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For those people who made the mistake of letting dust settle on the delicate components on the Pi, this is for you.

I have had my Raspberry Pi for two years now, and for the majority of that time it has run caseless so that I could have easy access to the GPIO pins.

That was a mistake. And now my Raspberry Pi's performance is hampered by layers of dust that have settled on it after all that time. My bad. The dust layer is so thick that now the performance problems become noticeable within 30 minutes of boot.

What would be the best way to clean out the Raspberry Pi's external hardware and sweep off the dust?

Thanks for any solutions that are presented to me.

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    "my Raspberry Pi's performance is hampered by layers of dust that have settled on it after all that time" -> This is unlikely unless it is so thick it is causing premature overheating, which is probably very very unlikely. – goldilocks Oct 22 '18 at 17:19
  • Ah. Then yes, my board is heating faster than it should be. It is noticeable. I'll clarify with an edit. – iostreamerX Oct 22 '18 at 17:35
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    Just use a toothbrush to brush off the dust. I doubt thats the issue though. Which model of Pi? Are you running the latest version of Raspbian Stretch? Do you have a heatsink fitted? – CoderMike Oct 22 '18 at 18:49
  • @CoderMike I honestly don't think the operating system or the hardware specifications have a play in this. If it helps, I am running a fairly recent version of Stretch and am on a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. Yes, I also use a heatsink. – iostreamerX Oct 22 '18 at 21:19
  • Have you cleaned the dust off ? Has it made any difference? – CoderMike Oct 23 '18 at 6:37
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Dust is a generic term that covers a wide variety of airborne solids.

Preventive measures could include environmental control, and adding HEPA filter material to cover openings: Dust components are typically determined by the environment, and so it may be beneficial to keep the RPi in a location with little activity, no carpeting, etc. HEPA filter material can be purchased from a variety of sources, and will generally filter particles larger than 0.3 micrometers.

Remedial measures could include a can of compressed air designed for cleaning delicate items and electronics, and a mild solvent with a short-bristle brush. Both classes of products are available from a variety of sources (e.g. compressed air and mild solvents).

  • It might be advisable to disconnect the Pi from power before using solvents on it (they shouldn't be conductive but what do we know for sure). – Ghanima Oct 22 '18 at 18:47
  • Aside from electrical risk, I would worry about thermal shock of applying a liquid (or blast of cold air) to a hot component. – Chad Farmer Oct 26 '18 at 20:55
  • Yeah. I know. Don't worry, I'll turn my Raspberry before I start cleaning off the debris (stuff that settled on it). – iostreamerX Oct 27 '18 at 1:40

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