Fix Apple Hardware Problems with Deep Cleaning

Originally published at: https://tidbits.com/2019/07/03/fix-apple-hardware-problems-with-deep-cleaning/

When was the last time you cleaned your Apple devices? Many common hardware issues can be resolved with a lens brush, cotton swab, rubbing alcohol, and a little elbow grease.

Good article. Just knowing a spot can have problems is often helpful. I have used tootpicks, swabs, and rubbing alcohol as you suggested (90% is available BTW).

That’s what I always buy, but someone bought a stockpile of 70% a couple of years ago that I’m still working through.

This is all good stuff, but I feel like the lead image should have been at least a Mac! Not a Dell PC???

We couldn’t find a Mac that dirty! :slight_smile:

I had issues with my lighting port on my iPhone. I tried cleaning it with compressed air and even with a GUM Proxabrush, but to no avail.

I ended up going to the local Apple store to see if one of the geniuses could fix the problem The greeter asked me what the issue was, took a look at it, then pulled out a bent paperclip and pulled out a dust ball that was clogging the works.

Since then, I just use a bent paperclip to clean out the lighting port on my iPhone. Maybe the greeter was using a special Apple brand of bent paperclip.

Josh, which sensor(s) did you use for the CPU temp? When I click on the iStat Temps in the menu bar, I get a whole list of which there are 7 CPU readings: CPU Cores 1, 2, 3, & 4 individual readings then just a CPU Cores reading (average of preceding 4 sensors?), a CPU Heatsink reading, and a CPU Proximity reading. Also, what was your incoming air reading?

I always look at CPU Cores. I don’t know what the incoming air reading was, but my iMac is under an AC vent, so the air is generally pretty cold this time of year.

OK. Unfortunately, the only A/C vent is right over the door leading out of the house at the other end of the room! Plus all the ducting is above the ceiling and any A/C air going through the ducts isn’t very cold by the time it reaches the vent

Oh, I have my sensors set to display Fahrenheit and the CPU Cores reading is currently about 120 degrees

Month or so ago I started having some flakiness. Around the time I was setting up a drive for win10. Long story short, it point me to overheating issues, something I have kinda ignored for the close to 10 years I have had my 2010 cMP. First, most of the foloks I communicate with ALL use ºC, so I have everything set up that way. There is an awful lot to know/learn about hse issues, my CPU seems to be in a very good range but the Northridge chip seems to run hotter than it should.

The GOOD news is that my cMP has a separate “processor” tray that is not a part of the “motherboard.” Far as I know, there are no heat issues involved with the backplane (what may think of as a motherboard). These “processor trays” are definitely available for purchase and seemingly in good supply and not terribly expensive. I am awaiting one I purchased before I go to opening mine up to see if there are any correctable issues with my Northbridge.

Dennis, I am sitting at ambient 86ºF, doing light duty my CPU is running 37.2ºC/99ºF. I DO have my fans spooled up over default (I use Macs Fan Control as it reads all of the sensors and allow for auto setting of the fan’s RPM based on user selectable criteria (meaning a range of temps I choose for any of the 5 major fans, PS, PCI, Intake, Exhaust and BOOST (the latter 3 are all aimed at the processor tray).

Interesting. When I looked at the Fan Control on my iMac I have the following options: Default, Medium, High.Then there are 3 sliders: CPU, HDD, ODD with the following minimum settings respectively: 1200, 1100, 1000 but I don’t know what those numbers signify, maybe fan rpm?

I know a LOT about the cMP and it’s fans and such, what machine do you have? I use something called Macs Fan Control, it lists the temps at all the sensors and the rpms of the fans. What I like about it is one can set a kind of threshold for the fans to kick in. When just doing web stuff, my fans are very quiet, not so much when I game because the fans up the roms to deal with the heat range I set for each one.

I just fixed a stuck iPhone mute rocker switch by going at it with a toothbrush. Found the solution on Youtube. I had taken the phone apart already to try to fix it. No need. And it didn’t look even slightly dirty either on the inside or the outside.

I’m regularly in that technician’s position, I have lost count on the number of times I have a fixed a “it won’t charge” problem on an iOS device by cleaning the lint out of a lightning port. So yes, often cleaning it, can fix it.

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Well and good to be sure the vents are clear, however, the electricity running through the board and the fan blades are dust magnets and the mother of dust bunnies. Blowing the system out with compressed air has been the time honored way to clean computers and great if you can open them up. However on a closed device like a laptop or modern iMac it is best to blow and vacuum at the same time or you will not break the dirt hardware bond. A screaming shop vac at the discharge port and 40 psi compressed air at the inlet. Don’t persist as you will be spinning the fan much faster than normal. That said, it is much better to open the device to clean it and if it is over heating order a new fan before opening the device and just change the fan while cleaning.

Ahh, but let us not forget those classic magnets for dust and grime: mice, keyboards, and etc. When my screen pointer started acting weird just now I wasted a bunch of time quitting programs, restarting the Finder, re-plugging the USB… Nope, blow out the trackball!

I have successfully cleaned the exposed contacts on a lighting cable with a simple pencil eraser (British rubber).

The free FanControl (source code available) will help keep your Macs optimally cool and quiet as well as help prevent dust accumulation (because the fans normally run too slowly to do this).

https://www.derman.com/Fan-Control

I recently saw an Apple store tech cleaning someone’s iPhone and AirPods some sort of putty. I asked him about it and he said it’s called “cleaning putty” and that it’s readily available on Amazon. He couldn’t say enough about the great uses for it.

I ordered some to try and I have to say that I’m very impressed. You just take a little ball of it and press it into the crevices then pull it out along with the gunk. It’s great for iPhone, AirPod, and MacBook speaker grilles. It also works well on keyboards the seams between parts that collect dust.

I nearly bought a new Magic Mouse before I read that the optical eye can get dirty.

Diane