You probably shouldn't jet-wash your GPU, but these crypto miners are

EVGA RTX 3060 Ti
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Some crypto miners are jet-washing and bathing graphics cards, seemingly to prepare them for resale.
  • A recent change to Ethereum made it much more difficult to make a profit by mining cryptocurrency.
  • While there are safe ways to clean a graphics card, using a jet washer is not recommended.

Ethereum recently shifted from a proof-of-work model to proof-of stake. The change made mining an inefficient method for obtaining Ethereum. As a result, GPU prices are expected to go down.

Ethereum's move to proof-of-stake is good news for gamers but bad news for crypto miners. Since mining with consumer graphics cards is no longer profitable, many miners are looking for ways to unload their GPUs. Twitter user I_Leak_VN recently showed Vietnamese miners cleaning their GPUs in a strange way. Rather than using traditional cleaning methods, the miners used jet washers (via Tom's Hardware).

It is possible to clean GPUs safely, but it requires knowledge and precision. For example, you can clean a system with a can of compressed air (for components) and a small paintbrush (for fans). Not following the proper steps can have dangerous consequences. 

Using a jet washer adds a significant risk of pressure damage, such as breaking off a piece of a GPU, which may not be clear at first glance.

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I_Leak_VN recommends caution when shopping for used GPUs. That's sound advice, as miners may try to pawn off graphics cards on their last legs as "lightly used." Apparently, sellers may have also used a pressure washer to clean their cards.

When shopping for the best graphics cards, you should know the state of the GPU you're ordering. If you trust the previous owner, you can get a good deal on a used card, but with GPU prices dropping, it may be worth holding off until an unused component you want goes on sale.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).