General Cleaning Tips
Below is a listing of suggestions to follow when cleaning any computer components or peripherals as well as tips to help keep a computer clean.
- Never spray or squirt any liquid onto any computer component. If a spray is needed, spray the liquid onto a cloth.
- You can use a vacuum to suck up dirt, dust, or hair around the computer. However, do not use a vacuum inside your computer as it generates static electricity that can damage your computer. If you need to use a vacuum inside your computer, use a portable battery powered vacuum or try compressed air.
- When cleaning a component or the computer, turn it off before cleaning.
- Be cautious when using any cleaning solvents; some people have allergic reactions to chemicals in cleaning solvents, and some solvents can even damage the case. Try always to use water or a highly diluted solvent.
- When cleaning, be careful to not accidentally adjust any knobs or controls. Also, when cleaning the back of the computer, if anything is connected make sure not to disconnect the plugs.
- When cleaning fans, especially smaller fans, hold the fan or place something in-between the fan blades to prevent it from spinning. Spraying compressed air into a fan or cleaning a fan with a vacuum may cause damage or generate a back voltage.
- Never eat or drink around the computer.
- Limit smoking around the computer.
Although computer cleaning products are available, you can also use household items to clean your computer and its peripherals. Below is a listing of items you may need or want to use while cleaning your computer.
- Cloth – A cotton cloth is the best tool used when rubbing down computer components. Paper towels can be used with most hardware, but we always recommend using a cloth whenever possible. However, only use a cloth when cleaning components such as the case, a drive, mouse, and keyboard. You should not use a cloth to clean any circuitry such as the RAM or motherboard.
- Water or rubbing alcohol – When moistening a cloth, it is best to use water or rubbing alcohol. Other solvents may be bad for the plastics used with your computer.
- Portable Vacuum – Sucking the dust, dirt, hair, cigarette particles, and other particles out of a computer can be one of the best methods of cleaning a computer. However, do not use a vacuum that plugs into the wall since it creates lots of static electricity that can damage your computer.
- Cotton swabs – Cotton swaps moistened with rubbing alcohol or water are excellent tools for wiping hard to reach areas in your keyboard, mouse, and other locations.
- Foam swabs – Whenever possible, it is better to use lint-free swabs such as foam swabs.