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Cleaning The Inside

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Ljay, May 7, 2010.

  1. Ljay

    Ljay Micky's Packin

    Nov 2, 2006
    Compressed air or vacuum which do you prefer, how often do you clean your system, I have a tower with a large fan in the side blowing in, then a 120mm fan inside the cabinet blowing out, Plus there two smaller fans inside one keeping the quad core processor cool, the other one on the video card.

    Do they make a small powerful vacuum for just such a task?
  2. glock19_fan

    glock19_fan ... --- ...

    Mar 25, 2005
    I always use a vacuum. Do you really want all that dust floating around while you're working near the PC?

  3. Linux3


    Dec 31, 2008
    Always, always vacuum, never blow a system out! The magnetic fields attract heavy metals and trust me you and your family do not want to breath them in.

    Danger Will Robinson!!

    You can get a pretty cheap HEPA vacuum, just google around.
  4. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I'm afraid I can't buy into that one.

    If the magnetic fields are attracting heavy metals your family is already breathing them in, since all the dust in the case obviously came from the same air you're breathing every day.

    If you need a HEPA vac to clean out your PC, because of heavy metals in the dust particles floating around the room, you have a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed.
  5. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    I just haul my systems outside, and return the dust to where it came from!

    Used to blow it out in the house, but no more. Wouldn't feel good for days after an inside compressed air session.

    I also agree that the heavy metal build up is not very likely... unless you do have it already in your home.

    Just haul it outside to blow it out! Computers need Vitamin D too! :rofl:
  6. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    I use a "regular" vacuum with some attachments that I made to get into tight/small spaces.

    It's battery powered because electric vacuums create static electricity that can damage the internal components ... so I've been told. That said I had used a regular household vacuum for years and never had any problems because of it.

    Also when cleaning the fans you should use something to prevent the fan blades from spinning too fast as this could damage the bearings.
  7. Linux3


    Dec 31, 2008
    A logical thought process yet it still leads you astray.
    We all agree that you and I are radioactive to a small degree right? The sun emits radiation as does U-235 in the ground and yet we are mostly OK. If background radiation is everywhere and we are radioactive why can't we go play with the spent fuel rods in a nuke plant? It's a matter of degree and concentration.
    Also true is the fact that there are small particles of heavy metals floating around everywhere. The many small magnetic fields in your computer attract those minute particles. Now you blow your system out.
    I don't really care what you buy in to but the facts are that you want to avoid concentrations of heavy metals.
  8. GenX


    Aug 8, 2009
    It definitely makes a huge difference in temps if the dust is vacuumed out. The two 120mm fans at the front of my case have a plastic mesh filter. The HD sits roughly between them. Before vacuuming, HD was sitting at 35 celcius and now it's at 29. MB and cpu dropped significantly also. The added bonus to doing this besides reducing temps, is the fans will be less noisy.
  9. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    Dust gets caked pretty good in the heat sink and into the power supply housing, I just don't see a vacuum getting that out.

    I always take them outside and blast it out with compressed air.
  10. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    I buy into scientific fact, and that has served me well for over 6 decades now.

    The heavy metals that would be floating around in the air such as lead, copper, and mercury have paired electrons so are non-magnetic and electrical fields won't attract them. Some will flow in, some will flow out, some will get stuck in the dust. But the presence of an electrical field can't attract or concentrate them since they are non-magnetic. That's a fact.

    Cadmium, and zinc don't have paired electrons but instead of being magnetic they are diamagnetic and in the presence of a external magnetic field they will form an opposite field and the particles will be repelled away from the external field. Cadmium and zinc particles floating in the air are repelled rather than attracted to a magnetic field, that also is a fact.

    So if anything the concentrations of zinc and cadmium should actually be lower in the dust in your PC case than in the air you're breathing, due to the electrical fields repelling them away and back into your room air.

    If you could use magnetic fields to collect and accumulate heavy metal particles in the air the EPA would love to know about it, and it would be in common use, but the fact is few of them are ferrous and most are either non-magnetic or even diamagnetic. Moving the air through a magnetic field either has no effect or the opposite effect if you're trying to collect them.
  11. npatel


    Oct 13, 2008
    Marietta, GA
    I've never felt comfortable using air from a compressor to clean a computer. (I hope I read your post right, in that you use a compressor, and not just an air can). Air compressors can occasionally send out water along with the air, and I would hate to fry something when I plug it back in.

    I also hate the cans of compressed air -- I'm pretty sure I'm sensitive to the bittering agent in them. Every time I use one, my hands and lips taste bitter for at least half a day.

    I usually use a little dirt devil with a set of attachments for electronics cleaning. I don't remember where I got it, but there are several brushed and non-brush attachments with fine tips that work in small spaces. The set I have is kind of like this one, except it doesn't have the small hose.
  12. ChesterCRD


    Apr 20, 2010
    Central Florida
    I routinely use an air compressor at about 40 psi to clean out my PCs and servers. I do this about twice a year. I take them outside to do it. It's never caused me any problems. I'm an IT guy by profession and my computer equipment runs the gamut from extreme low end to fairly high end (though older...hence in my possession) hardware.

    I stay away from the compressed air cans due to the fluid in them and condensation issues. I think a leaf blower would probably do a decent job though. Just keep it far enough back so the air doesn't bend anything, and of course have it all unplugged.


    Last edited: May 13, 2010