Cleaning your CPU does not usually involve the CPU pins. Moreover, if you are running an Intel CPU you probably do not even have the pins attached to your CPU but, instead, the pins are located on the socket itself. So, how to clean CPU pins then?
Let’s start by saying that you should never have to clean your CPU pins. There is just no need for that because dust cannot get into the socket while your CPU is installed. The only time when you should be cleaning it is if you did something horrible to the CPU, such as mistakenly applying thermal paste on your socket and pins instead of on the CPU heat spreader.
Another possible scenario is that you have a lot of dust between your CPU pins for whatever reason. If that is the case, you want to get off as much dust as you can. This is best done using a dry method that does not involve alcohol or other substances. Your best guess is using a very soft toothbrush. Be very careful whenever you are doing something around the pins. Bending or breaking a pin is a nightmare scenario that will break your CPU altogether because it is very hard to reattach CPU pins.
But how to clean CPU pins if you have a ton of thermal paste on it? We sincerely hope that you used non-conductive thermal paste because otherwise, it is near-impossible to clean it. If it is non-conductive then you should not worry too much as it can be fixed, but it will take hours of cleaning.
Get toothpicks, q-tips, a toothbrush, and a ton of isopropyl alcohol. You want to take it slowly. Pins are very easy to bend or break so do not do anything that could cause that. Remove small bits of paste at a time and make sure to completely dry the CPU before installing it back in. It is best to let it dry for a day or two, just in case.
If you are interested in more tips on how to clean CPU pins, you can more details below.
How to Clean CPU Pins?
As mentioned previously, cleaning dust from your CPU pins is not very difficult or stressful. A soft toothbrush will work best for this purpose. You may want to brush the socket as well if it has dust on it. Always be very slow and gentle when brushing because one wrong move can wreck your CPU or socket.
If it is thermal paste that you have to clean, as long as it is non-conductive you will be fine. Your socket is already made from plastic, so your thermal paste will not do much. Cleaning your socket is best done using a toothpick. Try to scoop out as much as you can but if you cannot get some bits out, don’t worry about it. This goes for AMD CPUs that have sockets with holes.
Intel CPUs, on the other hand, generally have the pins on the motherboard, whereas the CPU has no pins at all and is fairly easy to clean. This will depend on the model, though. The CPU is fairly easy to clean. Just take a q-tip and some isopropyl alcohol and then slowly remove all the paste.
However, the pins that are in your CPU socket are even more difficult to clean or repair than on AMD CPUs. You want to be extra gentle, but the procedure is essentially the same. Carefully remove as much as you can using isopropyl alcohol, toothpicks, q-tips, and maybe a toothbrush. Make sure to let it dry completely before putting the CPU in.
Cleaning your CPU pins is not something that you need to do on the regular. In fact, you only have to do it if your CPU is very dusty because it was not stored properly or if you have accidentally applied thermal paste in the wrong spot. If you have to clean dust, use a toothbrush with soft bristles to brush the pins gently. Remember that CPU pins are very easy to bend or break, so be gentle.
If you used non-conductive thermal paste, you do not have to be stressed out. It will not break your CPU, but you have to clean it thoroughly using isopropyl alcohol, q-tips, and toothpicks to remove as much as you can. Whatever the situation is, be slow, gentle, and careful.