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How to Clean Your Computer Without Damaging It

How to Clean Your Computer Without Damaging It

Man with salt and pepper beard wearing glasses and blue shirt wiping down laptop keyboard while sitting at a desk.It’s not uncommon for our computers to collect dust, food particles, and other debris since we use them so frequently. However, if we don’t take the time to clean them properly, it can eventually affect the device’s performance and operating power.

Regularly cleaning your computer can extend its lifecycle and ensure reliability for all of your gaming, streaming, and work-related needs. So, check out these tips on how to clean the outside of a computer and what products are best for getting the job done.

Cleaning your computer without damaging it

Whether you use a desktop or laptop, these practical and inexpensive tech-cleaning tips leverage household items, and everyday cleaners freshen up your devices.

Before we kick things off, remember to always power down and unplug your devices before cleaning (not just switching into sleep mode). Cleaning a computer while it’s in use can sometimes result in permanent damage, so to be safe, make sure to turn everything completely off.

How to Clean a Keyboard

  • When you have a build-up of grime beneath your keys, you can use a hairdryer (in place of compressed air) to clean things out. Choose the cool setting, and hold the dryer a few inches away from the keyboard at a 45° angle to blow out trapped dust and dirt. Alternatively, you can also use a handheld vacuum cleaner to suck crumbs and dust out of every nook and cranny.
  • Sticky notes are also quite effective and something many people already have on hand. Simply fold up the sticky end of the paper, slide the sticky portion between your keyboard keys, and be amazed by all the debris you collect from these tight spaces.
  • Or, you can opt to dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and then wipe down the tops and sides of the keys to disinfect the entire surface.

How to Clean a Mouse

  • To put some shine on your computer’s mouse, start by unplugging it or removing the batteries. Next, moisten a clean, cotton cloth with a small amount of rubbing alcohol, and thoroughly wipe down from top to bottom.
  • If you have a mechanical mouse, remove the tracking ball by turning the ball-cover ring counter-clockwise. Then, clean the ball and the inside of the mouse with the cotton cloth and rubbing alcohol.
  • For smaller, harder-to-reach places, use a toothpick or moistened cotton swab to scrape out any lingering grime (avoid using a toothpick on the actual sensor).

How to Clean a Computer Screen

  • Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and distilled water.
  • Apply a minimal amount of the solution to a microfiber cloth, but never spray directly onto your screen. Avoid using paper towels or facial tissue, as they are too abrasive for this type of cleaning. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth, use a lens-cleaning tissue!
  • Wipe your screen in a circular motion with gentle, even pressure, but refrain from scrubbing as this can cause pixel burnout to the LCD surface.

How to Clean the Outside of a Computer

Unlike your computer’s delicate keyboard and screen, a laptop’s exterior is a bit more durable. But as always, be sure to avoid harsh chemicals and never apply liquids directly to the surface.

  • For a quick clean, use white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, or water (don’t mix them this time). Apply the liquid to the cloth, and wipe down the outside of the device.
  • If your case is covered in residue, simply apply 90-100% rubbing alcohol to a microfiber cloth and scrub gently.
  • When dust or pet hair is stuck to your desktop, try wiping the outside of the console and monitor with a dry cloth, as liquids run the risk of spilling and causing some serious damage.

While these tips are all super helpful and easy to implement, remember that cleaning your computer won’t get rid of dents, dings, and scratches. If your computer is currently beyond repair, you don’t have to settle! Snag desktop bundles, ultimate gaming laptops, and more at your local Rent-A-Center today!

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