Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I dont have thermal grease, what is a good alternative?

Years ago I used silver paint and it worked well.

share|improve this question
You might experiment with alternatives, but why take the risk when thermal paste is cheap? –  Stephen Jennings May 6 '11 at 5:47
You're going to risk a $50-300+ part for want of $8 of thermal grease? –  jcollum Dec 13 '13 at 0:40
Stephen and Collum, ever consider availability? Maybe that person lives somewhere where thermal paste is not available in stores and they can’t order it online; not everywhere is the United States. Remember, the Internet is global. –  Synetech Dec 13 '13 at 1:33
There are some interesting answers below. However, without documented proof that they work and are safe to use, I wouldnt try them unless you accept the risk of damaging your electronics. –  Keltari Jan 7 at 15:23

5 Answers 5

Unless it's an emergency just wait until you have thermal paste. If it is an emergency:

Thermal paste mostly works due to the zinc oxide. The best TEMPORARY fix is to use diaper rash cream from a grocery store.

It's important to remember though that while both products are nearly identical, diaper rash cream has a lot of extra stuff including a higher water content so use just a tiny drop on the end of a toothpick and replace it with real thermal paste ASAP.

share|improve this answer
I don't know if it's the best one, but it works well. –  Pedro Werneck Mar 6 at 15:00

There was a topic on here a while ago about using toothpaste...

share|improve this answer
@Dentrassi: Are you really good at cooking? –  paradroid May 6 '11 at 11:34
I cant imagine toothpaste would be good. It would dry out, crack, and flake within a few hours. Heck, it might even burn... Not worth the risk –  Keltari Jan 7 at 15:26

toothpaste (non grit) and pencil led shaving work well together, i got a 10c decrease works really well :)..but i wanna try biofreeze and see how that works

share|improve this answer

This thread seems to suggest some interesting options:

  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Silver Paint
  • Tin Foil
  • Liquid Metal

Take these suggestions with a pinch of salt. I'd just order more online.

share|improve this answer
"Pinch of salt" here being a figure of speech :-) –  Sirex May 6 '11 at 11:31
Don't forget JBweld, read an article back before 1ghz processors came out, they found JBweld did a better job than thermal paste, only one problem, it tends to be permanent. –  Moab May 6 '11 at 15:08
Actually, tin-foil was the first McGyver solution that popped into my head, but of course, it is essentially pointless because it is solid and thus leaves the air-pockets unaffected, so it is no different that not using it at all. Also, with a thermal conductivity of up to 1,462.5 times that of air, a pinch of salt actually would be practical, literally. –  Synetech Dec 13 '13 at 1:45

This page tests various temporary solutions, some of which cooled better than 8-year-old stock goop:

Degrees Celsius, idle and load in 6 C room:

 1. Dielectric Silicone:  22, 34
 2. Liquid Gel Deodorant: 23, 34
 3. Crest Toothpaste:     22, 35
 4. X-Balm Chapstic:      23, 35
 5. Antiseptic Gel:       25, 36 (cools about as well as stock TIM)
 6. High Temp Grease:     23, 38
 7. Hair Molding Clay:    25, 38
 8. Aluminum Foil:        25, 38
 9. Raspberry Preserves:  25, 40+
10. Anti Seize Lubricant: 26, 42
11. No TIM:               27, 45
12. Creamy Peanut Butter: 27, 53

In 18 C room:

 1. Mayonnaise:           31, 45
 2. Ranch Dressing:       30, 47
 3. Shaving Gel:          33, 47
 4. Easy Cheese:          33, 48
 5. American Cheese:      35, 49
 6. Candle Wax:           33, 51
 7. Chewing Gum:          38, 51
 8. Plastic Wrap:         40, 60
 9. Paper:                38, 72+
10. Duct Tape:            41, 85+
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.