When was the last time you cleaned your laptop computer? Maybe you haven’t thought about it much at all, but considering how frequently we use them it might be time to give it a polish. We can see the impact our hands and mobile use have on our laptop – on the keyboard, between the keys, the screen, the mouse – oils from our hands, random splatters of coffee, dust, debris, etc. All of it can accumulate over time and can potentially impact the laptop's performance. Giving your laptop a thorough cleaning can go a long way, and when it comes time to sell it (if that time comes), it’ll be that much more worthwhile.
If you have the right tools, this won’t take too long. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Microfiber cloth
- Cotton swabs or Q-tips
- Canned air
- Rubbing alcohol (it is suggested that it be 90% isopropyl or higher because it won’t damage the internal components)
- Liquid for Monitor (filtered or distilled water/white vinegar/specialty fluid)
The canned air is used to blast away dust and small debris that collects around your keyboard, and in your ports (USB, power, HDMI, etc.) Hold the canned air a few inches from the keyboard and spray in short bursts (longer sprays can cause moisture to accumulate). Additionally, you should remove your laptop’s battery and apply the canned air in that area as well. If you're unsure how to properly remove the battery, look for directions online.
When it comes to cleaning the outside, the main thing to remember is to always apply the alcohol to the tool you're using (e.g. microfiber cloth). For the keys on your keyboard, we recommend using Q-tips because you can clean between the keys and the keys themselves. For other areas, a microfiber cloth will do the trick.
Monitor screens should be wiped with the microfiber cloth to remove dust. If still dirty, start with filtered or distilled water. If still grimy, try distilled white vinegar. You can also purchase specialty fluid for monitors, but DO NOT use regular glass cleaner (e.g. Windex), as the chemicals can damage coatings. Whatever you use, spray it on the cloth, not the screen, as it may run otherwise.
It only takes a few moments to give your laptop a good cleaning, and when you're done you'll be glad you did!