Know about Laptop Cleaning Best Practices from the Experts
A regular cleaning regimen is important for keeping laptops functional and secure. It also helps extend the device’s life and cuts undue maintenance costs. Moreover, a clean-up keeps transmittable infections at bay.
This research says that computer keyboards are breeding grounds for germs.
Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a thorough cleaning of the computer keyboard and mouse to control infections that may occur due to contact with unclean surfaces.
Performing a complete clean-up of your laptop screen along with the keyboard and mouse will not only sanitize the device, but also make it pleasing for you to use it.
Here are a few aspects of cleaning a laptop to bear in mind.
What Computer Cleaning Materials Are Needed?
Let us begin with a few things you will need before beginning with your laptop clean-up.
- Microfiber Cleaning Cloth: This cloth is made of extra-fine synthetic fiber and is widely used to clean sensitive surfaces like lenses and laptops. This material is most preferred because it does not cause scratches or produce lint on the surface.
- Computer Cleaner Blower: This blower helps to blow off dust particles from the surface of the laptop. A cost-effective option to this is a compressed air can.
- Damp Sponge: Damp sponges are used to clean heavy dirt from the surface of the device.
- Cotton Swab: They are used to remove particles of dust from the laptop. These swans are available in various sizes and shapes.
- Distilled Water: Distilled water is preferred to tap water when cleaning a laptop.
- Isopropyl Alcohol: Isopropyl alcohol is an antiseptic and is used to clean surfaces. It can be used to clean the laptop screen.
- Paintbrush with Soft Bristles: A paintbrush is an important part of your laptop cleaning kit as it reaches small dust particles and sweeps them away.
- Flathead Screwdriver: This screwdriver can be used for prying purposes to ensure a thorough clean-up.
How to Prepare Your Laptop for the Clean-Up?
The following steps must be taken care of:
- Shut down the laptop. Unplug it from the power source. A blank screen will improve visibility to locate fingerprints, dirt, and dust, making it easier for you to wipe them off.
- Remove the laptop battery to avoid injury due to electrostatic charges. Also, inappropriate handling of the battery may result in damage to the internal components of the laptop.
- Disconnect and remove all cables and devices like memory cards, wireless keyboard, mouse receiver, pen drive, and charger.
How to Clean a Laptop?
Now that all the essential pre-cleaning aspects have been taken care of, let us check out the steps involved in deep cleaning the laptop.
1. Cleaning the Exterior of the Laptop
Start with cleaning the bottom of the laptop. Use a microfiber cloth to gently wipe out dust or stains on the surface of the laptop.
If you find heavy stains on the surface, dampen the cloth with distilled water or isopropyl alcohol. Ensure that the cloth is not wet. Simply dampen it and rub over stains to remove it.
Isopropyl alcohol is preferred over water as it evaporates quickly without leaving any residue on the surface of the device.
Repeat the same step to clean the front surface of the laptop.
2. Best Way to Clean the Laptop Screen
The recommended way to clean the laptop is screen is as follows:
a. Open the laptop and wipe the screen surface to get rid of dust particles. The ideal way to do this is by using an air blower that sweeps off dust and then gently wiping the surface.
If you do not have a blower, use a microfiber cloth and wipe the screen surface from side to side or in an up-and-down direction. Make sure not to scrub or go in circular movements. This may cause scratches on the screen.
b. Next, you may need to clean fingerprints, stains or other marks on the screen.
To do this, take a microfiber cloth and dampen it with distilled water. Make sure the cloth is not dripping wet.
Gently rub on the stains in circular motions without exerting too much pressure so that the pixels of the laptop are not distracted.
3. Best Way to Clean the Laptop Keyboard
The keyboard needs frequent cleaning as it is the most used part of the laptop. Dust, crumbs, and hair can gradually build up in the crevices of the keyboard, while fingerprints and unclean hands can leave behind residue on its surface. There are two different ways to clean the laptop keyboard as detailed below.
a. Cleaning with the Keys Intact
This is a simple way to clean the keyboard. Start with blowing the dust particles with the compressed air blower. Focus on the gap between the keys. Ensure to blow out any particles stuck therein.
Use a soft-bristled brush to sweep away dirt particles. If you find stains on the keys, you may dampen a cotton swab in distilled water or isopropyl alcohol and gently rub it over the keys to clean them.
Finally, use a microfiber cloth to wipe away extra moisture on the keyboard.
b. Cleaning the Keyboard after Removing the Keys
This is a thorough method of cleaning the keyboard. Use a flathead screwdriver to gently remove the keys. Have a picture of the keyboard before you remove the keys. This will help you place the keys back appropriately without having to remember their location.
Dampen a cotton swab in isopropyl alcohol and clean the exposed areas of the keyboard. You may also clean each key using the cotton swab. Let them dry.
Use a microfiber cloth to pat dry the keyboard before placing the keys back.
4. Cleaning the Touchpad and Palmrest Area
Undoubtedly, the palm rest and touchpad areas attract the maximum dirt. They are also the most used areas of the laptop.
Use a microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol to clean heavy stains in this area. Rub gently and use the air blower to get rid of dust particles.
5. Cleaning the USB Ports and Air Vents
The USB ports and air vents are usually ignored, but over time, these small vents tend to accumulate a lot of dust and dirt. The best tools to help you clean these areas are a brush and cotton swabs.
a. Cleaning USB Ports
Use a brush to sweep away dust particles. Ensure that you do not disturb the internal terminals of the ports. Cotton swabs can be used to clean the outer part of the ports. If you swab becomes dirty, use a clean one to deep clean the ports again.
Finally, use an air blower to blow off any remaining dust in the ports.
b. Cleaning Air Vents
Use a soft-bristled brush to sweep off tiny dust particles from the vents. Wipe with a cotton swab to clean it up thoroughly. It is not recommended to use an air blower for this step as it may blow the dust particles directly into the laptop.
6. Final Step
After cleaning all the parts of the laptop, let them dry. Fix all the removed parts of the laptop like the charger, cables, and battery. Switch on the laptop and make sure it is working fine. If you feel something has gone wrong, consult an expert or laptop repair shop for assistance.
If you don’t plan to use your laptop for a while, ensure that you store it safely in a laptop bag or a laptop sleeve. Avoid keeping the laptop open when not in use.
Laptop maintenance and cleaning is a simple task when planned appropriately. It is important that you maintain a periodic cleaning routine to keep up the proper functioning of your laptop.
Do you need assistance with cleaning and maintaining your laptop? Feel free to reach out to us for any technical assistance.
I’m Dave Goodenough. I started InsideOut Networking in 2004 with the idea that if we could cut through all the jargon and tech speak and just have real conversations about computers and technology, we could help a lot of people out and develop long-term relationships with our clients.
Today, we have over 2,500 clients who trust us to make sure their computers are always up to date and protected from security threats, allowing them to do exactly what they need.