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Cleaning cigarette residue


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Eyesee

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 02:09 PM

Ive got a system that is pretty skanly with cigarette residue.
To the point where the power supply wont turn on due to gunk. I tested a new one and it works.
Whats the best way to clean the gunk off the circuitry. Its retty caked on.

Also, years ago there used ot be a cable TV channel called Tech TV.
Leo Laporte said that you could use a pair of womens panty hose over the vents as a filter.
Anyone tried this?
In the beginning there was the command line.

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#2 computerxpds

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 02:15 PM

Well being my dad is a smoker and thank god he doesn't do it in the house but me and him are auto mechanics (he taught me) and he tends to clog up the fan for the heater in his truck and the only way we have found to get it off is will shop solv but you really dont want to use that as it is a solvent and will melt electronics plastic such as wire sheathing and such, but really their isnt any other way I know of getting it off. Also the panty hose method would work but the issue there is the user would have to be sure to clean it off a lot so the components dont over heat.

Edited by computerxpds, 22 February 2011 - 02:16 PM.

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#3 Eyesee

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 05:26 PM

Thanks for the reply Computerxpds

I cleaned it by really taking my time with a small brush and compressed air.
Man was it bad! Stunk up my office pretty good too and I smoke!

It has a new power supply in it and has been running fine for several hours.

Have you heard of the panty hose trick before?
I heard that drier sheets work too.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#4 caperjac

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:41 PM

Thanks for the reply Computerxpds

I cleaned it by really taking my time with a small brush and compressed air.
Man was it bad! Stunk up my office pretty good too and I smoke!

It has a new power supply in it and has been running fine for several hours.

Have you heard of the panty hose trick before?
I heard that drier sheets work too.

reading your first post i was going to suggest a small paint brush and compressed air,yes i ha e heard of the pantyhose trick ,it will work but as suggested above it will clog up quickly and need to be cleaned often .and make sure they were never worn ,as it could end up smelling worse than the cigarettes.lol

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#5 dc3

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 11:21 AM

When I was working in the PCB department of an international laser manufacturer alcohol and a soft brush was used to clean flux from pc boards and then blown dry with a noble gas. I would suggest not using acetone as it has an adverse effect on ceramic capacitors.

Formula 409 does an excellent of cleaning nicotine from surfaces, such as the case, but I wouldn't use it on board components.

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#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 12:45 PM

Geesh and I thought I was a die-hard smoker. :whistle:

I can't imagine what you were faced with, I know that my older CRT monitors used to turn brown after a few weeks of smoking around the screen area. :(

I can't imagine how many cigarettes this person must have smoked a day, but it obviously had to be pretty bad for gunk to have built up.

Perhaps you were also faced with dust sticking to the oils as well which made this task a challenge.

The best solution to use is something that evaporates quickly and does not leave a residue of its own.

I suggest using Isopropyl alcohol there is varying percentages on the formula that is anywhere between 70% to 93%.

The higher the number, the faster it will evaporate, however you would have to work fast with the higher numbers as the goo will dry up rather quickly otherwise.

Hope this helps it has worked for me many times in the past.

EDIT: Adding further information.

There are materials out there that can act as filters to filter out smoke and dust, however, those filters MUST be maintained on a weekly basis or they will hinder the air-flow, and thus cause the internal temperatures of the computer case to rise above safe operating levels.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 23 February 2011 - 01:01 PM.

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#7 Eyesee

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 01:20 PM

I used to use 409 or Monster Green on the outside of the case but sometimes it leaves it sticky.
Ive found that the easiest thing to use is magic erasers. They take off all the gunk in one pass.

When they picked up the unit yesterday they told me that it wasnt their system.
Oh yes it is, its just clean!

I have a small fan on my desk at home to blow away the smoke.
Recommended that they get one and maybe a smokeless ash tray too.

Ive sen a lot of gunked up systems before but this one was a mess!
In the beginning there was the command line.

#8 BlackSpyder

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 08:16 PM

Antec has a line of cases with filtered vents, they looked at getting some at work but decided that Standard Household Air Filters taped to the back of the existing case would be cheaper. Don't try cutting that stuff with the "good" scissors you'll just ruin the scissors .

For cleaning the gunk off of PCB's CRC makes an "Electrical Contact Cleaner" and a "MAF Cleaner" both work well for cleaning gunked Main-boards with Q-tips or other cleaning media. Never actually tried them on regular PCs but they should work well, just be sure to disconnect power and De-energize capacitors.

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#9 dpunisher

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Posted 23 February 2011 - 10:18 PM

Ditto on the alcohol. Cuts grease/tar well, and evaporates completely. 90% or better.

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#10 dc3

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:38 AM

I would suggest not diluting the alcohol, this would increase the drying time and its effectiveness to dissolve the nicotine.

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#11 MrBruce1959

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 01:56 PM

Ditto on the alcohol. Cuts grease/tar well, and evaporates completely. 90% or better.


Plus the Isopropyl alcohol can be found in any store that sells house hold products and sells for only a few dollars per bottle.

A few of the other cleaning solutions mentioned earlier have to be purchased in electronics supply shops, which not every one has access to, or they would have to be ordered on line.

Your near-by grocery store or drug store would have Isopropyl alcohol in the aisle where medical supplies are found.

As dc stated above do not dilute the formula.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 25 February 2011 - 08:07 PM.

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#12 joggiwagga

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 03:01 PM

Have you heard of the panty hose trick before?
I heard that drier sheets work too.


I'm not sure if I'd trust drier sheets as an air filter, they certainly were not designed with cleansing the air in mind, especially with the chemicals on them that are meant to come off onto your clothes. You can rub some types of drier sheets on pets to kill ticks, so that really sounds to me like something I wouldn't want to filter my air with. Only use I've ever heard of drier sheets being used as an 'air filter' is as a spoof by stoners, and I've got no clue how effective it is beyond it theoretically making the immediate area smell less incriminating.




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