How To: Remove Thermal Compound from the CPU or Heatsink
Removing Thermal Compound:
!! Be sure to ground yourself before working with any electrically sensitive components (such as the CPU) !!
You'll need clean Q-Tips and a bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol with a concentration at or exceeding 70%.
You may also use Thermal Grease removal/Surface Purifier kits such as
I recommend cleaning off your CPU and or Heatsink surface before installation. Do not touch the CPU or Heatsink contact surface with your fingers and be sure to wait for the Alcohol to completely dry/evaporate before installing or reapplying thermal compound. Results will vary depending on how smooth or porous your cpu/heatsink surface is. The more compound that you're able to remove, the better.
This is not being toted as the only or best way to remove thermal compound. Rather, this is an inexpensive means to remove TIM using readily avaiable/common household products. It is not the method that we use, but when performed properly is highly effective at safely removing thermal compound from a CPU and or Heatsink using widely available, inexpensive household products.
The Faraday bag that the cpu is resting on is not contacting the cpu. It is there to prevent the Anti-Static foam cube, that the cpu is resting in, from sticking to the workbench. There are no conductive sources nearby and the cpu was perfectly safe.