Guide on How to Remove the Thermal Paste with Alcohol

Remove the Thermal Paste with Alcohol – How to

How to Remove the Thermal Paste with Alcohol?
Thermal paste is an important part of every system that ensures optimum heat transfer under immense load conditions. There is a myth that thermal paste cools the system temperature itself, which is completely wrong. Instead, a thermal paste acts as a conductor to transfer the heat from the processor and GPU to the heatsinks by filling the micro-voids.

However, the paste gets dried out with the passage of time and requires immediate replacement. So, if you face such problems, I will tell you how to remove the thermal paste with alcohol and a rubbing cloth.

Related: When to Change Thermal Paste

Why do you Need to Remove the Thermal Paste?

Why do you Need to Remove the Thermal Paste

If you own a PC, console, or laptop, chances are you will have to remove the old thermal paste at some point in your life. For instance, the PC starts heating up quickly if your thermal paste is dry. The dry paste doesn’t conduct heat as efficiently and often acts as an insulator. Similarly, most new GPUs come with a stock thermal paste that doesn’t work as efficiently. So, people remove the stock paste and replace it with a high-quality to ensure optimum system temperature.

Related: Keep you Gpu Cool while Gaming

There are many scenarios where you need to remove the old thermal paste and make room for a new one. If you have just upgraded the processor with a new shiny one, you still need to remove the old paste. Some of the thermal paste sticks to the heatsink, cooling fan, or processor socket. So, you need to remove it before installing the new upgraded processor. Similarly, all modern consoles have a processor and a graphics chip inside them. Usually, they are covered with a good thermal paste. However, it gets dried up over time and requires replacement. Luckily, all you need is microfiber cloth, some Q-tips, and isopropyl rubbing alcohol.

How to Remove the Thermal Paste from the PC?

Fortunately, replacing the thermal paste from your PC is simple as compared to other devices. It is because you can easily open the PC case, access the processor, and remove the paste. Here’s how:

Removing from Processor:

Remove the Thermal Paste from CPU
Remove the Thermal Paste from CPU

How to Remove the Thermal Paste from the PC? – Medium difficulty

Total Time: 10 minutes

  1. Prepare your PC

    Shut down the computer and unplug all the cables from your CPU.
    Open the case of your PC and unplug the cooler (water or air).
    Unmount the cooler from the CPU and open the processor socket from the clip.

  2. Clean Up

    Dip the microfiber cloth in the alcohol and gently start rubbing on the processor in concentric circles.
    Make sure that you don’t rub too hard, or else you might damage a pin.
    Wipe off the paste from under the cooling fan without applying any pressure.
    Now that you have wiped the thick layer of paste, it is time to pay attention to details.
    Dip a Q-tip in the isopropyl alcohol and remove the remaining thermal paste from the processor and the cooler.
    If you followed the steps properly, you would now be looking at a shiny new processor.

Removing from GPU:

Removing thermal paste from GPU
Removing thermal paste from GPU

How to Remove the Thermal Paste from the GPU? – Hard difficulty

Total Time: 20 minutes

  1. Prepare your PC

    Removing the thermal paste from your GPU can be a little tricky. It includes disassembly of the GPU to access the graphics chip. So, only use the process if you are comfortable with tiny screws. Otherwise, it would be best to seek a professional’s help.
    Shut down the computer and unplug all the cables from your CPU.
    Open the case of your PC and unplug the cooler (water or air).
    Unmount the GPU from the PCI slot, be very gentle in the process to avoid damaging the card.

  2. Prepare your GPU

    Take a Philips head screwdriver and remove all the screws from the GPU case.
    Open the GPU case from the middle with steady hands, and don’t pull too hard.
    The case only opens at half-length; after that, you need to unplug the heatsink and cooling fan cables from the board.
    Now completely open the case and place the other half on a nearby table.
    Use the same screwdriver to open the protective slot from the graphics chip.

  3. Clean Up

    Take some rubbing alcohol on a microfiber cloth and gently wipe off the thermal paste in concentric circles.
    Dip a Q-tip in alcohol and clean the remaining thermal paste from the chip.
    Remember to replace the thermal paste with a new one before re-assembling the GPU.

How to Remove the Thermal Paste from PlayStation 4?

How to Remove the Thermal Paste from PlayStation 4?
How to Remove the Thermal Paste from PlayStation 4?

PlayStation is probably one of the best gaming consoles that Sony has ever produced. It supports hundreds of titles along with the signature PS-only games. However, the device develops some heating issues after some time that requires immediate thermal paste replacement. However, it includes complete disassembly of your console, so it is best to seek professional help if you are not comfortable with small components:

How to Remove the Thermal Paste from PlayStation 4? – Hard difficulty

Total Time: 30 minutes

  1. Prepare your PS4/5

    Push the glossy side of the top with your thumbs to remove the top cover.
    Use a Philips screwdriver to remove the hard drive bracket.
    Flip the console and remove the four screws located as:
    Two screws under the warranty stickers
    Two screws under the plastic screw cover.
    You will need a 7.2 mm Torx security screwdriver for the job.
    Remove the bottom cover and unplug the power supply cable with the help of a tweezer.
    Unscrew the four visible screws to remove the power supply.
    Dismount the PSU and unplug the Wi-Fi antenna with a spudger.
    Disconnect the optical drive, remove its screws, and lift it from the motherboard.
    Unscrew the two Torx screws securing the upper case of your console.
    Lift the remaining portion of th

  2. Clean Up

    Dip a microfiber cloth in rubbing alcohol and gently wipe the thermal paste off the processor and graphics chip.
    Use a Q-tip dipped in alcohol to wipe the remaining thermal paste.
    Make sure to replace the thermal paste with a new one before re-assembling the unit.


Thermal paste is the most important component to make your system thermally stable. However, the paste becomes dry over time and requires replacement. You need to remove the previous paste before you can put a new paste on the chips. In this article, I have discussed how to remove the thermal paste with alcohol from various systems.

Related: How often Should you Change Thermal Paste

Thermal Paste Best Sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
ARCTIC MX-4 (incl. Spatula, 4 g) – Premium Performance Thermal Paste for All Processors (CPU, GPU – PC, PS4, Xbox), Very high Thermal Conductivity, Long Durability, Safe Application, Non-Conductive
  • WELL PROVEN QUALITY: The design of our thermal paste packagings has changed several times, the formula of the composition has remained unchanged, so our MX pastes have stood for high quality
  • EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE: ARCTIC MX-4 thermal paste is made of carbon microparticles, guaranteeing extremely high thermal conductivity. This ensures that heat from the CPU/GPU is dissipated quickly & efficiently
  • SAFE APPLICATION: The MX-4 is metal-free and non-electrical conductive which eliminates any risks of causing short circuit, adding more protection to the CPU and VGA cards
Bestseller No. 2
Corsair XTM50 High Performance Thermal Compound Paste | Ultra-Low Thermal Impedance CPU/GPU | 5 Grams | w/applicator
  • Enthusiast CPU Thermal Compound: Premium Zinc Oxide based thermal compound for optimal thermal performance.
  • Cools your CPU and GPU: install new, or replace existing thermal compound on your CPU and GPU to improve heat transfer and lower temperatures.
  • Improved CPU cooling: ultra-low thermal impedance lowers CPU temperatures vs common thermal paste.
SaleBestseller No. 3
Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut The High Performance Thermal Paste for Cooling All Processors, Graphics Cards and Heat Sinks in Computers and Consoles (5,55 Gram /1,5 ml)
  • 12.5W/(m·K) THERMAL CONDUCTIVITY – Very high conductivity, perfect for even demanding configurations.
  • EASY TO USE – A specially constructed spatula for spreading thermal grease is included.
  • LONG ACTION – Kryonaut thermal paste’s unique structure allows for long-lasting effectiveness, even at temperatures up to 80 degrees Celsius without drying out.


What is thermal paste and what is it used for?

Thermal paste is a type of thermal interface material that is used to fill the gaps and irregularities between a computer processor and its heat sink, which helps to improve the thermal conductivity and transfer heat more efficiently.

Why do we need thermal paste in a computer?

Thermal paste is needed in a computer to improve the heat dissipation and cooling performance of the processor, which helps to prevent overheating and ensure the stability and longevity of the computer.

How often should thermal paste be replaced?

It is generally recommended to replace the thermal paste in a computer every two to three years, or whenever the heat sink is removed for cleaning or replacement.

Can thermal paste damage a computer?

If applied improperly, thermal paste can cause air bubbles or gaps, which can decrease its effectiveness and potentially damage the processor. It is important to carefully follow the instructions for applying thermal paste and not to use too much.

Are there different types of thermal paste and which one is the best?

There are different types of thermal paste, including metallic, ceramic, and silicone-based, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. In general, high-quality metallic or ceramic thermal paste is considered to be the most effective, but it is also important to choose a paste that is compatible with your specific computer and processor.

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