How to clean your HeatSink

First of all lets clarify what a heat sink is. A heat sink is primarily used to manage the heat levels of the CPU. When microprocessor is running, it starts to give off a lot of heat and unless the heat is removed from the CPU, the computer will shut down to protect itself. Otherwise the CPE would become irrevocably damaged and you’d be left with no “brain” for your computer to run on.

So why do I need to clean my heatsink?

For several reasons in fact but the most clear one is that a clean heatsink is an efficient heatsink. Cleaning your heatsink will help make your laptop or computer run smoother and will also extend the life of it. To clean your heatsink you will need three things. A screwdiver, a can of compressed air and some thermal paste.

First of all you’ll need to find a model specific guide for your laptop or computer so that you know exactly how you can dismantle your laptop or computer and access your heatsink. Once you have located your heat sink and removed it, here are the tips you’ll need to clean it.

Using the can of compressed air, you need to locate the vents of the heat sink and give them a quick blast of air as they’ll be covered in dust. You should also detach the fan that’s connected to the heatsink (some heatsinks don’t have this) and give this a blast with the can of compressed air too. Top Tip: Wedge a pencil in the fan to stop it spinning whilst you give it the air.

When cleaning the grill, if the can of air doesn’t do the trick 100% the first time, get some cotton buds and give the grills a going over.

Finally, when you go to replace the heat sink, there should already be some residual paste on there, wipe this off with some kitchen roll. You should then apply the paste you’ve got. Make sure not to over apply this, as applying too much can lead to an overspill and the paste will damage the CPU pins.

Once you’ve cleaned your heatsink, applied the thermal paste and put it all back together, your computer should be running as if it were just out the box.