Guys, thanks for the advice really helps me out but where i live its very limited and hard. anyway i got the ArctiClean (two bottle). And my new thermal paste MX4. still waiting for the cleaning cloth to arrive "SHL Lint Free Chemical Resistant Cloth"
Hmmm, that being the case, wood alcohol (methanol) would also work. As would high purity acetone or ethyl acetate (both found in nail polish remover)
I would be really leery of using a product that uses "cationic surfactants" to rinse the area. The reason being, cationic implies charge (positive charge) and also implies and aqueous solution. It is highly likely that the cations will be left behind when the solution evaporates and may interact with the metal. In an area design to conduct charge (The pins of a CPU) that could be a problem. A high purity organic solution that will evaporate clean is preferable. Methanol (wood alcohol), IPA (rubbing alcohol), Acetone and Ethyl Acetate (Nail polish remover), even high purity ethanol with all work great.
Hence why I prefaced the statement with "A high purity organic solution that will evaporate clean." It seems that in the UK, finding organic solvents of reasonable purity isn't that easy. You'd what something with at least 90% purity, but the higher the better.
I would use a paper with isopropyl alcohol. It will take a few minutes, but with patience you can clean between the pins. When you remove some paste you should use another part of the paper or a new paper.
After some research, I have found that Isopropyl Alcohol, Isopropanol (IPA), Rubbing Alcohol, all three are the same, is not sold in the UK.
I appreciate that this thread is 3 years old, but what on earth are you talking about??? What research did you do exactly? Not very good research, that much is clear.
Isopropyl Alcohol IPA (which we also call Surgical Spirit, but not exclusively and it is still know by those other names) etc has been available in the UK for decades. It's never not been available, ever.
It can be purchased in hardware stores, chemists, builder's merchants and many other high street stores, not to mention, it's widely available online from Amazon and eBay as well as many other independent online retailers.
I can only think that at some point, either eBay or Amazon had some kind of restriction on this product (alcohol maybe) and that's why you've got confused, but other than that I am completely bamboozled as to why you'd think this was even possible.
Adept and to anyone reading,
I was about to search the web for a solution to my problem, when I discovered what I think is a clever solution. I wanted to change my thermal paste on my Ryzen CPU, but when I unscrewed the CPU fan, the thing wouldn't budge. I probably pulled a little too hard, but the whole thing came out with the CPU attached to the fan, despite the clip/lever still being in place. Needless to say, it was beyond difficult to pull the CPU off the suctioned cooler. I tried the twist method, which didn't really work, and I yanked and yanked. I did not resort to tools and finally it came off, but the amount of force caused me to contort in a weird way and after the dust had settled, I had a small string of paste on the pins. I was devastated.. so I go to my other PC to search for an answer.
I wanted to share what I did.. I didn't feel tweezers would quite work, didn't want to use any solvents, and not much fits between the pins.. so after thinking and some looking around, I settled on a paper card (in this case a coupon/voucher, but basically card-stock sheet) which slid between the pins nicely and the sheet have slightly warn/fried edges, which worked perfectly to pull the paste out of the pins without damage. I just swiped through from back to front through each set of pins and wiped the sheet off between swipes. It took a bit of patients, but worked surprisingly well with little to no distress of "am I going to screw this up".
I would highly recommend this before you resort to other methods and I would also recommend swiping through the whole row of pins to ensure the card is straight, but also using paper seems much safer as it should be very unlikely to bend the pens. With that said, disclaimer: use at your own risk!