Getting the smell out of a PC

  WhiteTruckMan 17:08 05 Dec 2005

I have recently purchased (very cheaply) a pc that I am breaking up and using the bits for upgrading some systems. it works ok, but selled a bit when running. when I opened the case I was greeted with a truly awfull stink-like a busy pubs ashtrays that havnt been emptied in a month. It came out of a house of V heavy chain smokers and as I am a non smoker it made me give a little heave at first whiff. I've stripped the case down to bare metal and will chuck it in the sink. various other bits will get a wipe down with a damp cloth and left to dry, and I might just junk the fans even though they run smoothly enough, but the M/B and psu concern me. I can see the layer of nicotine on the board (and the graphics card too) but am wondering what to do about it. I have a bottle of alcohol which I have used on some stuff in the past with sucess, but am a little wary of applying it to the board in case it just washes the gunge into somewhere inaccessable.

THe psu also smells the same, with a tacky-and-covered-in-dust appearance, inside and out.

Any thoughts, anyone?


  Freddog™ 17:14 05 Dec 2005

OK Definetly clean it but BE CAREFUL! If it gets in the tiniest bit damp dry it before you put it in! If not you coul have some nice homemade fireworks!

  johnnyrocker 17:17 05 Dec 2005

i find wd40 to be a good pcb cleaner together with a paint brush.


  Hamish 17:50 05 Dec 2005
  jack 22:20 05 Dec 2005

A long job- Alcohol or alcohol based window cleaner will clear the gunge- Neutrodol Spray herhaps but after all that leave in an airy place till next Easter.

  WhiteTruckMan 13:04 06 Dec 2005

Well I think I've cracked it.
Last night I stripped it down to its components. the chassis went into the kitchen sink. SWMBO was most amused to see me apparently drowning a PC!. Then was most not amused to see me using her good pan scrubber on the inside of the case.

The outsides of dvd, floppy,& hdd (but not the electronics side) was wiped with a damp cloth, as was the ribbons. all fans scrubbed with a wet toothbrush. The aluminium heatsink was by far and away the worst, being almost totally clogged, but that just got taken outside and blown out, then dunked & washed. PSU was blown out with compressed air, then wiped down. I chickened out on the MB and gently scrubbed it with a damp chammy (chamois?) leather. ditto the graphics card.

After drying overnight I threw it together and it all works fine, with just a very faint smell, nothing like the original niff. It will now be broken up for the parts as intended, but I was wondering about putting a block type air freshner inside afterwards. It strikes me as not a bad idea to have your pc pumping out nice smelling air. Anyone have any thoughts about this before I do it?


BTW I've decided to mark this as resolved as I have solved my original query, even thopugh I asked another question

  jack 16:44 06 Dec 2005

Now you have started something
Watch out for PC smellies from PCW /your favoutite online shop/computer fairs.
They will be of course normal smellies but with an IT inspired lable and twice the price.

  bloo meeny 21:35 06 Dec 2005

If you mean the gel type of air freshener, which dry out as the fragrance is released, you may not want to fit one INSIDE the case.
Why not simply place it next to the case, but away from any strong fan exhaust?

I used one once on top of a small domestic fan/ionizer unit and an air freshener that would normally have lasted over 6 weeks lasted around 10 DAYS !!!
I assume due to the increased airflow over it.

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