Tips to physically clean your Windows computer, mouse and keyboard

8 Comments

  1. My laptop I actually take apart every 3 months, clean out the fan, keyboard, screen and all the ports. It’s amazing just how much that little fan on a laptop can suck up into the laptop.

  2. 4 tips to add to your cleaning instructions…

    1)When you go to open up and clean your computer touch the case at the back around the power supply (if the metal of the power supply is open to the outside of the case, if not touch the metal case of the power supply inside the computer once you open it up). This will get rid of any static charge you may have built up.

    You can also use a static guard wrist strap, but unplug your computer’s power supply if you do because this, in rare circumstances, can actually cause more static discharge than if you didn’t use the strap. Its generally a good idea to fully disconnect the power chord from the back of your computer when you do these things anyway.

    When using canned air to dust out your case and power supply DONT let your fans spin as you blow them out. This wears at the bearings and the casing they are in and can drammaticly shorten their lifespan as you are spinning them as sometimes multiples times the speed they were built for.

    Also when using canned air in mechanical drives like Optical Drives or Floppys leave them open for 10 to 20 minutes as the liquid in the can will not dissipate as fast and will also tend to pool inside the drives. This can be bad for the drives and the media if used right away.

    3)The best and most sanitary way to clean a keyboard is to remove all the keys and then clean behind them too. THIS OF COURSE DOES NOT MEAN LAPTOPS. Even when laptops have removable key covers it is often bad for the keyboard to remove them. Also your should note that often the RETURN, Spacebar, and the Number pad ENTER and “0” keys have special connections to the board which can make taking them off and putting them back on a pain, but you are able to clean around them with the other keys off. Also, if you don’t know your keyboard layouts take a picture or print one out off the net so you can return the keys to their proper locations.

    4) Not many of us in 2011 are still using ball mice, but here is some advice… don’t air dry the mouse ball after using water to clean it. It can cause swelling in some types of balls and inhibit readings in some optical ball mice. This will cause the surface to get rougher and thus dirtier faster. If you do wash it in water make sure it is room temperature and then for a short period immerse it in as pure a isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol as you can get your hands on. Then when you air dry the moisture will fully evaporate.

    You should be careful using isopropyl alcohol when cleaning the bottoms of Optical/Laser mice because some use a set of lenses on the bottom that the isopropyl alcohol can get in and affect the mouses opperation (and cleaning it out is a PAIN).

    5) some monitors have a coating on their screens that is so sensitive you can’t use hard water, warm water, or cold water. If you use water to clean some monitors they require you use room temperature distilled water or no water at all. CHECK YOUR MANUFACTURERS CLEANING INSTRUCTIONS OR YOU CAN VOID YOUR WARRANTY! Most older or mid range monitors are fine but the higher end (and especially also HDTVs being used as a monitor) the more you have to worry about this.

  3. This is a great article. Obviously we all worry about cleaning what’s actually in our computer to maintain its performance, but a lot of times we forget to physically clean it. These are helpful tips—it’s good to know what kind of cleaning products to use to avoid causing any damage to your computer. It’s a big pet peeve of mine when my keyboard is dirty or has crumbs in between the keys!

  4. Cleaning up accessories on computer is a great idea, but cleaning up important parts inside the CPU should be done carefully in order to avoid severe damage to the components of the CPU. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

  5. Don’t forget to clean the CPU fan and heat sink. The heat sink will probably look like it is carpeted or covered in felt. I carefuly remove the fan from the heat sink and then use a small soft paint brush and the compressed air to clean between all those tiny fins. Be careful as these fins are also razor sharp. Blood contains salt that can short out stuff. I use the brush and air inside and out. A very soft brush please.
    Depending on how hard it is to remove the fan from the heat sink, it will only take abou 10 – 15 minutes to do a good cleaning. Have fun and be careful………….Alan

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