Circuit boards are amongst the most significant breakthroughs that marked the beginning of electronic technology, especially in computers. However, they can corrode due to dirt, grease, or liquid spills, resulting in slow computer processing speed.
You might be scratching your head about what you can do if the processing problem relates to your PC’s circuit board. Don’t worry; we devised a few methods for you to clean circuit board corrosion from your computer and restore it to its default performance.
What is Circuit Board Corrosion?
Corrosion is the oxidation process when oxygen combines with metal, forming rust and causing the metal to break down and lose its functional chemical characteristics by producing iron oxide.
A circuit board might corrode because all computers contain openings that allow air to enter, bringing grit, debris, and other pollutants with it. It may include moist and dry contaminants that might degrade your circuit board over time.
Imagine playing a game on your computer while snacking and drinking. Out of nowhere, your virtual opponents want to lock horns with you, forcing you to react fast. Doing so causes your drink bottle to become imbalanced and fall off. You won’t be thinking at the time that this little accident can turn into a catastrophe.
However, the spills can make way to your PC circuit board. As the computer circuit boards are mostly metal and are exposed to oxygen, they can corrode with time with water. The same is true for airborne contaminants as well.
Removing Corrosion From a Circuit Board
Getting rid of corrosion from a computer circuit board needs knowledge and DIY confidence. Our every step-by-step method will let you go through the entire process with great ease.
We’ll also discuss a few cleaning safety guidelines before you carry on with the corrosion removal. So without wasting any more time, here are the three methods that guide you on how to clean circuit board corrosion from a computer.
Method #1: Applying Compressed Air
Applying compressed air to the PC circuit board through the open gaps in the CPU is a non-disruptive way of removing rust from the surface. However, there is another way of doing it.
- First, turn off your computer and unplug it from the primary power source.
- Now open the CPU case with a screwdriver.
- Confirm the signs of accumulation of corrosion and blow compressed air near the heat generator and on top of the circuit’s routes to clean the rust.
Method #2: Using Isopropyl Alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol is an ideal circuit cleansing tool since it is inexpensive and rapidly dries.
- Soak a cotton bud with Isopropyl alcohol.
- Squeeze the tip of the cotton bud to remove the excess solution.
- Now gently brush the cotton bud around your PC circuit board to remove any corrosion.
- Finally, blow away any dislodged dirt with compressed air.
Use 90% Isopropyl Alcohol for cleaning computer circuit boards for best results.
Method #3: Using Water and Baking Soda
The gently corrosive nature of the soda eliminates the corrosions without creating any harmful impacts.
- Open the CPU case and gently rub the rust using a pencil eraser.
- Mix one part baking soda with two to four parts water and wait until they become a thick paste.
- Now use a paintbrush to scrub the solution into circuit board corroded areas.
- Let the circuit board dry for 30-45 minutes and rinse it with more water afterward.
- Finally, use a microfiber cloth or hair dryer to dry your circuit board and close the CPU case.
Use distilled water as it lacks ions that carry electric current; thus, it will not harm your circuit board.
Safety Guidelines While Cleaning Circuit Boards
Cleaning a computer circuit board is not the same as cleaning your countertop, and you may damage it. However, the whole process can be safe and straightforward if done right. We expect you to adapt the following safety guidelines before attempting to clean the rust out of your PC.
- Always shut down and disconnect your computer from the main power source.
- Refer to the correct manual and right set of tools for opening up the CPU case.
- Don’t rush through the cleaning process.
- When working with isopropyl alcohol, you should wear gloves to protect your hands.
- When using solutions, ensure to leave them applied until the rust becomes soft so that you can remove the grime easily.
- If you are cleaning a laptop computer, remove the battery before commencing with the rust removal. Also, make sure the circuit board is totally dry before reinstalling the battery.
- If you still see hard corrosion after applying any of the above methods, apply more Isopropyl Alcohol and redo the steps.
In this guide about how to clean circuit board corrosion from a computer, we discussed eliminating the rust by using compressed air, Isopropyl alcohol, and a combination of distilled water and baking soda. We also discussed the safety guidelines to avoid irreparable damage to your computer while cleaning.
We hope that you don’t have to worry anymore. Now you can get rid of circuit board corrosion yourself and can save a few bucks without needing the services of a PC repair shop to do the job for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Isopropyl Alcohol can damage your computer. Therefore, it is recommended to apply the cleaner to a cloth first and then use the cloth to rub the surface of the circuit board. Also, ensure that the fabric is slightly damp with the solution rather than dripping wet.
If you notice any battery-related material on the circuit board, wipe it using a cotton ball soaked with white vinegar. Next, follow up with the Isopropyl Alcohol method. We advise you to do so periodically.
You can use hydrogen peroxide (3%-6%) or isopropyl alcohol. However, it can degrade the finishes on some surfaces, so be extra cautious while using them.