Clean your computer regularly to help extend its shelf life, saving you time and money on repairs and replacements. Remember that computers are especially prone to dust and overheating, so these steps can help reduce risk and keep your computer running optimally.
1. Dust your keyboard using compressed air
Did you know that researchers have found that the average desktop and keyboard is dirtier than a toilet seat? That’s why dusting your keyboard off at least once a week can help maintain it (and reduce health risks). Wipe down your keyboard with a damp lint-free cloth, but be sure not to soak it in water.
For harder to reach areas such as in between the keyboard keys, use a compressed air canister.
2. Wipe down your monitor
Fingerprints and other stains can appear regularly on your monitor. In order to keep your screen view fresh and clean, wipe down your monitor once a week using a dry lint-free cloth. Gently wipe in long motions as pressing too hard can damage your device.
Oftentimes, your computer will come with a microfiber cleaning cloth upon purchase. Use this cloth or order a similar one for optimal cleaning.
3. Get rid of your mouse’s dust and particles
Like your keyboard, your mouse needs to be dusted regularly to work properly. To do this, unplug your mouse and turn it upside down. From there, you’ll want to remove the bottom panel and clean the ball with a lint-free cloth.
You can add rubbing alcohol to the cloth for a deeper clean. Let the ball dry before reassembling the mouse.
4. Clean your system thoroughly
Every three to six months you should do a thorough cleaning of your entire hardware system. You can do this in a number of ways, including with a computer vacuum. You’ll want to save and close any active files before you unplug your device to begin cleaning.
From there, you can open the casing by removing the screws. Don’t vacuum the inside of the computer. Instead, use the compressed air canister from step #1 on the inside to avoid damage.
If you have a laptop, disassembly will be different than with a traditional computer. Make sure to follow the instructions that came with your device before you begin taking it apart.
5. Power down or reboot your device regularly
While powering down your device every night isn’t a requirement with new computers, rebooting regularly does help refresh your system resources.
If you’re working off an older computer, you should power down your device properly every night to avoid overheating. If your device is newer, consider rebooting it once a day instead and turning it to sleep mode when it’s not in use.