High pressure CO2 based cleaning mixtures have recently been proposed as an environmentally benign approach for postplasma etch residue removal. These mixtures must remove etch residues without damaging the low-k dielectric film that will be used to isolate interconnect structures in future generation devices. In this work, the compatibility of a CO2-based mixture with a porous low-k film is evaluated. Positronium annihilation lifetime spectroscopy (PALS) is used to monitor the change in pore size and film chemistry in a porous methyl silsesquioxane film after treatments under several different elevated pressure conditions. Spectroscopic ellipsometry and infrared spectroscopy are used to complement the PALS technique in order to better understand cleaning mixture effects on the dielectric film. CO2–TMAHCO3–methanol mixtures cause negligible changes in pore dimensions and bulk composition of the film. The high pressure treatments cause a small decrease in positronium formation which may be attributed to contamination in the high pressure system.