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PC hardware enthusiast der8auer uses a dishwasher to clean his components

By Polycount ยท 30 replies
Oct 15, 2018
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  1. If you're a PC enthusiast, there's one bit of knowledge you probably hold in pretty high regard: don't get your expensive hardware wet, ever. It's age-old wisdom that's been passed down from PC builder to PC builder for years, and for the most part, it's pretty solid advice.

    However, YouTuber and overclocking enthusiast der8auer is turning that classic warning on its head. On Sunday, the content creator published a 13-minute video dubbed "The Dishwasher Debate," in which he discusses a somewhat controversial concept: washing precious PC parts in the dishwasher.

    As it turns out, not only is treating your motherboard or video card like a plate or spoon relatively harmless, but it can also be the best cleaning method in specific circumstances. In der8aeur's case, he coated his motherboard and video card in Vaseline to prevent condensation from building up while using liquid nitrogen for extreme overclocking purposes.

    If you've used Vaseline (or other similar materials) before, you're undoubtedly aware of how difficult it is to get the stuff off of even a completely flat or smooth surface. That difficulty presumably increases quite a bit when the jelly-like material is applied to something with as many cracks and crevices as a piece of PC hardware.

    For der8aeur, using a dishwasher is simply the easiest way to clean the gunk off of his components between overclocking sessions. Apparently, there's no risk of damaging your PC hardware with water if it isn't plugged in.

    "We could soak this [video card] completely in water, it would survive," der8aeur explains. "It's not a problem, as long [as] nothing is turned on, as long as [it's] not connected to power, the dishwasher is not a problem."

    "We could soak this [video card] completely in water, it would survive," der8aeur explains. "It's not a problem, as long [as] nothing is turned on, as long as [it's] not connected to power, the dishwasher is not a problem."

    However, he does advise anyone who wants to try this method of hardware cleaning to remove all "unnecessary components" (such as heatsinks), remove the motherboard's battery, and protect the CPU socket with its dedicated cover. Furthermore, when you place your hardware in the dishwasher, you shouldn't add soap or other cleaning chemicals; water is all that you need.

    After putting a motherboard, a stick of RAM, and his video card into the dishwasher, der8aeur turned the machine on for about an hour. After noticing that some Vaseline was still on his components, he put them back in for a few more runs (he ran the dishwasher for roughly five hours in total).

    Sure enough, after pulling the components back out, they were seemingly free of any Vaseline residue. Better yet, they were all completely functional after he left them to dry overnight.

    While we certainly wouldn't advise our readers to try the "dishwasher method" at home, it does appear to be reasonably safe if done correctly. Furthermore, if you try it, you may end up with a pretty funny story to tell your gaming buddies afterward.

    Permalink to story.

  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,057   +1,491

    Heh...cold day in hell when you see me putting my $3,000 worth of computer parts in a dishwasher.

    An air spray can and soft-bristle work just fine, thank you very much.
  3. godrilla

    godrilla TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +34

    What about oxidation and rust?
    Eugenia likes this.
  4. godrilla

    godrilla TS Enthusiast Posts: 64   +34

    For Vaseline you probably need some surfactant.
  5. Roboyt0

    Roboyt0 TS Rookie

    I have washed motherboards and graphics cards in my sink before, it is perfectly safe as the article states. Anyone who is a water cooling enthusiast has probably dealt with a leak before. Sometimes you end up dismantling everything to ensure it is all dry before you go at it again.

    Some may think this is dumb, but the extra effort is worth the year round excellent temps and silent max performance computing at all times.
    Charles Olson, VeeTeeF and Toju Mikie like this.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,991   +3,404

    Did this decades ago, but it was a last ditch effort to clean a motherboard that had over an inch of dust and grime on it (yes, I was amazed it even ran). It worked well but precautions I used were NO high heat or hot drying afterwards, NO drying agents that can leave behind a film, and the board was allowed to air dry for 48 hours. What can I say, the board was an old 8088 and believe it or not, it's still running to this day. It drives an old industrial HVAC system which is also still running. No doubt some day it will all need to be replaced but the owner & friend of mine still loves showing off the old computer, especially to his younger new employee's that have never seen anything like it! LOL
  7. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,540   +348

    Interesting! Obviously, der8aeur demonstrated that such a thing was possible, but even as a relatively hardcore PC gamer myself, I still had my doubts - long-term damage was one of them, but if your board is still running, that's pretty darn impressive.

    ...still not gonna stick my parts in the dishwasher anytime soon, but hey. Good to know it's on the table if worst comes to worst.
  8. Stark

    Stark TS Addict Posts: 102   +94

    Also if there is any irremovable "gunk" I would rather take Isopropyl alcohol and a brush....
    Eugenia likes this.
  9. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,389   +296

    for Vaseline, you probably need... what is der8auer doing, having a relationship with his motherboard? ;)
    well, extreme over clockers do extreme things...
    TempleOrion likes this.
  10. poohbear

    poohbear TS Maniac Posts: 254   +159

    I tried this with my mobo long ago in the shower but it actually died. Maybe I didn't take out the battery? Or put the cpu protection as they suggest, or maybe I didn't let dry enough?(gave it 24 hrs). Who knows, but I've never tried such a thing again. Period.
  11. flipp3r

    flipp3r TS Member

    We've been washing stuff under hot water for years. If you have a liquid cooler leak in a tower then that stuff get's everywhere (leaving stains & starting corrosion). We do pull the video cards apart 1st. Air compressor and heat gun & your done!

    I like the idea of a dishwasher. Should also get things pretty dry...
  12. Dannlh

    Dannlh TS Rookie

    Old news. Small electronics manufacturers have used this method for decades to wash the flux off of boards. And I know for a fact one place had a dishwasher to do this. BUT there are components you don't want to do this to! Specifically anything with steel in it that may corrode. Usually things like jacks and connectors are installed after the washing.
    Eugenia and Emayekayee like this.
  13. Humza

    Humza TechSpot Staff Posts: 177   +136

    Amen Brother!
  14. fktech

    fktech TS Maniac Posts: 484   +125

    Old tube TV boards were cleaned much the same way once the tubes were removed. The trick was drying them completely before plugging .
    Charles Olson likes this.
  15. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,808   +1,325

    I don't see the benefit. I use my air compressor to blow the dust out and it looks like it's new. It also takes me two minutes to do it.
  16. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,109   +1,531

    Here are most of the metals used in a circuit board: Gold, Silver, Platinum, Palladium, Copper, Nickel, Tantalum, Aluminum, Tin, and Zinc.

    The only concern might be the Copper. I do not know if the Copper is mixed in an alloy though.
    Charles Olson likes this.
  17. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,109   +1,531

    This is not about removing dust. He has to remove the gunk residue from the boards after he has finished his extreme overclocking.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  18. fluffydestroyer

    fluffydestroyer TS Enthusiast Posts: 28   +15

    Just make sure it dries fast and rust won't be a problem
    TempleOrion likes this.
  19. DylanMilesT

    DylanMilesT TS Member

    I've been doing this with my keyboards for years. As long as you thoroughly dry your components, there's nothing to worry about.
    Charles Olson and TempleOrion like this.
  20. NicktheWVAHick

    NicktheWVAHick TS Addict Posts: 143   +111

    Less concerned about my electronics getting damaged.....more concerned about ruining my marriage.
  21. Mithan

    Mithan TS Enthusiast Posts: 68   +43

    How do you deal with oxidization/rust?
  22. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 847   +282

    I think the other comments highlighted what I consider to be the biggest issue with this method, rusting.

    I do not think I'll be putting any of my hardware through the wash anytime soon. It would have to be a pretty rare situation like this for me to even consider it.
  23. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Maniac Posts: 337   +211

    I would only see this being an issue if you left your parts in the dishwasher for extended periods of time. Simply put, if I were doing this, I'd be drying my parts as soon as the dishwasher finished to prevent something like this.
    Charles Olson and TempleOrion like this.
  24. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,861   +1,142

    Won't hurt it a bit as long as their in NO CURRENT in the circuit.
    In fact, you can put your whole computer in a tank of PURE H2O and
    it will work. "Water" on the other hand, has so many chemicals, minerals
    and what not, it is what makes water conductive.
  25. Erik Vianna

    Erik Vianna TS Rookie

    I have washed motherboards this way before when compressed air wasn't enough. Afterwards I usually use air on the parts and let it dry for a day under a heating lamp(used mostly for painting) or something like that. It fixed my old Geforce 3 TI that accidentally got thermal paste around the chip which caused all sort of graphic glitches. That was like over ten years ago.

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