has more than 30% water because it will take longer to evaporate, and it’s the last thing you want.
  • Use a renowned paste from a grizzly or arctic silver. Other pastes work all fine, but I’m just talking about the top-tier thermal pastes.
  • Do not spill the isopropyl solution or paste it on the CPU pins as it can cause obstruction during run time.
  • Do not meddle with the pins. All you have to do is detach the processor and do whatever you want to do with it outside the case.

What to do after removing the thermal paste?

When you are done removing the paste, simply put another one from a renowned brand because, without the paste, your components will die out soon. They can’t endure so much heat, especially without a cooling solution. For that, you can read our guide regarding the best thermal pastes available at your disposal. Apart from this, if you have any questions, do let me know in the comment session! 

Related Article: Does Thermal Paste Expire?


Hey, I’m Muhammad Bilal. I’m a tech fanatic (also read: Gamer), who loves scrutinizing fine details. I aim to strive hard in my respective fields (as a writer and software programmer). Before pursuing my majors in a university (right now in A-levels), I want to spend time exploring and reviewing the latest technology.

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