I have a dirty secret to confess…
I don’t clean my computer as often as I should. Yes, I’ve shaken the crumbs out of the keyboard from time to time just like everyone else, but that could hardly constitute as a “cleaning.”
With Spring in the air, I thought this would be a good opportunity to remind everyone (myself included) to clean out those dirty PCs. After all, you should do this every 3 to 4 months. And, it’s not just for sanitation purposes…
The electromagnetic field put off by your computer attracts dirt. Just take a look at the back of your PC near the fan vent. Pretty gross, huh?
It’s Not Just Dirty…It’s Dangerous!
The dust clogging those vents will cause your CPU to heat up—and heat is the biggest cause of component failure in computers. Yep, that dirt and dust can end up shutting down your PC and costing you real money!
Cleaning your PC can also prevent the spread of germs. Keyboards are breeding grounds for all kinds of infectious and nasty critters and multiple studies have proven there are more germs on the average keyboard than the average toilet!
Now that I’ve completely put you off your lunch, let me give you a general overview of how to clean your computer…
A Warning Before You Start Scrubbing
Never spray or squirt any type of liquid onto ANY part of your computer. If a spray is needed, spray the liquid onto a cloth and then use that cloth to rub down the component. You NEVER want to get any of the components inside the computer wet and you don’t want to spray cleaner directly onto a computer screen!
Also, when vacuuming the dust INSIDE your computer, make sure you use one that was designed specifically for the job and not the one in your closet. Standard vacuums create static electricity that can damage the internal components of your computer. Instead, use a portable battery powered vacuum designed to do this job.
You will also need:
- A screwdriver to open the computer case; just be very careful not to unplug, unscrew, or knock anything out of place!
- A can of compressed air.
- A computer-approved cleaning liquid such as rubbing alcohol or mild cleaning agent like dish liquid diluted down.
- Cotton swabs (Q-tips).
- A lint-free cotton cloth.
Tip: Wiping down the outside of your computer tower with a solution of one-half vinegar and one-half water will minimize static.
Before you begin, turn off your computer.
I like to start by sucking out all the dirt, hair, and dust with a vacuum. Do an extra good job around any ventilation locations as they will help to keep a steady airflow thereby keeping your internal components cooler.
When cleaning the fan, I suggest you hold the fan or place something in between the fan blades to prevent them from spinning. Avoid spraying compressed air into a fan or cleaning it with your vacuum since it may cause damage to some models.
Compressed air is great for getting all the crumbs, dust, and dirt out of your keyboard, but be sure to also wipe down the keys and surface of the keyboard (that nasty cold or flu might still be hiding out on it)!
When cleaning the monitor, use a lint-free cloth (like the one you use to clean your eyeglasses). Paper towels, dryer sheets, and other cloths may scratch the monitor. Also, never use Windex or a commercial cleaning product, and never spray anything directly onto the screen. Instead, lightly spray a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water onto your cloth and wipe it down.
If you have questions related to this topic or IT issues in general, please feel free to contact us using the information provided below
Telephone: (408) 400-0232