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June 2017

How to Clean Computer Hardware

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Cleaning  Hardware

Cleaning Computer Hardware

We all know keeping the inside of our computers free of viruses is important, but how clean is the outside? Cleaning hardware isn’t difficult and can help alleviate gross buildup and overheating.

What you’ll need: A lint-free cloth, can of compressed air, dishwashing liquid, portable vacuum, water and cotton swabs are all it takes to get cleaning.

Before you start: Power off and unplug all attached wires and external devices. Also check your owner’s manual for device-specific warnings about cleaning solutions or procedures.

Wipe it down: Add a small drop of dishwashing liquid in a cup of warm water. Soak a sponge and wring thoroughly. Wipe the exterior of the computer, the mouse and trackpad. Use cotton swabs dipped in the soap and water solution for hard-to-reach areas. Dry everything with a lint-free cloth.

Blow it away: Ports and vents require compressed air to dislodge debris. Aim carefully to avoid blowing dust deeper into the machine. Go after any stubborn stuff with a clean, soft paintbrush or old toothbrush.

Clean that screen: Dust the screen with a dry lint-free cloth. Next, soak a sponge in plain water and wring it until slightly damp. Wash the screen by moving the sponge in small circles. When dusting and wiping, apply only the slightest pressure to remove fingerprints and grime. Avoid window cleaners, alcohol and other chemicals, which may damage anti-glare coatings or make touch screens less responsive.

Key in on the keyboard: Start by turning it upside down over a trashcan to remove loose particles. Then brush between the keys with a soft paintbrush, vacuum brush or the adhesive end of a sticky note. Wipe keys with a cloth pre-moistened with water or rubbing alcohol.

To maintain the best performance make sure to clean your computer every three to six months!

Sources: Consumer Reports, How-To Geek