I was at my sister’s house the other day (have you seen all of her healthy mealsideas??) I was on her laptop, since I left Powder at home, and it was FILTHY! I was just first annoyed with the dust on the screen and on the laptop between the keyboard and the screen. So I started wiping it. Then I got really annoyed at the sticky “gunk” on the keys themselves, so I started scratching it off. Then under the keys was just soooo dirty, I finally broke down and asked her if she had any compressed air. Luckily she did, and I proceeded to clean out her entire laptop. As I was doing so, I said… this is soooo a post. Which brings me to, how do you clean your computer on a regular basis?
First thing is first, turn off the computer. I always clean things top to bottom so that the dirt and dust can fall, and it won’t fall onto clean parts. So start with the screen. My husband and I use Monster Alcohol-Free ScreenClean Kit , you don’t HAVE to purchase a screen cleaner, but whatever you use, don’t use something alcohol based like a regular glass cleaner! Your LCD screen is NOT glass, and should not be treated as such. Also use a microfiber cleaning cloth to get the job done right. Spray the cloth and wipe the screen down. When the screen isn’t turned on you can see all of the fingerprints and dust to clean it properly.
Next up is the mouse. If you still have a trackball mouse open up the bottom by spinning the part around the trackball. Take the ball out and scratch the dirt off of the bars that surround it. For an optical mouse simply wipe the bottom and spray down and wipe the top. You may have to use your fingernails to scratch the caked on dirt. The mouse and the keyboard touch your hands and fingers the most, and therefore can get really gross quickly. I recommend a wipe down about once a month, or whenever you feel or notice them starting to get dirty.
Now we can move onto the keyboard. First spray compressed air all over the keyboard to loosen up the dirt and crumbs. Now turn the keyboard over and lightly tap it on the surface of the desk you are working on. If you have a laptop do the same thing, only be much more gentle, as there is a hard drive and all the other important components under the keyboard. While it’s still upside down use the compressed air again and blow into the keyboard again. Now tap the keyboard on the desk again. Continue this process until there is nothing else falling from the keyboard. Flip the keyboard back over and starting from the top press the keys down on the second row and spray the compressed air into the row above it (so when you are pressing down the keys of the #1 spray under the F1 key). Once you’ve sprayed under all the keys turn it over one last time and tap it again. Now if there is any caked on dirt on the keys, you’ll have to use a combination of your fingernail and a damp cloth.
Finally we move onto the computer components. For laptops this is fairly easy. Just spray into any open spaces with compressed air, making sure to get the grate where the fan is. With a desktop it can be a little intimidating. Before you try to open the computer, pull the power cord out, and then press and hold the power button until the computer full discharges all of it’s power. You don’t want to be shocked when digging inside! One great thing about Dell computers is how easy it is to open them up. Look on the back (where you plug everything in) for a large screw in the middle on the edge that holds the side of the computer in place. Open it up and start spraying. Make sure you get the fans really good. There should be one on the mother board and one on the video card if you have a powerful one. When you are spraying the compressed air into the fan, you may want to spray the blades to make the fan spin really fast… DON’T! Making the fans spin too fast can actually break the fan! It’s ok if it spins while you are cleaning it, just don’t spray right on the edges to make it spin. Any items that you can’t clean really good with air you can wipe down with a cloth, but don’t let it be damp.
There you have it! You should now have a sparkling clean, and very happy computer!
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I am a mom who can fix your blog, your computer, or your server. I have been in the IT industry supporting small businesses for over 15 years. As a diehard PC and Android user, I can usually be found sparring with Apple fanboys, or watching movies with my family.