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cleaning out the dust

royarcher

Very Senior Member
Is it safe to say use a can of air to blow the dust out from the inner workings of a router. I realize that sounds dumb but how close to the air vents can you get
eg can you hold the can right up to the air vents and if not what's a safe distance??
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture

royarcher

Very Senior Member
Unless you keep the can perfectly upright and you don't shake it, at all, it isn't safe. Liquid gunk will be expelled.

Use a product like this instead.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U01YVYK/?tag=snbforums-20
I didn't think of that but I should thanks for the heads up. I did see some units like the one in the link you posted. I'm glad I at least had the forethought to ask you guys before ordering anything. Thanks l&ld
 

wouterv

Very Senior Member
In my junior years I once "cleaned" an electronic device with compressed air from a ship system.
The dust was gone and the device was nice and shiny of the oil mist that came with the air.
It took me a while to remove the traces of my learning curve, luckily I managed to fix the thing (with 3 hours warranty) and leave the ship with a signed service report.
 

dosborne

Very Senior Member
If you do used canned / compressed air to blow out the dust, be sure to disconnect the power. The air from some of those cans is (literally) freezing cold and if sprayed on a hot circuit board, can cause damage. Use short bursts. Also, use only electronic grade air cans as they (theoretically) don't have as much residue as non-electronic-safe varieties.
 
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heysoundude

Very Senior Member
What is sold as "Canned air" electronics cleaner is R-152a or 1, 1-difluoroethane. it is a coolant similar to R-134a (that's 1,1,1,2-tetrafluoroethane, if memory serves) that is the coolant for automotive Air Conditioning (in fact, I've seen some professionals with the correct equipment to recycle what comes in cars replace R134 with 152 and they see an uptick in their mileage AND colder vent temperatures on less coolant, but that's another matter). They're both a LOT less damaging to the environment than R-12 Freon, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't use caution when using it to blow dust etc out of crevices or air passages. I wouldn't even use it indoors - fluorine and ethane don't sound like they're too good for the lungs; probably about as good as a pack of ciggies.

So, yeah, keep the can upright so you don't spray the coolant itself on anything that might react negatively, and do it in a well ventilated area - if you choose to Use it at all.
 

bbunge

Very Senior Member
Back in the good old days the "caned air" was nothing more than refrigerant. Then there was the issue with the ozone layer and lots of things changed. I suppose the cans of air today are environmentally safe but there is nothing safer than a soft brush and a drinking straw that you blow through (just watch the spit). For old dusty PC's I take them to the drive and use the leaf blower.
If you should have any old cans of air check the label. If you see it contains R-12, refrigerant 12, dichloro something or other I recommend you not use it and find a way to dispose safely. Refrigerants released in contained spaces can cause heart and breathing issues besides breaking down into poison gas in the presence of hot objects.
Be safe!
 

wouterv

Very Senior Member
Vacuum and blowing in wat ever way, can cause another issue (learned by example): you easily make those tiny jumpers disappear:
1595861729755.png

In real about 10 times smaller than shown.
At the end you wonder why the thing doesn't work as supposed.
Luckily the router does not have the risk for that issue.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
A vacuum can collect an ion charge from the inrushing air and discharge it to/from whatever you touch, so don't let the nozzle touch electronics and their chassis. Generally not advisable to use a vacuum unless you can avoid this potential ESD.

OE
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@CaptainSTX, look up the product I linked in post 2. A vacuum is worse by far for electronics and in my experience, does a worse job of cleaning too.
 

Hawk

Senior Member
I am bit extreme when cleaning router, but I just unplug and wash with running tap water and let it dry for few minutes and plug back and everything is working fine. Key is let it dry thoroughly, you can also use hair dryer on cool setting to speed up.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@Hawk unless you're also putting the router into the oven for a few hours at 100F to totally remove all the moisture after your router shower, your post is just funny.

Particularly the hairdryer part. Why not just get rid of the dust in the first place without water by using a proper tool (not a blow dryer)?
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
A vacuum is worse by far for electronics
Just the opposite. Techs from big name companies I worked with over years carry a vacuum cleaner with soft brush attachments. It's part of their standard equipment. It's used on everything with vents, fans, ports, connectors, close to filters, etc. You don't want to force dust particles deeper in tight spots. Compressed air is used only on external components like keyboards, sometimes on removed server face plates. You need to escape the garage practices @L&LD, seriously. You don't need to apply your common sense and reinvent the wheel every single time.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
What techs do from 'big name companies' isn't what is the best for electronics. Only for their bottom dollar.

Common sense is needed more, not less.
 

Hawk

Senior Member
@Hawk unless you're also putting the router into the oven for a few hours at 100F to totally remove all the moisture after your router shower, your post is just funny.

Particularly the hairdryer part. Why not just get rid of the dust in the first place without water by using a proper tool (not a blow dryer)?
Normally I do use light duster with air puffer, which is used to clean camera lenses, I was feeling bit adventurous to try it out. Yes, I should return my old method do job properly first time. Gotta admit it was interesting experience.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Tech companies with lifetime warranties on hardware? No, mythical, just like unicorns.
 

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