A dirty computer can actually ruin the performance of the machine. For example, the dust inside the computer can become so bad that the components overheat. That’s why it’s important to clean your computer on a regular basis. Here are the steps you need to follow to safely clean your computer.
Power Down the Computer and Unplug It
You should never open a computer case without powering down and unplugging the machine. A computer can hold on to electricity even after it’s powered down. After shutting down the computer, unplug it from the wall and unplug all the peripherals from the computer.
Remove the Cover and Use Compressed Air to Clean the Components
Compressed air is an easy way to dust inside a computer, but needs to be done properly. If not, you can freeze the components and possibly damage them. Compressed air should be held upright and used in short bursts from a distance of 6-8 inches to prevent damage to the components.
Use a Small Soft Bristled Brush to Dislodge Dust
There will be some dust that doesn’t want to budge and this can easily be removed using a small soft bristled brush, such as a small paint brush. Gently brush the area to remove any dust making sure to steer clear of dangerous areas, such as capacitors.
Replace the Cover and Clean the Case with Electronic Safe Cleaner
Once the cover is replaced, use electronic safe cleaner to wipe down the case.
Clean the Monitor Carefully
Today’s monitors are very sensitive. You first want to make sure you unplugged the monitor and then use a microfiber towel to clean the screen. If there is still dirt on the screen, do NOT push harder. This will damage the pixels of the monitor. Instead, use a LCD cleaning wipe (found in the electronics department of many stores) to remove the dirt. The outside of the monitor can be wiped down with the wipe or with electronic safe cleaner, but make sure you do not get the cleaner on the screen.
Give the Keyboard a Good Cleaning
First turn the keyboard upside down and gently shake the keyboard to remove dirt and dust that may be trapped in the keyboard. Next use a keyboard vacuum to suck out any additional dirt or a can of compressed air to blow the grime out of your keyboard. The keys can be cleaned with the same wipes you used on the monitor. If the keyboard still seems dirty, you can remove the keys to clean under them, but you need to remember where they go.
A clean computer will last longer because it is less likely to overheat and damage the components. Make cleaning part of your computer maintenance and perform the task at least every 6 months. If you live in a dusty environment, or with smokers, consider doing the job more often.
About the Author: Jame Lichorat is a PC repair specialist who can recover deleted files, restore computer function, and remove the toughest viruses. He advocates cleaning your computer and running virus scans regularly.