February 15th, 2011

Akasa TIMclean

Akasa TIMclean

Introduction

We all, from time to time, need to replace our CPU cooler which means that we have to get rid of the old thermal pad/grease/paste. Instead of turning to White Spirt or tramps favourite turpentine, Akasa have made TIM Clean which has been designed for this very purpose.

Specs

Tim Clean fluid removes all thermal pads and silver based thermal grease from the base of heatsinks and CPU surface. Tim Clean is a citrus based solvent and is safe to use.

Tim always was dirty…

Akasa TIMclean

TIMclean is sent just as the basic bottle, you don’t need packaging. The bottle itself is ribbed to stop it from sliding out your hand whilst you’re trying to delicately pour it onto your heatsink. The front is a sunny vista of blue sky and green field. I think that they are going for the environmental approach.

Akasa TIMclean

The previous bottle design was much more functional rather than ecologically minded. You may be wondering why I already have a bottle of this stuff. I’ve been using TIMclean pretty much from day one. The bottles are exactly the same bar the labels; even the rear text is well nigh word for word.

TIMclean is a safe solvent that eats away at thermal compounds making cleaning a much less labour intensive task. Usually several rolls of kitchen roll is needed before the surface is clean enough. With this stuff, a couple of drops and the same number of minutes are all that’s needed.

Akasa TIMclean

The top of the bottle is covered with a dropper allowing you to measure the amount that you use, rather than you just pouring it everywhere. To protect little ‘uns from drinking the contents, the top is the usual squeeze and turn type.

The protection is needed as this stuff isn’t the safest liquid in the world. The citrus scent shouldn’t sway you; it’ll cause dryness of the skin, lung damage and blindness. Of course this is if you bathe in it; provided you are careful then there should be no problem at all. At least it’s not flammable and doesn’t contain VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds – causes atmosphere pollution) like White Spirit.

The reason why a solvent is necessary is not only to emulsify the thermal compound, but to evaporate completely, to make sure that you have a perfectly clean surface.

Testing

Testing is pretty simple, grab a heatsink coated with heatpaste a drip some TIMclean on. Wait for 3 and you’re ready to wipe it off. And that’s exactly what I did.

The first picture shows my setup heatsink with burnt on heatpaste and freshly added on top.

Akasa TIMclean

Here the TIMclean has been added and you can already see it liquefying the heatpaste.

Akasa TIMclean

After just three wipes the surface was clean, even the burnt on heatpaste was removed.

Akasa TIMclean

Annoyingly, as this bottle was full, the dropper was pointless and the contents just spurted out. As usual, it’s best to use this stuff well away from your motherboard. It would have been nice to see an actual dropper or a pipette rather than the existing solution; you only need a couple of drops to clean a heatsink. Your best bet is to squirt a little onto a paper towel and set to work that way.

Conclusion

As you can see, this definitely takes the effort out of cleaning your CPU or heatsink. It’s safer and less harmful than White Spirt, smells a whole lot better (no I didn’t sniff it…but it is nice and lemony) and is in a handy bottle rather than a huge 4 litre container.

If you change heatsink often I would grab some of this stuff. It’ll make your life that little bit easier.

Pros Cons
Cleans heatsinks to a shine Dropper needs work
Citrus scent
Good sized bottle

I’d like to thank Akasa for providing us with the cleaner.

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