March 9, 2022


It’s always good to clean the files on your computer, but many neglect the case itself. Whether you have a laptop or desktop, it’s a good idea to get rid of the dust and grime that collect over time. So unplug your machine and let’s get cleaning!

The “keys” to a clean machine

We all know our hands aren’t the cleanest things, so imagine how much dirt, oil and other contaminants we transfer to our keyboard!

Shake it, but don’t break it

If using a laptop, flip open the screen, get a good grip on the side of the machine (not the screen) and gently shake it over a trash can. Do the same for external keyboards. If you eat over your keyboard, you may be surprised at some of the particles that will emerge (and may have second thoughts about where you dine). Now put the keyboard or laptop on a flat surface, take a can of compressed air and spray under each key. If there is any loose debris on the keyboard, you can use a small (hand-held) vacuum or a dry cloth to remove it.

Cracks and crevices

Use the compressed air to blow any particles out of the ports, vents and other openings of your desktop or laptop computer.

I can see clearly now

Use a microfiber cloth and wipe gently across your screen. Don’t press too hard or scratch at stubborn spots. Now flip over the cloth and polish in a circular motion to remove streaks. If your screen is extremely dirty, filmy or smeared, invest in a screen cleaning kit. Never use regular glass cleaners, especially those with ammonia, as they can permanently damage the screen.

Spruce up the case

For laptops, a separate microfiber cloth may be all you need to remove any fingerprints and shine up your case. If necessary, you can dampen the cloth with purified or distilled water and a drop of gentle dish soap. Don’t use regular household cleaners or harsh chemicals.

An open and shut case

If you have a desktop computer, you may wish to open the case and give it a quick dusting with compressed air. Dust builds up in fans and other components and reduces cooling efficiency. This does need to be done carefully, so you may want to look online for exact steps.

There you have it — a shiny computer! While we don’t always think about it, keeping the grime (and food) out of our computer will make it perform better and last longer. If you haven’t organized the files and hard drive of your system, be sure to do that as well to make your spring cleaning complete! (this line links to organization article)