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What is the best thermal paste alternatives? This is the question that may arise in many minds when the thermal paste is not available or an unexpected situation occurred.
Thermal paste is a vital component in the computer world. We need it to keep the processor cool and active. It is a material that fills in the microscopic gaps on the CPU surface and increases the heat transfer rate to the maximum from the CPU to the CPU cooler.
Most of the time the assemblers and technicians forgot to carry it and apply it though it is necessary to apply thermal paste during reassembling the PC and changing the cooler or CPU. So the importance of thermal paste within computer components is high.
But when the thermal paste is absent and badly needed, then we have to think about the alternative to the thermal paste. Many things are available that we can use as thermal paste substitutes. You have many options to choose the best thermal paste alternative.
Let’s discuss some possible ways of preparing thermal paste alternatives and other materials to be used as thermal paste substitutes.
Thermal paste Alternatives
There are lots of thermal paste alternative like From chocolate to toothpaste. Those things are available in our home and provide good result as thermal paste alternative. For emergency we may need to remove thermal paste from CPU or GPU. After that, we need alternative of thermal paste.
Some of the items and usage methods are described bellow:
Chocolate and Hazelnut spread cream
Chocolate and Hazelnut spread cream is our favorite with toast and bread in the breakfast. But it has extra benefits also that we never noticed before.
You can use these as thermal paste alternatives. At first, take the chocolate or hazelnut cream to the syringe, you can tale Nutella also. Then use it on the CPU to keep it cool.
Remember that this is a temporary solution of thermal paste substitute. Be careful when you are buying Chocolate or hazelnut, if the density of the cream is so low, try to avoid it.
Chocolate or Nutella with high density works well on the CPU to transfer heat to the CPU cooler. For long-term use, these alternatives are not good at all.
Toothpaste is the most available alternative. We can have it any time. This is another thermal paste alternative. A good option during an emergency. It is useful to cool a CPU that does not get the heat too much.
Toothpaste gets dry too fast. So this is not preferable all the time. Colgate Fresh mint is good comparing with others. You can also use cold fluoride. The procedure is the same as others.
Fill up the syringe and use a very small amount like pea or grain of rice on the CPU and install the cooler as well before getting the toothpaste dry.
Toothpaste is preferable for home use PC, which is not get heated too much. But this alternative is just for emergency and temporary use only.
Toothpaste and Vaseline mixture is the more efficient option than toothpaste alone. Toothpaste should be taken 80% and Vaseline 20%. This mixture is worth using as an alternative to the thermal paste.
Aluminum powder and Vaseline
Another easy thermal paste substitute is the mixture of Aluminum and Vaseline. You have to take your time before preparing it. It takes time. You need to blend these two materials at least for 10 minutes.
At first, take 50% aluminum and 50% Vaseline and start blending them for ten minutes. After that, you can add more aluminum powder to the mixture depends on the density of the mixture.
Vaseline oil is good material here, it is a volatile and high boiling point. Smooth aluminum power makes it a cool alternative to thermal paste.
Diaper rash cream
Many diaper rash creams are available in the market. Zinc oxide is a good material that is here in this rash cream which is used during making the commercial thermal paste.
You can use it for 5 to 6 months. It works very well as a good thermal paste alternative. After cleaning the CPU surface with alcohol you can use this cream. Use it as a thin layer on the CPU to keep it cool.
This might be a good solution among many, but remember that all these are alternative options and use for a temporary purpose not permanent.
Another benefit is the tube of cream, the tube works like a syringe here which reduces the extra workload.
This is a very good and valid alternative to the thermal paste. It has elasticity so never use it for long period. We never recommend it to use as a thermal paste if any other option is available.
It breaks by itself easily and lasts for long. Try to avoid it though it’s a valid alternative. You have to use a syringe, then fill up it with beeswax and then apply it like others.
Sealing wax is another good solution. We use it to seal the confidential envelope, Commercial documents, and important files. Its thickness and density are not so high, but it works so well as a thermal paste alternative.
You may use more layers to gain its optimized benefit. This solution is melted, so easily fill up all microscopic holes on the CPU surface and increase the heat transfer rate to keep the CPU cool.
This is also a temporary solution of thermal paste.
Ketchup and Mustard
Ketchup and Mustard is a very common thing in our house, we always have it in our freeze. These are very good thermal paste but for a very short time. Need to reapply again and again to keep it work.
When we need a thermal paste alternative for a very short period like one or two days, then we can use it as a substitute for thermal paste. We do not recommend it to use if you have an alternative option.
Cheese spreads and butter
These two things are not good as thermal paste alternatives. These are melting materials and start melting too fast. So it will be a mess to clean it properly.
Cheese has air bubbles so it is worse than butter where butter does not contain it. We do not prefer these two materials as an alternative to the thermal paste.
Hair creams and gel
Hair cream and gel are a good alternative to the thermal paste. These are safe and available. Sticky in nature which is good for thermal paste substitute.
But the problem is that the hair creams and gel start to break down when the CPU starts to warm up. So these options are not that good but okay with an emergency need.
This option is pretty better than the previous three options. It is great as a thermal paste alternative. It does not melt with heat. The working principle is good. Only when the CPU gets too hot and produces extra heat, then it starts melting.
For few weeks it is the best option in the household findings. Using procedures are all same explained before. Be careful, do not use expired hair wax. Expired one could melt so fast and will not work properly.
This is an interesting option. We don’t have it near available always. You need to buy it. It works well as a thermal paste substitute. But the most important thing we need to remember about this is to use it so fast.
It dries so fast even faster than the original thermal paste. So you have to install the cooler so fast after using it on the CPU surface. Without wasting any time you have to do the whole process perfectly.
Banana is considered as another alternative to the thermal paste. Banana is not a good option at all. It cannot fill up the gaps and is bad at transferring heat to the cooler.
But if you mix the aluminum powder with it and use it between the CPU and cooler, then it may work. We need to make the mixture properly otherwise banana is alone a worse option indeed.
Some people use the moisturizing cream as a thermal paste substitute. But it is not that good idea. It melts when the heat comes. We should avoid all those options which melt through the heat comes. In summary, these options can harm in some cases and degrades the metal also.
There are more options available people use in case of emergency like American cheese, Yellow cheese, Card, Baby medicines etc. All these are temporary options. Some last for few days and some lasts for few weeks. Only the original thermal paste can last for years after years.
How to choose the best thermal paste alternative
Thermal paste is manufactured by using high-quality silicone and zinc oxide. Some other brand uses more ingredients like liquid metal, but silicone and zinc oxide is common. Similarly, you should choose thermal paste which has these elements.
At least zinc oxide is worthy to transfer heat. Thermal paste works as a thermal bridge between CPU and heat sink. Original thermal paste can do the actual task as a bridge, no alternative is worthy.
But in the emergency, we need to use alternatives. We already discussed many households and available alternatives to thermal paste which people use in an emergency.
Now we will discuss some thermal paste substitutes which are worthy as an alternative to thermal paste and works almost the same as thermal paste:
Thermal paste vs thermal tape
This is a vital topic to discuss nowadays. Thermal tape is the best alternative to the thermal paste. It has many benefits. But when talking about Thermal paste vs thermal tape, then we have to say that thermal paste of course the better solution.
It fills up the microscopic gaps perfectly and transfers heat smoothly. On the other hand, the thermal pad does the same thing but cannot fill up the gaps perfectly, so the heat transfer rate is lower than the thermal paste.
Thermal paste vs toothpaste
This is a common question in our minds. Though toothpaste is a good alternative it dries up so fast. It will stop working within few days. You need to replace toothpaste with the original thermal paste.
We should not have that in mind about thermal paste vs toothpaste, because toothpaste cannot take place of thermal paste.
Thermal paste vs liquid metal
Another important term that we need to clear is thermal paste vs liquid metal. These two materials are the same in their working nature but their composition and properties are different.
Gallium is the main component of liquid metal. It is a soft metal with a high boiling and low melting point. So, liquid metal works like thermal paste in the same manner but it is different from thermal paste.
Thermal paste vs a thermal compound
Let’s talk about a thermal paste vs a thermal compound. Though we consider these two are same, but the different brand has different manufacturing process and materials in it. In summary, these two things are the same. So do not be bothered by thinking the term thermal paste vs thermal compound.
Thermal paste vs thermal grease
Another myth is in our mind with thermal grease is to compare with thermal paste as like thermal paste vs thermal grease.
Thermal paste, thermal grease, thermal goop all are the same thing. So keep yourself far from the topic of thermal paste vs thermal grease.
Thermal paste is a necessary material when assembling or repairing a PC. Now it is used in smartphones, television, video games consoles and many other devices that produce heat and need to keep cool.
Without the thermal paste or any alternative, the air bubble will cause a problem and create a trap to the way of heat transfer. As a result, many accidents like a short circuit, CPU damage or any part melting may happen.
The thermal paste alternative has the same importance as thermal paste. We use an alternative in case of emergency when the original is absent. You may use many thermal paste alternatives around you and gather knowledge about those from the web also.
Hand-made methods are not good and it reduces the durability of the CPU and deletes the warranty as well. The cost of original and good thermal paste is low, anyone who has a PC capable to purchase it.
So why so much worry to find and search for alternatives. The alternatives can burn the microprocessor. However, the main target is always to use an appropriate cooling of the system. If not, then an additional cooling system is required.
The ventilation of the system is a must to pass the heat of the inner system. In case of extreme emergency, toothpaste can be used as a temporary solution. Toothpaste is available in every house and is easy to use.
After buying the thermal paste from the market, you should clean the old dry solution with a cotton swab and alcohol perfectly then apply the thermal paste. Real thermal paste also dries out, and it must be re-applied after one or two years.
We never recommend using alternatives to the thermal paste. Alternatives are not good always. But this article provides you the great knowledge of all possible alternatives of thermal paste that could be used as an alternative.
Thermal paste has a vital role in a computer system. So we should not forget to buy it with other needy things in our day-to-day life. And in that case, we will never need any thermal paste alternative.