Does Thermal Paste Expire?

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Is your thermal paste expired, or is it not providing the expected performance?

One essential thing you must be aware of is that thermal paste expires after some time. This time depends upon the materials used to make that thermal paste.

In more straightforward terms, thermal pastes can expire. Mainly, manufacturers provide at least three years of extended life span for the thermal paste and five years foremost.

Like the foods, the thermal paste also contains some material that decides the life span of thermal paste! Sounds interesting?

Moreover, other things can also affect the effectiveness of the thermal paste; for example, if you put the thermal paste in a place where is an extent of heat, it might be possible for the expiration of that thermal paste. The same goes for extra cooling too!

It is a little difficult to diagnose why your thermal paste is expired, but it nearly depends on seeking through the manufacturer’s making process.

They make these pastes with different solutions and methods. There are numerous brands, for example, ARCTIC, Thermal Grizzly, Cool laboratory, Cooler Master, Arctic Silver, etc. Therefore, it’s nearly impossible to give the correct answer to you!

What is thermal paste?

Some people think that thermal paste helps your processor to cool down.

Indeed, it supports the process, but it mainly eliminates the air gaps between the processor and heat sink to maximize the heat transfer.

You can also see that the more the heat transfer between processor and heat sink, the better performance you will get!

One more exciting thing is that there are several varieties of thermal paste in the markets, and the problem is that you’ll be confused about which one to buy. Therefore, you should know their types.

Some thermal paste types have main ingredients like silicone, liquid metal, carbon-based elements, graphite, and ceramic. As we told you, it varies according to the manufacturer’s method.

Furthermore, all of the above types are conductive of heat, but they can not conduct electricity, which helps your PC not be damaged.

In addition, thermal pads also exist, which is unique; thus, you can use them instead of applying thermal paste.

Four reasons for the expiration of thermal paste

There are some reasons why your thermal paste can be expired; therefore, be aware of it!


Sometimes placing a thermal paste on a heating place can also affect the performance of the thermal paste. This can directly provide an ideal space for chemicals to react. Most importantly, sunlight can also make your thermal paste less effective.


Same as heating, sometimes placing thermal paste on too much cooling can also make it defective. A humid environment can also affect the rate by which it cools your processor; ultimately, we can conclude that placing thermal paste in too much cool place can also affect it.

Expiration Date:

As we mentioned earlier, some cheap thermal pastes do not come with any specific expiration date, and it is based on luck for the effectiveness of that paste. However, some famous brands also provide a specific date for the thermal paste; therefore, it may not give a regular performance if it is used more than the expiration time.

Contact with air:

Contact with air can also affect the performance of thermal paste, which is very common. If you have placed your thermal paste without ensuring that it is airtight, it may expire because of direct contact with the air. If you open the seal and forget to twist the cap again, you can understand that your thermal paste is not more helpful.

How to extend thermal paste life span?

The fortune for you is that you can also store thermal paste properly to extend the thermal paste life span ultimately. Most of you think it is challenging to keep it, and thermal paste is used for one-time use; however, the truth is in contrast.

If you have just bought a new thermal paste and you want to prolong its expiration, so you can easily follow the below steps:

No contact with the air: 

Just after using the thermal paste, you should twist the cap back to make it airtight. However, if it is not possible, you should put all the thermal paste in a Ziploc bag, making it airtight and less contact with the air and dust. Therefore, you should follow these steps to extend your life!

Do you pull the plunger back?:

One most common mistake that people make after using any thermal paste is pulling back the plunger. What people usually do is that they push the plunger back, which causes air to store inside the syringe. Mainly, it causes oxidation. Therefore, pulling the plunger back may affect your newly bought thermal paste!

Can temperature affect the thermal paste?:

High temperature can affect your thermal paste more than any others; it may create an environment for chemicals to react. Similarly, placing it on too much cooling can also involve high temperatures. It is hazardous than any other reason by which thermal paste is expiring. Therefore, you need to put your thermal paste at room temperature, which will extend its life span.

Exposure to sunlight:

Indeed, exposure to sunlight can also affect the performance of your thermal paste. The sunlight can cause chemical breakdowns and work as a catalyst, so your thermal paste will remain no more effective; to prevent this, put your thermal paste in a shelf drawer. Interestingly, it helps people let their thermal paste be used for more days.

How often to remove thermal paste?

Sometimes, you need to replace old thermal paste to boost your pc performance.

It is suggested that every time you take your heat sink out, so you should apply thermal heat to the sink.

What happens if you do not apply the paste?

It will then introduce air pockets between the CPU and heat sink. This can cause damage to your pc by the excess heat.

For example, if you open your computer’s case to remove dust, it would be great if you took off the heat sink and CPU. Then, remove old thermal paste using a cotton pad with isopropyl alcohol.

Then, apply new thermal paste again, and you can finally enjoy flawless gaming!

Some people don’t like it and change their thermal paste, which is unethical for your CPU’s health! According to experts, it’s recommended that changing thermal paste once a year can give better performance than those who change thermal paste after three to four years.

One more exciting thing to ponder is, if you have a prebuilt PC, we highly suggest you replace the old thermal paste and apply the new one; moreover, this is the fastest way to boost your CPU’s performance by cooling your processor faster.

To make more profit, some manufacturers apply cheap quality thermal paste to the CPU, which is highly hazardous for your CPU; thus, we recommend you use the new thermal paste.

Is changing thermal paste worth it?

Indeed, changing the thermal paste of your CPU is worth a lot!

Many people on YouTube tried to solve this! The interesting is that people have seen a lot of temperature differences.

The result is that some see it as an uninspiring method, where many see it as a great effort to cool down the CPU.

There are two results. The cheap quality thermal paste may be applied to the CPU, and as a result, it shows no temperature reduction.

On the contrary, the CPU, where a high-quality thermal paste is applied, works fine, and it is seen with effective temperature reduction.

Therefore, if you are an enthusiast gamer, who loves to play modern high graphics games, you need to apply a good thermal paste on your CPU; thus, it will give you smooth expected performance.

Is too much thermal paste good or bad?

We discussed the cheap quality of the thermal paste. However, suppose you have a high-quality thermal paste and didn’t apply the specific needed amount. In that case, there is a high probability that your thermal paste will damage your whole computer by over-heating!

We all know that the primary purpose of thermal paste is to provide a conductivity of heat of CPU and heatsink. When you apply too much thermal paste, it will become an insulator that is fatal for computers.

Therefore, you should take care while applying thermal paste: neither too much nor less!

Is it possible to use a PC without using thermal paste?

Somehow, it is possible to use a PC without thermal paste until your processor gets fiery and simultaneously damages your computer!

In more straightforward terms, it will affect the CPU in terms of conductivity. Your PC will suffer high heat, and if you are unable to cool down your heat, it may cost high because it will burst your PC in no time. If you don’t love your CPU, you can also try overclocking without applying thermal paste!

Therefore, it does not make any sense if you are not applying thermal paste or applying cheap quality thermal paste.

If you find out that your thermal paste is not more effective, you should buy a new one and apply. Do not compromise when it comes to your processor. Moreover, you will also see a smooth and lag-free PC after that.

Furthermore, if your heating problem is not solved after applying high-quality thermal paste, you should use the best fan for thermal paste. We may hope that choosing the right one will cool your PC in no time!


We hope this article has helped you find the answers to most questions: Does thermal paste expire? Why my thermal paste has expired?

Thermal paste can also be used for long life with the help of tricks that we provided in the article. You should apply this to let you do not expire another thermal paste!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does thermal paste have expiry date?

Some famous thermal paste providers may tell the expiry date of thermal paste; however, cheap quality thermal paste does not have any expiry date. You can use them until you find that it is not working.

Can thermal paste last 10 years?

The straightforward answer is Yes: You can use thermal paste till 10 to 15 years; however, it totally depends upon the quality of thermal pastes. Moreover, you should change thermal paste periodically if you want your pc to run smoothly.

Can thermal paste ruin a CPU?

It is difficult to answer this question, but excess of thermal paste may overheat your processor and shut down your pc. Whereas, modern CPU can handle this, and it is unlikely ruin your CPU.

Which type of thermal paste is best?

As we mentioned earlier that there are a lot of types of thermal paste whose composition varies according to manufacture, but the ProlimaTech PK-2 Nano Aluminum is the best premium thermal paste of all time.

Is it OK without thermal paste?

No, Thermal paste is something which is vital for your processor; it helps your processor to cool down ultimately; moreover, it has also been seen that too much thermal paste can also ruin your pc, so be careful while putting the paste!

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