Dust and debris are the computer's worst enemies. Accumulated dust interferes with proper air circulation inside the computer case, causing it to overheat, which can shorten the life of the computer components. Cleaning your computer regularly will keep it running properly.
Part 1 of 4: Cleaning the Case
Step 1. Choose a place where you can remove dust from the computer case (without damaging the surrounding objects)
For these purposes, you will use compressed air, and dust can be removed in the garage, or in the workshop, or on the street.
Place your computer on a desk (if possible) for a comfortable working experience
Step 2. Take the necessary tools and materials
You will need a Phillips screwdriver, compressed air, a vacuum cleaner, a toothbrush, and industrial alcohol.
- Do not use a vacuum cleaner with metal tubes.
- The toothbrush should be new and soft.
Step 3. Turn off your computer and disconnect all cables (power, VGA, USB, Ethernet, etc.)
Step 4. Place the computer on the side where the connectors on the back of the chassis adjoin
Step 5. Remove the side panel
To do this, unscrew the screws that secure it. Most modern housings have thumb screws that can be removed without the use of tools (although there are housings that require a screwdriver).
Place the screws in a safe place to avoid losing them
Step 6. Dust builds up inside the case in layers, so turn on the vacuum cleaner and remove large accumulations of dust, for example, on the bottom of the case
Do not vacuum clean computer components! Also, be careful not to hit the components with the tubes of the vacuum cleaner to avoid damaging them
Step 7. Use compressed air to remove dust from components and hard-to-reach places (for example, inside the power supply)
- Discharge compressed air in small portions. Otherwise, it will get very cold, which could damage the computer components.
- Do not use compressed air to clean the coolers. This can cause them to spin at abnormal speeds and break them.
Step 8. Clean the coolers with a vacuum cleaner
Then dip your toothbrush in rubbing alcohol and gently remove any dust left on the cooler blades.
- It is recommended to remove the coolers before cleaning them. To do this, disconnect the cooler power cable, and then unscrew the screws that secure the cooler to the board. Be sure to remember the connector to which the cooler power cable is connected.
- When installing the cooler in its original position, make sure that the airflow from the cooler is in the correct direction (that is, in the same direction as before removing the cooler). Otherwise, the component cooled by the cooler will overheat. Most coolers have markings on them in the form of arrows showing the direction of air flow from a working cooler.
Step 9. Remove the components for a thorough cleaning
A vacuum cleaner and vacuum will remove dust from the computer case, but you also need to remove dust from every component of the computer. Ground yourself before disconnecting components. Place the removed components on an antistatic surface such as wood or rubber.
- Disconnecting the video card. Remove the screws that secure it to the computer case; slide the latch on the motherboard connector; gently pull the card up (you may need to unplug the card's power cable, if present). Place the graphics card on a table and remove dust with a brush and rubbing alcohol.
- Disconnect the hard drive and any optical drives. Open the computer case on both sides (remove both side panels); disconnect the cables from the device; unscrew the screws that fix the device to the computer case; pull out the device (optical drives are pulled out through the front end of the case).
- Disabling the CPU cooler and heatsink. Processor heatsinks are attached to the motherboard in various ways, so before disconnecting them, read the relevant documentation (or find information on the Internet). Some coolers are fixed with screws, others with special latches, and still others with swivel mechanisms. After removing and cleaning the heatsink, apply new thermal grease to the heatsink and then reinstall the heatsink.
Step 10. Remove dust from the openings in the chassis that are designed to improve air flow
To do this, blow out the holes with compressed air from the inside of the case, and then wipe them with a damp cloth from the outside of the case.
Part 2 of 4: Cleaning the keyboard
Step 1. Be sure to disconnect the keyboard
Step 2. Use a vacuum cleaner to quickly clean the keyboard
Step 3. Flip the keyboard over (so that the keys "point" to the ground)
Shake the keyboard, then slide your fingers over the keys and shake the keyboard again. Doing so will get rid of the debris that has accumulated between the keys.
Step 4. Remove the keys if you need to thoroughly clean the keyboard
This is a rather tedious process, but it will extend the life of your keyboard.
- To delete a key, press the key adjacent to it. Insert a flat object, such as a key or flathead screwdriver, under the key, and then gently lift the key up to pop out of the slots. Repeat this process to remove all keys.
- It is better not to remove the space key, as it is difficult to reinstall it.
- Before removing the keys, take a photo of the keyboard so you know the correct layout of the keys.
Step 5. Disassemble the keyboard
After removing all the keys, turn the keyboard over and remove the screws that connect the halves of the case.
Different keyboards are disassembled in different ways, and some keyboards are not disassembled at all
Step 6. Wash the plastic components of the keyboard (by hand or in a car)
- Most keyboards have a rubber contact pad. It can be cleaned with water and soap.
- Do not wash the board and cables. Clean the plastic surfaces around the board and cables with a brush and alcohol.
Step 7. Assemble the keyboard (only after all its elements have dried)
To do this, correctly assemble the keyboard case and set the keys according to the photo taken of the keyboard.
- Set the keys by simply clicking on each one.
- Make sure all components are dry before assembling the keyboard. Otherwise, moisture can damage the keyboard.
Part 3 of 4: Cleaning your mouse
Step 1. Be sure to disconnect the mouse
Step 2. Clean up the buttons
To do this, gently wipe the mouse buttons with a cloth or brush moistened with alcohol. Use a toothpick to clean the gaps between the buttons. Also wipe the entire body of the mouse.
Step 3. Clean the optical sensor
Flip the mouse over and look at the optical sensor. Blow it with compressed air and then wipe it with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol.
Step 4. Clean the mouse feet
Most models have small rubber feet along the bottom of the mouse. They help the mouse slide over the table surface (on the mat). Use a cloth dampened with alcohol to remove dust and debris adhering to the feet. Also wipe the entire underside of the mouse.
Step 5. Clean the rug
As a rule, a thin layer of dust accumulates on the surface of the rug. Most rugs can simply be washed in water (by hand or in a machine).
Part 4 of 4: Cleaning the Monitor
1 Turn off the monitor and disconnect its cable from the computer
Step 2. Wipe the monitor with a soft dry cloth to remove dust from the monitor
Do not try to remove dirt or stains from the monitor - just wipe it lightly.
Do not use paper towels, toilet paper, or rough cloth as these may damage the screen
Step 3. Make a cleaning solution
You can purchase a dedicated monitor cleaner or make one at home by mixing 50/50 distilled water and vinegar. Soak a cloth in the solution, wring it out well, and wipe the monitor screen.
- Do not spray / spray cleaning solution directly onto the screen, as liquid may seep inside the monitor case and damage it.
- Do not use ammonia or ethyl alcohol to clean the monitor.