“Refurbishing” process for these crypto miners is to blast GPUs with a pressure washer

Please don’t do this: As much as everybody loves a quick cleaning shortcut, we do not recommend the following method for cleaning your graphics cards or any other electronics for that matter. At best, you’ll just end up with a soggy mess. At worst, you’ll ruin your components.

A video posted to Twitter allegedly shows Vietnamese cryptocurrency miners preparing used graphics cards for resale by washing them with a high-powered jet nozzle. Mining crypto with the power of multiple GPUs has become less profitable since “The Merge,” so cryptopreneurs are preparing to offload much of their equipment.

Of course, some crypto-mining rigs have been running 24/7 for years, leaving little time for cleaning. Most casual users just clean their PC with a can of compressed air — maybe a soft brush and alcohol for heavy build up — and call it a day, but that could become impractical when dealing with racks and racks of GPUs. The video shows at least eight Zotac GeForce RTX cards getting blasted by a pressure washer, and that was just one rig.

While most would recommend against washing graphics cards with water, it can be done. Some even use their dishwasher for the task. There are also immersion methods where a component is placed in a solution and hit with ultrasound. These techniques are arguably quicker when dealing with multiple parts but require special handling and water treatment.

As satisfying as using a pressure washer can be, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone recommending one to clean your circuitry. A water jet could easily dislodge surface-mounted components or damage the GPU in a way that a second-hand buyer might not notice even under close inspection.

Graphics cards are generally sturdy, well-built components that can withstand some light abuse. However, a pressure washer can take chunks out of a cracked concrete driveway. It’s not likely any GPU manufacturer has built a card that can stand up to that kind of force.

And all of this is on top of the fact that these cards have been run practically to death. The lesson here is to be cautious if you buy used or refurbished GPUs. They may seem like a good deal, but if they were mishandled like this, you could end up with a worthless paperweight.

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