Chemistry Experts Needed: What solvent or chemical will dissolve SILVER?


Junior Member
Nov 20, 2000
Anyone out there know what will dissolve silver? I foolishly used Arctic Silver Thermal Epoxy on my CPU/heatsink and now I need to get it off. Any suggestions? Hopefully something fairly easy to get ahold of, as I don't have access to a chem lab. Thanks in advance!!


Jun 7, 2000
I don't think there is anything that will remove it. I remembered seeing this on Artics Silvers website just yesterday when I was looking over the products.

Arctic Silver Thermal Adhesive is a permanent adhesive.

If you do not follow the instructions for diluting the adhesive with Arctic Silver Thermal Compound, any components you attach together with full-strength Arctic Silver Thermal Adhesive will stay attached forever."

When you put it on did you mix it with the normal stuff? If not you could be out of luck. :(

If you did mix it right, you should be able to remove it normally. I remember reading an article (was it at hardocp? can't remember) where a guy did this exact same thing. It could not be removed with damaging the processor. Yikes.

Only thing I can suggest is nail polish removal gel. My wife has a bottle that I use to dissolve crazy glue and things like that almost instantly. I don't know if it will work on this stuff but you can give it a shot. Try mixing a little on something first and then use the gel on it. See if it works. If it does, you can start very carefully on the edges of the heatsink but I don't know how you will get to the stuff in the center. Good luck!



Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2000
Well acetone (polish remover) is routinely used to dissolve crazy glue. You could give it a shot.

You could also try paint thinner or some products that call themselves paint and/or epoxy and/or grout remover. It's a bit difficult since there aren't many good "full strength" solvents available out there that are over-the-counter in small quantities.


Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2000
you don't need to dissolve the silver, only the epoxy part. try acetone, isopropanol or ethanol. As you won't have access to chem lab, try the nail-polish remover thing.