I have a dirty secret . I've never cleaned my computer. Sure, I've dusted my monitor, but I haven't taken off the cover or tried to reach the crumbs lurking inside my keyboard.
“Your computer could fry if you don't keep it clean.”
Dust clogs the vents behind your computer, which causes your CPU to heat up—and heat is the biggest cause of component failure in computers. Regular cleaning could save you costly maintenance fees down the road.
Keep your computer in tip-top shape by following this guide to a spotless computer system.
NOTE : This post is not about malicious software
Trying to clean up your computer in the antivirus software sense? This link will guide you to the Microsoft Security website. It provides instructions, a free safety scan, and a malicious software removal tool that you can download.
can of compressed air (available from computer dealers or office-supply stores) or vacuum cleaner (operate on slowest speed and use the blow function because we definitely don’t want your vacuum cleaner to suck your components – “You know what I mean”)
cotton swabs (do not use a cotton ball)
cleaning agent (cif clean, colin etc.)
paper towels or anti-static cloths
NOTE : Always turn your computer off before you begin and unplug all the cords.
Let’s get started :
Step 1: Inside the case
Using a screwdriver, remove the side of the case that's opposite your motherboard. Touch as little as possible inside the computer, keeping fingers away from cards and cords.
Blow air around all of the components and along the bottom of the case, keeping the nozzle at least four – five inches away from the machine. Blow air into the power supply box (SMPS) and into the fan (from the back of the case). Lastly, blow air into the floppy disk dive and CD/DVD drives. And finally wipe the inside of the cover with a lightly moistened cloth before replacing it.
I’ll say doing this every three months if your case sits on the floor, if you have a comp. table, if you have pets that shed, or if you smoke (bad habit ). Otherwise, every six to eight months is just fine.
Step 2: Outside the case
Run a cotton swab dipped in cleaning agent around all of the openings on the back of your case. Give them one swipe with the damp end of the swab and one swipe with the dry end. Do this as often as you clean the inside of your computer.
Step 3: Keyboard
Turn the keyboard upside down and gently shake it. Most of the crumbs and dust will fall out. Take a can of compressed air and blow into and around the keys. Next, take a cotton swab and dip it in cleaning agent. It should be damp, but not wet. Run the cotton swab around the outside of the keys. Rub the tops of the keys. If you have a laptop, follow the same procedure but take extra care with your machine. Do this monthly.
If you have kids or li’l sister like me, you're worried about spills. If it happens, immediately turn off your computer, disconnect the keyboard, and flip it over. While the keyboard is upside down, blot the top with a paper towel, blow compressed air between the keys and leave it to air dry overnight. For laptops, liquid can easily penetrate the hard drive so turn the computer over immediately and and then leave it to air dry overnight.
Laptop spills need more attention because liquid can easily penetrate the keyboard and damage internal parts. For laptop spills, immediately turn off the computer and remove any external power source and other items plugged into it. Turn the laptop over, remove the battery, and then bring it to your nearest repair center to check for internal damage. Simply blowing compressed air into the keyboard and letting your computer air dry upside down overnight aren't enough because liquids can sit inside a laptop for days.
For all spills, be aware that anything other than plain water may cause severe damage, and never attempt to dry a keyboard or laptop in a microwave or conventional oven.
Step 4: Mouse
Rub the top and bottom of your mouse with a paper towel dipped in cleaning agent. Open the back and remove the ball. Wash the ball with water and let it air dry. To clean inside the mouse, dip a cotton swab in cleaning agent and rub all of the components. Scrape hard-to-remove grime with your fingernail. Finally, blow air into the opening. Replace the ball and the cover. And if you have an Optical Mouse, just rub the top and bottom of your mouse with a paper towel dipped in cleaning agent. Do this monthly.
Step 5: Monitor
Moisten a paper towel or a soft, lint-free cloth with water. (You can also buy monitor cleaning products at computer-supply stores. Naaah!!) Don't spray liquid directly onto the screen—spray it on the cloth instead. Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. Never touch the back of the monitor.
For laptop screens, I suggests buying a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.
Finally, make sure that everything is dry before you plug your computer back in OR…………………