Cleaning your computer: before you start - PRR Computers, LLC

by Matt Kelland
11 years ago

When was the last time you cleaned your desktop / laptop / notebook?

Cleaning your computer regularly will help keep it in good condition and extend its life. Dusting it, wiping the monitor, and getting crumbs out of keyboard is a great start. More importantly, dust and lint inside your computer can cause components to malfunction and short out from the static electricity build-up. Eventually, the computer can overheat and fail if you don’t keep it clean. 

Regular cleanings and maintenance could save you a lot of money and headaches down the road. We advise cleaning at least once a year. We offer this service at PRR, but if you’re a do-it-yourself kind, here are a few useful tips. 

  • Check the manufacturers’ policy, sometimes opening your computer case may void your warranty. You may encounter a warning sticker on the case. Review your warranty terms before continuing.
  • Once you’ve opened up your desktop or laptop, touch as little as possible: keep away from cards and cords!
  • When using compressed air: keep the nozzle at least four inches away from the machine.
  • Do not use a house vacuum cleaner to clean the dust out of your PC case (inside). House vacuums generate a lot of static electricity that can damage your systems components. Portable battery operated vacuums, on the other hand, are perfect for this. It is fine to use your house vacuum to suck up the dirt and dust around your PC or even to suck the dust out of your keyboard.
  • Microfiber or very soft cloths are the best options for cleaning screens. Paper towels can scratch the monitor surface. 
  • Do not use Windex, alcohol, or ammonia to clean LCD screens or monitors. These cleaners can damage anti-glare coatings.

Useful tools

Depending on whether you’re cleaning the inside or outside, you may need:

  • Standard (flat-tip) and/or Phillips screwdriver
  • 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

We’ll come back to cleaning in more detail in later posts.


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