How To Clean Graphics Card? – 5 Easy Steps! [2023]

Nowadays, graphics cards have become an important component of Pc for every heavy user. This is one of the most expensive components present in the desktop computer. It is very important to maintain the GPU for long-term performance in your PC. People always ask what they can do to keep the GPU in good condition or maintain the GPU for a long time. Here, we are to give you solutions on how to clean graphics card. 

Just like any other machine, dust and dirt reduces the overall performance of a GPU. If you can keep it clean then the life-shell of the GPU increases, not only that, you will also get the maximum optimized performance from the GPU card, and the heating issue of the GPU will also reduce. Here, we will see how we can keep your GPU clean using tools and components in this “how to clean graphics card’ article.

Why it is important to keep the graphic card and PC clean?

If there is a thick layer of dirt and dust at the bottom of the GPU and the PC, it will hamper the overall system and the machine. The heat ejection cannot be done smoothly and thermal throttling occurs. This kind of thing reduces the life of the GPU and PC. So, the PC and GPU will not deliver you the performance it is capable of. 

Important Tools Required To Clean Graphics Card

  • Compressed canned air or with the blow air.
  • Isopropyl Alcohol.
  • Baby wipes.
  • Small-sized Philips head screwdriver.
  • Non-conducting thermal paste (non-diamond thermal component).

Step By Step Procedure On How To Clean Graphics Card

You have noticed that some graphics cards have a sticker on the spring-loaded CPU screws, if this is the case you will avoid your warranty when disassembling your Graphics card, so beware of that and only take it apart if it’s incredibly dirty and the warranty has expired. If you do not want to avoid the warranty, just spray the compressed air on the graphics card, then wipe it with the baby wipes. Although this method won’t be very effective for cleaning, still you will at least get rid of some of the dust.

I) Dismantle

Now, if the warranty period of the GPU or the GPU chip is extremely dirty, then you have to clean it properly. For that, you have to begin by pulling apart your card as much as you can by unscrewing all retaining screws on the back of the PCB and many sneaky retaining screws which are located near the outputs. Once you are confirmed that you have remove the screws, do not yank the card apart. In order to completely remove the cooler, you will have to disconnect this fan plug. Once the cooler and the PCB are separated, lay the cooler upside down, so the cooling base plate is pointing up. 

II) Clean With The Alcohol

The next step is optional, but we would suggest doing it if your card is a few years old. You need isopropyl alcohol which you can pick up from local shops for about $8, and a microfiber cloth which you can get from supermarkets for $2-$3. You also need some non-conductive thermal paste which you can pick up from any store for about 10 bucks. 

Now unscrew the lid of the cleaning out the open container while depending on the alcohol quickly to get a small dab of it onto the lint free cloth. Take the lint free cloth in your finger tips and try to clean the old thermal paste with the alcohol. Once the paste has at least broken off the GPU dye, use a dry cleaning cloth to clean up the residue. 

Once you are satisfied that the chip is clean, proceed to clean the dirt from the cooler by doing the same method. The next step is to take both the cooler and the piece of the outside and begin spraying them all over with the compressed air. Make sure to get all sides, especially the area where the fin stack size collects the most dust. 

III) Clean With Wipes

Once you are satisfied it is time to bring them back inside. This is where the alcohol wipes help, as you can wipe away any of the stubborn dusters or paint brush that accumulate on the fan blades and the shroud of the cooler. Do not forget to wipe every side including the back of the PCB. You can use cotton swab also. This cotton swabs also does same thing (remove dust).

If you have a blower-style cooler, it can be hard to clean so you can grab a small screwdriver and a baby wipe and plastic cover the end of the screwdriver and wipe in between each blade of the cooling fan and heat sink to keep GPU cool. After cleaning each blade of the cooling fan, you should spray the cooler again with the compressed air blower for any dust left over on any other place or in the rest heat sink. Leave the components to dry for 10 to 15 minutes, just to be cautious. 

Now is the time to apply the thermal pastes only to the GPU chip itself, if you have removed it earlier my preferred method is to draw a small X in the center. If you are happy with your cleaning job and thermal paste application.

IV) Re Assemble Process

It is time to reassemble the card in the graphics card mounting bracket. So hopefully you remember where all the screws came from. Take a step back and admire your cleaning work and hopefully you did a good job for a visible change. 

Now attach the clean graphics card to your PCIe X16 slot of the motherboard and connect the power supply to the PSU itself. Now it is time to power on and check if all the things are working perfectly or not. It should work absolutely fine.

Frequently Asked Questions:

how to clean graphics card FAQ

Can you wash a GPU?

Ans: Video card is an electrical component. You cannot wash the video card. But you can clean the video card with compressed air and alcohol.

Does cleaning your graphics card affect FPS?

Ans: When thin layer dirt is built on the graphics card it works as an insulator and causes heat to rise. When the component of the graphics card gets hot, thermal throttling occurs and this affects the FPS in your PC. So, when you cleaning a video card you will notice better FPS in your PC or Computer. 

How often should you clean your graphics card?

Ans: If your machine is placed where it gets dirty quickly then you should clean the cooling fans of your video cards at least once in every two months. 

How can I clean my graphics card at home?

Ans: You can clean the graphics card with the help of compressed air blow, alcohol, baby wipes, small-sized Philips head screwdriver in the home.


So here we come to the conclusion part. We have already discussed how to clean Graphics Card from the basics, which will help you when you take a step forward to clean the Video card on your own. It will also help you to increase the system performance and resolve the heating issues of the Graphics card.

So if you still have any doubts, then feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Also, let us know in the comment section if this blog is helpful or not. Don’t forget to check out G-Prime every week for updates.

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