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How To Clean A Motherboard?

by Linda D. Yelverton

The motherboard is a vital part of the computer. In fact, your computer cannot work without a motherboard.

This is true for a laptop or a desktop. The performance of your laptop is dependent on the performance of the motherboard. It is important that the motherboard is kept in good condition. If there is any damage to the motherboard then this will affect the system and in most cases will make your laptop dead.

Dust would start to accumulate in your PC as your computer ages. The fans suck the dust, which sits collectively on the vents and on the motherboard. If you do not remove this dust from time to time then this will cause your computer to get overheated and it will start to malfunction. It could also lead to a short circuit, which will cause your motherboard to be ruined.

Maintaining the motherboard

To keep the motherboard in a good condition it is important that it be cleaned regularly. This will ensure that it works for long. The motherboard attracts sticky substances and dust, which is collected over it. This affects its lifespan and thus the lifespan of your laptop.

Here is how you can clean your laptop’s motherboard.

What do you need?

First, get all the cleaning essentials ready before you start to clean the motherboard. Here is what you will need:

  • Screwdriver
  • Cotton
  • Compressed air
  • A makeup brush
  • Vacuum
  • Isopropyl alcohol

Cleaning a Motherboard

Steps to clean the motherboard

The following steps need to be followed in order to clean the motherboard.

  • Switch off the PC

Before you start to clean the motherboard, first switch off the PC or the laptop and make sure that it is turned off completely. After the PC is turned off, unplug the power source from the PC. Remove the PC case and disassemble the PC

You need to now remove the case from the processor. This can be found on the backside. It can be done with the help of screwdrivers. Take out the motherboard and place it on a surface that is clean and flat. It is ideal if you keep the motherboard on a clean cloth. If you see some heavy dirt on the motherboard then use a vacuum to pull out that dust. After that, place it slowly on the surface.

  • Clean the motherboard

This is the step where you start to clean the motherboard. First, do basic cleaning. The compressed air helps to remove any dirt or dust from the motherboard. The vacuum can be used to get rid of dust that is stubborn and sticking to the motherboard. To get the best result from the vacuum keep it a little distance away. The makeup brush and the compressed air together will let you clean the motherboard finely.

  • Deep clean the motherboard only when it is dead or faulty

The basic cleanup should be sufficient for the motherboard. However, if you feel that it is not sufficient then you can go for a deep clean of the motherboard. You will need isopropyl alcohol 99% for this. The alcohol helps to remove the sticky substances on the motherboard and any solder junks. You will need a one-liter bottle of the Isopropyl Alcohol 99%. Put the alcohol into a small container. The motherboard should be submerged in the alcohol. This will be something like giving the motherboard an alcohol bath. Shake the motherboard slowly when it is dipped in the alcohol completely. The sticky substances on the motherboard will be cleaned and the motherboard will look as good as new.

Alcohol is a non-conductor of electricity. It evaporates fast and this means that each and every drop of liquid from every nook and corner of your motherboard will vanish in no time. This will not leave you with any liquid left on your motherboard when you go to install it. The alcohol lets the motherboard to come out as new but newbies may not want to try this deep cleaning process.

  • Assemble the motherboard

Once you are through with the cleaning process, allow the motherboard to dry after you have given it an alcohol bath. This is an important step so that there is no further damage to the motherboard. Alcohol dries easily as it gets evaporated fast. Now you need to reinstall the motherboard in its place. Use the screwdrivers to attach the case properly. Switch on the PC power and turn your PC on to see if it has started to work.

The cleaning process is done and it is not a time-consuming work. It is simple to do, however, you need to make sure that you do it right. You need to take particular care to disassemble and assemble the motherboard properly. Else, take the help of a professional or from someone who knows how to do it.

Points to be kept in mind

  • It is very important that before you start to clean the motherboard or use any kind of liquid cleaner on it you make sure that the power of the PC is turned off. This will protect you as well as prevent causing any damage to the motherboard
  • If you are not sure about how to clean the motherboard then do not hesitate and contact a professional or the manufacturer who can help you better instructions
  • It is also important to note that when you apply any liquid on the motherboard then this will void the warranty on the PC.


Cleaning your PC helps to get rid of any junk and other crusty stuff on your motherboard. These particles stay in the device. It is important that the pieces of junk be removed from the motherboard for better functioning.

The things that you may end up finding could be debris, dust and small food particles among other things. When you clean the motherboard of the PC it will let the fan to work properly too that will keep your PC cool. Fans work well if they do not have any dust or dirt attached to them.

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