There are numerous thermal paste alternative you can commonly use, and this article will explore and explain some of the best options. Of course, nothing can replace the original thermal compound, but certain household items can at least replicate some of its properties.
For example, the heat sink property prevents boards from overheating regularly, and you can find the thermal paste in any gadget. After reading this guide, you will know how to apply thermal paste alternatives on your graphics card or other common gadgets.
- 1 Table of the Best Thermal Paste Alternatives
- 2 List of the Best Homemade Alternatives
- 2.1 – Hazelnut Spread / Chocolate Spread
- 2.2 – Aluminum Powder and Vaseline
- 2.3 – Diaper Rash Cream
- 2.4 – Ketchup / Mustard
- 2.5 – Butter
- 2.6 – Cheese Spread or Cheese
- 2.7 – Hair Creams and Gels
- 2.8 – Hair Wax
- 2.9 – Toothpaste
- 2.10 – Bananas
- 2.11 – Dental Adhesives
- 2.12 – Moisturizing Cream
- 2.13 – Beeswax
- 2.14 – Sealing Wax
- 2.15 – Any Thick Liquid
- 3 Recap on Everything Important
Table of the Best Thermal Paste Alternatives
This section of the guide will show you a table that captures the best alternatives and explains why their application is highly recommended. Later, we will discuss each item in more detail, so you can better understand its property and the best way to use it.
Look at the following table to learn more:
|Items That Function Like Thermal Paste
|Why They Are the Best Alternative
|Hazelnut spread / Chocolate spread
|It has the same consistency as paste and can be applied to any gadget but can only be used for several days.
|Aluminum powder and Vaseline
|The aluminum keeps the surface cool because it is a great isolator, and the Vaseline keeps the powder in place.
|Diaper rash cream
|The diaper rash cream contains zinc dioxide, which is the same ingredient found in a conventional thermal paste.
|Ketchup / Mustard
|Ordinary ketchup or mustard will work if you need a fast and easy solution because they are kept in a refrigerator and are cold.
|Butter works as a great alternative because it fills out air bubbles, but things may get messy really quickly.
|Cheese spread or cheese
|Cheese spread has the same properties as butter as it fills out air bubbles, but it does not melt as fast as butter.
|Hair creams and gels
|Hair creams and gels are extremely sticky and can effortlessly be applied on any surface or card.
|Hair wax does not melt even at high temperatures, and it holds its shape well for a long time.
|Toothpaste can be found at any moment in your household and works great with surfaces that do not heat up much.
|You can mix bananas with aluminum powder and achieve the same effect as some of the previous alternatives.
|This alternative can act as a long-term solution. However, there is little to no room for mistakes as it firms quickly.
|Good-quality solid beeswax can sometimes be useful because it firms up quickly and holds its shape.
|It has the same consistency as a thermal paste and smells great. However, it quickly melts, so you must be careful.
|Sealing wax is not thick, but it will work great to apply several layers. In addition, it does not have high pigmentation.
|Any thick liquid
|You can turn any thick liquid into a great alternative if you combine mucaine. It will work for several days.
This list is enough to get a general idea of how household items can act as great thermal paste solutions. We will now discuss and explain the application of each item individually, so keep reading this article to learn more.
List of the Best Homemade Alternatives
Here are the in-depth explanations of why these products are good thermal paste alternatives and how to use them for this purpose.
– Hazelnut Spread / Chocolate Spread
Other than just using hazelnut or chocolate spread on a slice of toast, you can use it as an excellent replacement for thermal paste. Any nice and thick hazelnut spread will work because it has the same consistency as the paste and can be easily applied to any surface on your gadget. Take the spread and put a thick layer over the card. You may have to hold the device for a certain period of time to let the spread harden up and maintain its shape.
However, you should not keep the hazelnut or chocolate spread on your device for more than three to four days. Also, after you take the spread off, make sure to eliminate and remove as much of it as you can because mold can grow over time. This replacement is one of the most common household items used by people worldwide. With that, let us now move on to the next household replacement.
– Aluminum Powder and Vaseline
Aluminum is one of the best metals for insulating and isolating certain parts. If you combine aluminum powder and Vaseline, you get a mixture with a great consistency that can be applied to any surface without damaging the device. You should blend the mixture for more than 15 minutes. The mixture must emulsify together in order to get the best results and work properly as a great alternative.
If you cannot find aluminum powder anywhere, you can make your own. All you need is some sandpaper and aluminum of any shape or size. Of course, it will help if the sandpaper is rough so that you can shave off a good amount of aluminum.
Use a mixture of equal parts Vaseline and aluminum powder for best results and slowly mix them together. It will be well worth the effort, and you will have an amazing alternative in case of an emergency.
– Diaper Rash Cream
Diaper rash cream is one of the cheapest items in the previous table and one of the easiest ones to find. Any rash cream will work, but get a diaper rash cream containing zinc oxide for best results. Zinc oxide is commonly found in thermal pastes, and it is one of the ingredients that cools the heat from the device. In addition, you do not have to mix the diaper rash cream with other liquid, which means you are halfway there.
All you have to do is clean the surface with alcohol thoroughly before applying the diaper rash cream, or you will not have the best results. Next, apply a good amount to the CPU and keep the piece in place until the cream hardens. This cream represents one of the longest-lasting options because it can substitute the thermal paste for more than five months. Many people tried this alternative and stated that it is one of the best ones out there.
– Ketchup / Mustard
Ketchup or mustard are probably some of the most common condiments you have around your house. It would be best to keep this in mind because they may act as great alternatives to your typical thermal paste. Like some of the previous solutions in this list, ketchup or mustard can work well with the CPU but for only a short period of time. Their consistency is much runnier, but they will get the job done in the case of an emergency.
If you are looking for a solution to this problem and do not want to buy something expensive, get that ketchup out of your refrigerator and apply it to your device. This alternative will last for a couple of days. After that, you have to repeat the application process every two or three days to keep things functional.
The main idea why some people recommend butter as a paste alternative is that it works great with filling in air bubbles. Air bubbles are the best place for heat to be concentrated to, and this is why it is important to eliminate them. Like all other thick alternatives, butter is easy to apply in just a couple of minutes.
However, there is one major downside when using butter as an alternative. Butter melts quickly and can leave a big mess on your board, so use it appropriately and avoid making any unnecessary mistakes.
– Cheese Spread or Cheese
It is believed that you can use cheese spread, yellow cheese, or even American cheese as thermal paste. Though it is easy to apply cream spread or yellow cheese to a board or CPU, this theory has several big flaws. First, cheese spread is terrible at eliminating air bubbles because they have a lot of air bubbles in their consistency.
In addition, cheese melts quickly over time, especially if the board’s temperature gets high quickly. Consequently, you will have a big pile of mess that is tricky to clean. So if you plan on having a clean alternative, maybe you should skip cheese spread or any kind of cheese. Let us move on to the next one.
– Hair Creams and Gels
Based on the hair cream and gel’s consistency, they seem like a promising alternative to your paste thermal adhesives. They are sticky, easy to get, and safe to handle. These factors are enough to convince even the biggest pessimists to give it a go. Indeed, they will work phenomenally for a short period of time, but they are not a long-term solution.
As hair creams or gels warm up, they break down almost immediately and lose their properties. Therefore, you will have to change them often if you want to see some results. However, in the case of an emergency, you should give them a try.
– Hair Wax
One of the best alternatives on this list is hair wax. This type of wax is used to remove hair and will only melt at very high temperatures because of its high melting point. In addition, it holds its shape until it melts, which sounds promising. You should start by forming small wax balls, form them into the desired shape, and melt them slightly before application.
Out of all the items on the list, hair wax is one of the most long-lasting solutions, and you are guaranteed that it will last at least a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, replacing them shortly after would help because it dries out and cannot prevent overheating. Nevertheless, it is one of the best alternatives.
Toothpaste is a decent option during an emergency. It works okay with CPUs that do not warm up very much because it has a thick consistency. Moreover, toothpaste is readily available and can be found anywhere. The process of application is similar to some other alternatives. Fill in a syringe, and apply a small amount to the CPU.
However, you should not let it dry out. First, you must put the cooler back immediately, and then you should let it do its work. It will dry out eventually, so you must replace it after a couple of days. Mixing toothpaste and Vaseline can improve its function because it will take longer to dry out, so this is one alternative you should consider using.
There was a common belief that a banana can be used as a great alternative to thermal grease because it can be easily spread. However, after conducting several tests, bananas have proven to be terrible alternatives. They cannot fill in all the necessary gaps and are bad at transferring and absorbing heat to the cooler.
You should mix bananas with aluminum powder if you want to give your alternative a different dimension. The aluminum powder is dry, whereas the banana is thick and sticky. If you mix them together, then you get a decent consistency that can be applied adequately.
– Dental Adhesives
Dental adhesives are one of the items on this list that is quite difficult to get because not everyone has access to it and it is something that cannot be bought at your local supermarket. However, things look promising for dental adhesives. Once appropriately made, the consistency is perfect and can easily be applied to any thermal pad.
You have to act quickly, though. Dental adhesives dry out quite fast, and there is not much room for mistakes. Nevertheless, dental adhesives are one of the longest-lasting alternatives alongside hair wax. They are guaranteed to last for at least three to four weeks, but eventually, you will have to replace them.
– Moisturizing Cream
Moisturizing creams come with various oils and fragrances. However, you should avoid using these and get a moisturizing cream that has none. Though it can be easily found around your household, it is not the best solution.
Heat breaks down the moisturizing cream, which means it will only act as an alternative for a couple of hours. In addition, you must be aware that moisturizing creams may degrade metal surfaces. Thus, they will damage the surface you apply them to.
Beeswax is similar to hair wax because it has the same consistency and melts at high temperatures. Consequently, it will work fine as an alternative.
The process of the application stays the same:
- You must create small beeswax balls.
- You need to form them to your preferred size and shape.
- Melt them slightly before putting them on the device.
One of the biggest flaws of beeswax is that it gets crumbly after a certain period of time, so you need to be careful not to break it down, and if you do so, you will have a proper solution in a couple of weeks. But eventually, you will need to replace it.
– Sealing Wax
We will show you another type of wax on this list: sealing wax. Unlike hair wax and beeswax, sealing wax is not thick. This type of wax is used commonly for sealing letters, making crafts, or bonding two things together. Since it has a runny consistency, you need to apply several layers until you get some results.
Certain sealing waxes have high pigmentation. Pigmentation can stain your equipment after a long time, so once you apply several layers on your CPU, make sure to replace them regularly to avoid damaging your equipment. It is also one of the longer-lasting solutions.
– Any Thick Liquid
In theory, any thick liquid will work as an alternative to a thermal compound. However, you should avoid using runny alternatives because you can damage other components on the board. Mixing any thick liquid with mucaine can further improve the function and provide even better results.
The usual ratio for this mixture is around 25 percent mucaine to 75 percent thick liquid. Give your mixture a good shake, and it should be ready to go. Apply it to the CPU or board as per usual. You will be amazed by the results.
Recap on Everything Important
There are numerous thermal paste alternatives you can commonly use, and this article explored and explained some of the best options. In addition, we have covered plenty of important points and ideas, as summarized in the following bullet list:
- Most of the devices used today must have a form of heat reduction sink to disperse some of the heat.
- Thermal paste is expensive, so there are numerous household items that can be used as alternatives.
- Most of the items in the list have a thick consistency or are easy to shape and apply to the board or CPU.
- Vaseline and wax are some of the most commonly used alternatives.
- You can make aluminum powder at home and use it as one of the best options.
Lucky for you, this article thoroughly covered all the important points about household alternatives to thermal gel. As a result, you no longer have to search for the best option after reading this ultimate guide.