Solved Compressed air or vacuum - which is better for cleaning a PC

June 19, 2012 at 14:06:43
Specs: Windows 7
which is better to blow out a computer: canned air or compressor/vacuum?

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✔ Best Answer
June 19, 2012 at 18:10:21
I took a few schools on this. Compressed air can create ESD damage. I know everyone does it. The two schools I had on ESD control assumed we had access to a esd safe vacuum.

Two issues with compressed air or canned air. The junk you blow out goes back into the room. You didn't clean anything, you moved it. Unless you did this outside. A company can't allow that.

Two is parts could blow off. Small jumper or other small parts or dust could fly off into your eyes or simply lost.

Last is the breathing the dust. That is really three.

Almost nobody has an esd vacuum. One can adapt a common vacuum but the rule is to reduce air speeds. Static is built up in higher air speeds. Plastic is usually bad. It creates static unless it is a special type.

A shop type vacuum where the air can be turned around and a paper end put on may be a choice if you are outside. It has lower air speeds and blows the dust and not blasts the dust.

In any case be careful.

Look at the msds on the cans. I know they claim safe but if you read further it is a type of freon generally that will be banned in a few years.

Hang up and live.



#1
June 19, 2012 at 14:15:46
Just go to Walmart/or a hardware store, and pick up a can of compressed/canned air, that is your best bet.

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#2
June 19, 2012 at 14:22:54
always use a can of compressed air never use a vacumm .i have also used a compresser before when its real bad i take outside with case removed and blow it out

Davidw


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#3
June 19, 2012 at 16:43:42
Never use a regular vacuum:

http://www.howtogeek.com/57870/ask-...

"Channeling the spirit of jboy..."


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Related Solutions

#4
June 19, 2012 at 18:10:21
✔ Best Answer
I took a few schools on this. Compressed air can create ESD damage. I know everyone does it. The two schools I had on ESD control assumed we had access to a esd safe vacuum.

Two issues with compressed air or canned air. The junk you blow out goes back into the room. You didn't clean anything, you moved it. Unless you did this outside. A company can't allow that.

Two is parts could blow off. Small jumper or other small parts or dust could fly off into your eyes or simply lost.

Last is the breathing the dust. That is really three.

Almost nobody has an esd vacuum. One can adapt a common vacuum but the rule is to reduce air speeds. Static is built up in higher air speeds. Plastic is usually bad. It creates static unless it is a special type.

A shop type vacuum where the air can be turned around and a paper end put on may be a choice if you are outside. It has lower air speeds and blows the dust and not blasts the dust.

In any case be careful.

Look at the msds on the cans. I know they claim safe but if you read further it is a type of freon generally that will be banned in a few years.

Hang up and live.


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#5
June 19, 2012 at 19:47:29
I use a can of compressed air. Be warned though, while I have done this on quite a few computers without issue, I did it to a really old machine and a working power supply suddenly no longer worked. unfortunately it was a compact case with a smaller than normal power supply so all of the older ones I had around would not fit. I assume that I either blew some of the dust from a benign place to one that effected a circuit, or the air pressure may have loosened a small component.
I will probably still use the compressed air cans, but I will be more careful about how close the nozzle is to lessen the chance of this happening again.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#6
June 20, 2012 at 05:26:00
The problem with any vacuum, including an EDC vacuum, is that it will not adequately clean out all the dust. Especially the heat sinks. I understand that in a business environment blowing may not be a practical solution.

When I blow out cases I also blow out the power supply from both ends. That is usually the dirtiest part of the computer. A vacuum can't get that dust.

You just need to use some common sense when using compressed air. When using a compressor you need to verify there is little water in the storage tank.

I have been using compressors on computers for over 15 years and never had any problems.

I don't blow them out in the room they are located in. I have a wood shop and usually do it there.


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#7
June 20, 2012 at 09:57:45
We have cabinets that have both low speed air and a vacuum system with a hepa filter. These are really the best ways to clean out stuff. It is kind of like a sand blast cabinet where you use rubber gloves to access inside a windowed box.

Hang up and live.


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#8
June 20, 2012 at 11:50:57
Hi Doll,

for decades I have used a hairdryer set to cold and maximum blast, and never a problem. Also a lot cheaper than buying cans of compressed air.

Sometimes a long thin brush is needed to release the dustballs.

As advised above, do it outside, otherwise 'er indoors will kill you!

Good Luck - Keep us posted.


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#9
June 20, 2012 at 15:27:56
And the fins on the coolers straighten out. :)

Hang up and live.


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#10
June 26, 2012 at 18:40:38
wow, I didn't know this subject could be so complicated. Thanks for all the replies and a ton of new info (for me).

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