Unpacking a new computer from the box is one of life’s sweet pleasures. But it doesn’t take long before skin oils, dust, hair, and gigabytes of bacteria build up on the device’s exterior, inside the keyboard, and on your mouse. Cleaning your computer will return it to the like-new luster.
Supplies for cleaning your computer
To clean your computer, you need a canister of air purchased from an electronics store, microfiber cloths, isopropyl alcohol, and Q-tips.
Dust and hair abound
When cleaning your computer, starts with the insides and work outward. First, use the air canister to blow dust and hair out of the keyboard, vents, and ports. Spray the air in short bursts from different angles around the keyboard and port openings to flush out the accumulated gunk.
If the air won’t remove stubborn wads of dust from ports, never try to dig them out with a metal tool that could damage delicate contact pins. Instead, gently use a toothpick or sturdy plastic pick. Don’t dig so hard that the pick breaks off inside.
Wiping down surfaces
Next, clean the outside of your computer. While computer cleaning solutions are available, isopropyl alcohol will clean off finger oils and other grime and also kill bacteria. Never pour any fluid onto the computer. Instead, apply the alcohol to a microfiber cloth and wring out the excess until the cloth is merely damp. Wipe all surfaces except the screen. Then, dip Q-tips in alcohol, squeeze out the excess so that the tip is just damp and clean around the edges of all the keys.
Don’t forget the external mouse. Use alcohol on a cloth to remove skin oils and bacteria on the grip areas.
To clean the screen, first wipe it with a dry cloth. Then wet a microfiber cloth with water, wring it out thoroughly and gently wipe the screen. Never use household cleaning products on a computer screen.
If your computer smells
If your computer has absorbed strong food smells or smoke, a good wipe down with alcohol will remove most, but not all, of the odors. To get rid of any lingering smells, place the computer in an enclosed container with a bamboo charcoal packet and leave it for a day or two.