Computers help us complete tasks that would typically take days by hand. But why do we tend to neglect cleaning our machines? Keeping PCs free of malicious viruses is crucial and cleaning the hardware is equally important. There are many areas where dust and grime embed. Dirt can restrict airflow and cause overheating, which later damages internal components and a possible data loss.
Freeing a computer from dust allows it to run better. Unclean mouse, keyboard, and monitor attract germs and viruses that might infect the people around us. Let us avoid spreading germs and other micro-particles by scheduling a cleaning routine. Moreover, we enjoy working on cleaner surfaces hence becoming more productive. Not only do clean monitors benefit us, but also the performance of the machine itself. It runs faster and lasts longer.
We need several tools to wipe off dirt inside a computer:
- Dust mask
- Handheld vacuum
- Unused paintbrush
- A can of compressed air
The pros of cleaning a computer by far outweigh the cons. The following steps are simple maintenance tips that can save us time and money for possible replacement and repair:
- Unplugging and switching off the computer
- Disconnecting the monitor and peripherals: speakers, mouse, keyboard, printer, and scanner
- Placing the different parts in a clean and safe place
- Unscrewing the screws with a screwdriver to remove the side panel
- Blowing debris off the machine using compressed air with the dust mask on. No need to touch the internal parts like the CPU
- Thoroughly clean the PC while holding the air container tightly to prevent frost leakage that could damage the hardware
- Cleaning the heatsink fan at the top of the processor: The heatsink is a set of metallic ridges on the motherboard. A clogged up fan makes the CPU overheat, degrading the machine or causing a permanent damage
- Final dusting and wiping of hard to reach spots with a paintbrush
We don’t need to spend money on extravagant cleaning products to maintain our laptops. There are alternative options, some of which we already use at home. Examples of household products that we could use to clean laptop screens include distilled water, vinegar, and Isopropyl/rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol is an effective solution for killing germs. However, it is neither anti-streak nor anti-static like specialized screen cleaners. For this matter, we can use non-alcoholic cleaners after wiping the screen with Isopropyl. We don’t need to press the laptop screen too hard when rubbing a sponge around.
A slightly damp brand new sponge is a great way to clean the screen. We should avoid any situation that causes water to trip down the laptop. It is safe to use a spray-and-rinse cleaner only on CRT displays. Robust computer screens are made of clear glass covering the display front, just like cellphone protectors. A little spray-and-rinse on microfiber cloth does a great job of sanitizing the screen. But we must not spray the product directly on the machine.
Where there is no microfiber cloth, a soft duster brush can do. We should avoid typical feather dusters because they might damage the screen. When choosing microfiber materials, polyesters are the best options. We’d rather err while taking extra precautions rather than serious mistakes. We should seek advice regarding safe products and cleaners for electronic gadgets. Glass screens in older CRT monitors have an extra layer of protection. But modern LCD laptops lack these features. As such, we want to avoid anything harsh like window cleaners on laptops.
Some computer touchscreens do not have additional protective features like those of smartphones and tablets. Cleaning touchscreen requires extra precautions than we would with standard desktop computers. Touchscreens are not created the same and are very sensitive to external elements. To be on the safe side, we should use microfiber cloths and make a gentle wipe using the same techniques aforementioned in this article. Because they are sensitive to pressure, touchscreens must not be pressed down too firmly when wiping.
Our hands contribute so much to the hygiene of computer hardware. We should wash hands before using touch screen laptops if possible. It is crucial to keep the environment free of dust and other sources of pollution. Otherwise, we ought to clean our computers more frequently to prevent major buildups. Investing in computer cleaning solution kits may cost a few bucks. However, it can save us more expenses we could incur replacing and repairing our computers.