How to Clean My Computer

If you’ve noticed that your computer has been acting a little slow and you’ve run every antivirus and antispyware program you own but can’t find anything wrong, you may want to take a quick look to see if there’s dust visible anywhere in your PC case or laptop. Dust you can see is an indication that there is dust that you can’t see, which is very likely clogging fans and vents and causing your computer to heat up and may very well be the cause of your computer woes. Keyboards with keys that “stick” or are difficult to press are also an indicator that you need to clean your computer. Following these steps will have your computer clean in no time.

Required Tools and Materials:

  • Soft bristled paintbrush
  • Lens cleaning cloth
  • Air duster (can be found at any computer accessory store)
  • Anti-static cloth
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Small rod

Step One:

Unplug the computer and disconnect all peripherals (speakers, mouse, keyboard, printers, etc.)

Step Two:

Starting with the monitor, wipe all peripherals of the computer thoroughly with the anti-static cloth. Set each piece aside or move through them in order so that you don’t double up on dusting as there is more to come.

Step Three:

Using the screwdriver, remove one side of the CPU housing by locating and removing the 2-8 screws that secure it to the frame.

Step Four:

Use a soft bristle brush to dust the visible dirt inside the case. Be careful not to unplug any wires as you go along.

Step Five:

Locate the fans inside the CPU – there may be 2 or more depending on the model. Use a small rod to prevent the blades from moving; use the soft brush to dislodge any large dust bunnies. Then holding the air duster upright, blow a steady stream of air onto the blades to displace dust.

Step Six:

Wipe the inside of the CPU once more with the anti-static cloth to remove any dust that has now been dislodged. When you’re finished, close the case by putting the screws back in place.

Step Seven:

Use the brush to “sweep” the keyboard a few times. Turn the keyboard over and gently tap to remove any dust stuck beneath keys.

Step Eight:

Holding the keyboard at an angle, use the air duster between each of the keys.

Step Nine:

Wipe down all the parts one final time to remove dust that may have settled during cleaning. Reattach all peripherals and plug in the computer to the power outlet.

Step Ten:

Finally, use the lens cleaning cloth to gently clean the monitor, being careful not to press into the screen as you wipe.

Tips and warnings:

  • If you’ve never cleaned your computer before, there may be a lot more dust that you would think possible present inside. If you can, move the computer to an open space or even to a garage or outdoors for cleaning.
  • Do not use wet or damp cloths on your PC or laptop as water make get onto the delicate circuitry and could cause shorting out, loss of data and in some instances fires.
  • Do not use astringents (alcohol, acetone, etc.) to clean LCD or LED display screens as they may cause damage over time.
  • Touch the frame of the computer with both hands to dissipate any static electricity your body may have stored.