How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Discussion about old PC hardware.

How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby Warlord » 2019-11-19 @ 17:56

Not to make a guide or say best way just my experience. All supplies you can buy from walmart.

Simple green
Distilled water (not the kind with added minerals)
Compressed Air
Paint Brush

PreHeat Oven to 200 Fahrenheit

Make sure you remove the battery, BIOS chips or etc 1st..

1. Put the motherboard in the kitchen sink and spray Simple green all over it.
2. Scrub it with the paint brush.
3. Apply more simple green
4. Scrub with paint brush
5. Pour distilled water on it making sure you wash all the simple green off
6. Blow compressed Air under all the chips, IO, pic slots, cpu Slots etc
7. Idea is to get as much of the water initially off
8. Sit the motherboard on a glass pyrex dish in the oven to dry for at least 1 hour
9. take out the mother board and Sit it on a paper towl to dry overnight.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby derSammler » 2019-11-19 @ 18:17

Warlord wrote:2. Scrub it with the paint brush.

Yeah, nice for causing ESD damage. There are special brushes to clean PCBs that won't build up static charge.

Apart from that, even if many people apparently like doing it: PCBs or any electronics in general have no place in things you use for making food or cleaning your dishes. You are exposing toxic remains that are harmful to your body and which won't just disappear when you take out the PCB (especially not in the oven).
Last edited by derSammler on 2019-11-19 @ 18:22, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2019-11-19 @ 18:19

derSammler wrote:
Warlord wrote:2. Scrub it with the paint brush.

Yeah, nice for causing ESD damage. There are special brushes to clean PCBs that won't build up static charge.


If it's horse hair and the grip is made of wood, then there is no issue. But with all this cheap Chinese crap around these days, you cannot be sure about this anymore anyways... So do not gamble on it, use brushes that do not build up ESC.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby Warlord » 2019-11-19 @ 18:33

derSammler wrote:
Warlord wrote:2. Scrub it with the paint brush.

Yeah, nice for causing ESD damage.

It's not only scientifically impossible but its also not provable. You don't know what you are talking about. Not only is simple green an anti static agent, but your assertion is absurd. 2 wet objects like that that have no static buildup cannot create buildup under 100% humidity. I have never shocked my teeth with a wet toothbrush and I not only do not know anyone who has but I have never heard about it.
Last edited by Warlord on 2019-11-19 @ 18:45, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2019-11-19 @ 18:44

Warlord wrote:
derSammler wrote:
Warlord wrote:2. Scrub it with the paint brush.

Yeah, nice for causing ESD damage.

It's not only scientifically impossible but its also not provable. You don't know what you are talking about.


You have to illuminate me here, as I am now not sure about whether you are referring to your paint brushes being either old/special (made out of genuine mammal hair with wooden grip, impossible to build up charges) or whether you are one of the ppl that belief that ESD is a myth?
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2019-11-19 @ 18:46

Right. seems like you two have been talking past each other.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby Warlord » 2019-11-19 @ 18:48

I read a scientific research paper that said it was impossible under certain conditions, that and you would have to actually prove that it could happen under those conditions which there is no evidence of. Antistatic agents under 100% humid don't generate static electricity.

Theres actually a scientific reason why dryer sheets in the dryer prevent static buildup of you clothes by the way.

Code: Select all
The non-toxic formula easily and quickly removes fingerprints, water marks, food stains and grease, restoring luster and shine. Advanced polymer technology creates an anti-static barrier that helps resist future dust, marks and smudges, keeping your metal looking cleaner longer.


ANTI STATIC BARRIER .

+++
Temperature, Air Humidity and Static Electricity
https://www.education.com/science-fair/ ... rges-last/

Static Electricity and Relative Humidity
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/45d9/2 ... 0a899f.pdf

TLDR. Simple Green creates and Anti Static Berrier, and under 100% humidty Soaked in water it is impossible to have ESD.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby Deksor » 2019-11-19 @ 20:30

You can replace the whole drying process by using a simple hairdryer ^^. No need to buy compressed air cans, or to bring a compressor that not everyone has, no need to wait for the oven to heat up and no pollution in it and it's much faster (about 10 mins to dry one board I'd say). Of course you have to let it sit afterwards, though they often work right away after the hairdryer, but not always. So to be sure, let it dry overnight.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby SirNickity » 2019-11-19 @ 22:14

The cleaning debate wages on... This will never die. I use tap water and the toothbrush I got for free at my last dentist visit, and sometimes even soap (the horror!). I then blow out the nooks and crannies and let it sit overnight on paper towels. I do not have hard water, and I live in a dry climate, so it works for me.

Others will only bathe their parts in 99% IPA and scrub with a brush whose bristles are made from a virgin unicorn. Dried with air created from a golden bellows, actuated by a magical elf, for no less than 72 hours before power-on.

Never the two shall agree.

At the end of the day, as long as the stuff comes out clean, and still works afterward, I see two feasible solutions. The day I wash a working PSU board, and the next day have a not-working PSU board, I might change my mind. To each his own.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby Deksor » 2019-11-19 @ 22:42

I do have hard water, but no problem so far as well, and I've got things I cleaned years ago, they still work flawlessly.
The last phrase is what I think as well.


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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby imi » 2019-11-20 @ 00:07

SirNickity wrote:Others will only bathe their parts in 99% IPA and scrub with a brush whose bristles are made from a virgin unicorn. Dried with air created from a golden bellows, actuated by a magical elf, for no less than 72 hours before power-on.


where could I acquire such a brush?

tbh IPA is really cheap, I just bought like 6 liters and put it in a spray bottle for light cleaning, and I bought some ESD brushes too for things I really care about... but then again, I use brake cleaner for more difficult tasks :lol:
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby HanJammer » 2019-11-20 @ 01:53

I just use compressed air for removing loose dust and dirt (and by compressed air I don't mean spray can propane from computer store - be eco friendly).
Then I use PCB Cleaner in the spray bottle and ESD safe brush. I put the board on it's side on some paper towels, spray alot of PCB Cleaner and brush it moving the dirt down.
For really dirty items I may shower them with the warm water and use the PCB Cleaner afterwards.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby Horun » 2019-11-20 @ 02:36

imi wrote: but then again, I use brake cleaner for more difficult tasks :lol:

LOL I use Windex Window cleaner for the tough greasy/oily stuff then rinse well and then a final with IPA and distilled water.

HanJammer wrote:I just use compressed air for removing loose dust and dirt (and by compressed air I don't mean spray can propane from computer store - be eco friendly).
Then I use PCB Cleaner in the spray bottle and ESD safe brush. I put the board on it's side on some paper towels, spray alot of PCB Cleaner and brush it moving the dirt down.
For really dirty items I may shower them with the warm water and use the PCB Cleaner afterwards.

PCB Cleaner ? Most I have seen here in USA are 99% ISO Alc though a few contain other cleaners too (and generic 99% IPA is way cheaper). What brand do you use ?
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby elod » 2019-11-20 @ 04:47

Alcohol will not disolve some stuff. So it really depends on the stain itself.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-11-20 @ 05:46

elod wrote:Alcohol will not disolve some stuff. So it really depends on the stain itself.


But it will melt some plastics... so there is that.

I've been using liquid dish soap, hot tap water and an old toothbrush to scrub stuff clean.

If there is corrosion, I will use vinegar of course.

After cleaning it is rinsed with hot water. Then mostly dried with my air compressor spray nozzle.

Then if I want stuff to finish drying really quickly, I just leave it out in the Sunlight for a little while. 10-15 minutes is plenty.

And yeah, you can't build up static electricity when using wet cleaning agents.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby HanJammer » 2019-11-20 @ 19:16

Horun wrote:PCB Cleaner ? Most I have seen here in USA are 99% ISO Alc though a few contain other cleaners too (and generic 99% IPA is way cheaper). What brand do you use ?


One of the local brands. Yeah, it's IPA mixed with some detergents. It isn't significantly more expensive here.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby Warlord » 2019-11-20 @ 20:24

I used to think alcohol was or alcohol based cleaners were the way to go until I tried simple green. I still think Alcohol would be useful to pour on the motherboard or PCB after you wash off the simple green with distilled water to displace the water. Alcohol just doesn't clean as well as simple green or other electronics cleaners I tried. It has to be at least 99% pure though or it would just leave residue everywhere.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby wiretap » 2019-11-22 @ 11:47

I dust off the components first with a horse-hair wooden handle brush. For tougher dirt, I use a short-bristle hog hair wooden handle brush. Then to degrease and clean, I spray it down with Freon-TF. That usually takes care of 99% of anything I've ever come across. If I do need to deep clean with submersion + natural fiber brushes, I'll use Alconox Detergent 8 + distilled water. For small localized cleaning, I'll of course use high purity IPA.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby brostenen » 2019-11-22 @ 12:06

Normally I start with cleaning the most dirty spots, with normal house hold alcohol and cue-tips.
Then I take out any socketed stuff and batteries. Anything that can come off.
Then I take it to the shower, and rinse it in cold water with the shower head.
Finally I spray some 95/98 percent IPA into sockets and slots, to get any leftover water out.
Finishing it off by placing it on top of an ESR safe surface and let it air dry for 48 hours or more.

You can also just wash it in a mix of houseold alcohol, lukewarm water and some dishwashing detergent.
Finish it of by using IPA on sockets/slots and elsewere that water can be trapped.
Then dry it for those 48 hours on ESR safe surface.

I have taken note on stuff made from pure plastic. You can get them fairly clean, by using a mix of
washing machine soap and warm water. It just eats anything dirty like body fat from fingers and stuff.
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Re: How I washed motherboards and PCBs

Postby imi » 2019-11-22 @ 12:11

wiretap wrote:I spray it down with Freon-TF.



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