Keeping your computer clean

By Charlotte Parker 05 Mar 2018
keeping kit clean

Computers and laptops will slow down with age, but keeping them in good condition can help make them last a bit longer. We've put together some handy tips on how to keep your kit clean and help it last as long as possible.


Cleaning the inside of a computer


Heat is one of your computer's worst enemies. That, along with a build up of dust, can make the hardware overheat and break down. To keep things running nice and cool, you should clean out your computer once every 6-12 months. Here's how to do it safely.

The first thing to do is make sure your compter is turned off and unplugged before you start any cleaning. When it's off, open the computer's case.

The best thing to use to clean the components is compressed air. You can dust the internal components with short, sharp bursts of air. Make sure you are a few inches away from the motherboard, memory, processor, and expansion cards when cleaning them so you don't damage them.

To clean dust from your fan, you can use your finger to stop it from spinning while you use the compressed air to remove the dust. The fan blades can be fragile and might crack if they spin too quickly. If the fans are hard to reach or particularly dirty, you can take them out to make things easier.


Cleaning a keyboard and mouse


The keyboard is one of the things that gets used a lot but hardly ever gets cleaned. If you have a look, you'll probably see a build-up of crumbs, grease and other dirt that could stop your keyboard from working properly. This section shows you how to clean it out, as well how to keep your mouse and screen in good condition too.

It doens't make too much difference whether you're cleaning a laptop, wired or wireless keyboard. The first thing you should always do is make sure it's switched off and unplugged (take the batteries out if it's wireless). A stand-alone keyboard can be turned upside down to get rid of any loose dirt and debris. Compressed air can also be used to dislodge any of the more stubborn dirt.

If your keys themselves are dirty, they can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Make sure to be gentle and only use a small amount of the solution, taking care not to let any drip under the keys. If you're worried that the alcohol is too strong, test it first on a small area to make sure it's not going to stain or discolour your keys.

To clean your mouse, you can use a damp microfibre cloth. Make sure there's not too much moisture though, otherwise water could drip down into the openings and damage the mouse. More stubborn dirt or grease can be cleaned with rubbing alcohol.


Cleaning a screen or monitor


It can be frustrating when you're trying to work or play on your computer and there's bits on the screen distracting you. Here's how to keep your screen or monitor nice and clean.

The main thing that you need to watch out for when cleaning a computer screen or monitor is to make sure it doesn't get scratched. The best type of cloth to use is a microfibre cloth. Usually this will get rid of most of the dirt and streaks, but if you've got more stubborn marks, you might need to use a cleaning solution.

With there being liquids involved, again you'll want to make sure everything is turned off and unplugged. The best thing you can use is plain, distilled water. That's because there's no chemicals and it will be gentle on the screen. If you need something a bit stronger, you can use a 50/50 mix of distilled water and white vinegar (don't use apple cider or any other kind of vinegar).

Put some of the solution in an empty spray bottle and apply a small amount to a clean, dry microfibre cloth. Once the cloth is damp (not wet) you can use it to gently clean the screen.


Hopefully that's everything you need to know about cleaning your computer and keeping it in good condition. If you need more help, you can contact Team Knowhow Experts.

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