Cleaning up a smoker’s computer will gross you out!

Computer are my hobby and I am always building, upgrading, or repairing one.

I am trying to salvage parts from a machine owned by a couple of smokers (family members). It is GROSS!

Everything inside the case is coated with sticky gunk that resists canned air. I had to clean a lot of out with piles of Q-Tips. The liquid cooler radiator was so caked it took a tooth brush and solvent. The 120MM Corsair liquid cooler fan was so nasty I just ordered another one. It was worth the little over $20 to avoid having to handle it, especially since the fan may have been damaged along the way! The nice Corsair 650 watt power supply was partially disassembled by me (removed the fan cover) to I could dig all of the nastiness out with a fistful of Q-Tips and half a can of canned air.

All of the internal case fans are packed with crud and I am not bothering to bother trying to clean them. I decided to just give away the windowed Aspire case rather than scrub it out. 

So, if one is a nicotine fiend, please don’t smoke in front of your computer. Go kill your lungs in another room and avoid damaging your hardware with tarry residue that will eventually ruin your rig. Given time, it will clog everything that handles heat exchange off the hardware.

Now, I like a good cigar now and then. However, seeing what the inside of a computer looks like when smokers sit in front of it – I can’t imagine anyone inhaling cigarette smoke. One can’t take a toothbrush and solvent to one’s lungs…

Oh, and even if you don’t smoke, desktop computers build up dust inside. They act like air filters, pulling dusty air in that then passes over electrostatic charged surfaces. I have opened them up where they looked like the inside of a dryer lint trap or a used vacuum cleaner bag.

Just take the desktop outside, take the side off (two screws, typically) and blow it out with canned air. If it is a flat desktop, then the top panel is the one you remove. The only caution is to put a finger on fans when you blow them out to avoid them spinning overly fast.


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