Cleaning the outside of your computer - PRR Computers, LLC

by Matt Kelland
11 years ago

The first stage of a computer cleaning process is to deal with the outside. Even if you’re nervous about opening it up and cleaning the inside, you can probably tackle the outside without too much difficulty.

You will need:

  • Cotton swabs
  • Microfiber or very soft lint-free cloths, paper towels, or anti-static cloths
  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Can of compressed air 
  • Safety glasses and tweezers (optional)

First steps

  • Turn the computer off and disconnect it from the power source.
  • Run a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol around all of the openings on the outside of your case. Give them one swipe with the damp end of the swab and one swipe with the dry end.


  • Turn the keyboard upside down and gently shake it. 
  • Take a can of compressed air and blow into and around the keys. 
  • With a cotton swab lightly dipped in rubbing alcohol: gently clean outside of each key. You may have to change cotton swabs several times, as they get dirty.


  • Disconnect the mouse from your computer. 
  • Rub / clean the mouse with towel dipped in rubbing alcohol. 
  • Gently scrape away hard-to-remove grime.

If you have an optical mouse:

  • Make sure no lint or other debris obscures the light-emitting lens on the underside of the mouse.

If you use a mechanical mouse: 

  • Open the underside of the mouse and remove the ball. 
  • Wash the ball with water, and let it air dry. 
  • Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and rub all of the interior components.
  • Blow compressed air into the opening and ensure that the interior is dry. 
  • Replace the ball and the cover.


Liquid-crystal display (LCD) laptop and flat-panel monitor screens:

  • Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints with slightly moisten a soft, lint-free cloth with plain water. 

Glass CRT (television-style) monitors:

  • You can use regular household glass cleaners like Windex, preferably ammonia-free based.
  • Lightly spray cleaner on a folded piece of soft cloth, then gently wipe the glass.
We recommend cleaning the outside every few months, and at least once a year. If you’d rather leave it to us, PRR Computers offers a tune-up service, which includes cleaning the inside & outside of your computer case, as well as adjusting system settings and other maintenance to improve performance.


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