With a flu epidemic going on, and a cold season still at its peak, it’s important to make sure you are keeping your things clean and disinfected. And this is especially true for your computer. You spend a good chunk of your day in front it and studies have shown most systems are ridden with germs.
But cleaning your computer isn’t as simple as cleaning your countertops — some parts are sensitive technology that can be ruined with regular cleaning products. To help you get your device squeaky clean we’ve come up with this easy to follow step-by-step list that will make sure no harm comes to your computer. Happy cleaning!
What you need:
- A microfiber cloth
- Soft cloths for cleaning (don’t use paper towels)
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Can of compressed air
First things first, shut down your computer and make sure it’s unplugged. Failing to do so can result in damage to your hardware.
Start by wiping down the exterior. Take a soft microfiber cloth and wet slightly with isopropyl alcohol. Gently wipe it down, be careful not to go into any ports. If the ports are really dusty or have some other debris in them you can use your compressed can of air.
First go over the screen with a soft, dry cloth. When you’re done, use a clean cloth and lightly dampen it with a half water and half vinegar solution. Be sure it’s not soaking wet. Carefully run the cloth with your water/vinegar solution over your screen. Once should be enough.
If your computer is detachable, unplug it or if it’s wireless, unpair it with your computer. Turn it upside down and shake it — gently! — to remove debris.
Next, use a can of compressed air to clean between the keys.
Then you’ll want to use your cleaning cloth, isopropyl alcohol, and Q-tips. Dampen the cloth with alcohol and gently swipe your keyboard. Lightly dip a Q-tip in the alcohol and use it to go in between the keys.
Quickly shut down the computer and disconnect the keyboard. Then turn the keyboard upside down and allow the liquid to drain. When it’s completely dry, follow the above steps to clean with isopropyl alcohol.
If your keyboard is really sticky, it’s going to be a bigger job. Learn how to clean it here.
If your mouse plugs into a USB or PS/2 port, be sure you unplug it before you clean it. If you have a wireless mouse, unpair it with your device. Lightly moisten a clean, soft cloth with isopropyl alcohol and clean around the mouse. If you want to clean inside the mouse, be careful when disassembling and reassembling and always make sure everything is 100% dry before you put it together.
Some cleaning don’ts:
- Always make sure your device is shut down AND unplugged before you clean it.
- Never spray a liquid onto your computer, always use a cloth!
- Don’t use sure cleaning products and solvents, they can end up damaging your computer.
- If you decide to clean your fan, hold the fan in place as spraying compressed air onto it can cause damage.
- We know it’s hard, but try to limit (or stop) eating around your computer.
How often should you clean it?
You can wait about 9-12 months for a deep clean, but if you have a lot of pets who around your computer, or a share it with a lot of people, considering going through these steps doing every 4-6 months.
That said you should disinfect the keyboard and mouse at least once a week. Why so often? Your computer is a breeding ground for bacteria even if it’s just you using it. One study found keyboards have more bacteria than a toilet seat! You should also be sure to wash your hands after you’ve been working on your computer before and after you eat — and we know you’re probably eating at your desk (70% of Americans do). Keep a clean cloth and some isopropyl alcohol at your desk and get into the routine of cleaning it the end of your Friday. You can also invest in alcohol wipes, too!
And while you’re resolving to keep your computer cleaner for your health, here are some other great resolutions that will keep your device happy!
If part of your computer is really dirty or in bad shape, bring it in for us to look at it. We are always here to help you whatever grief your device is giving you! Contact us today.