How to Thoroughly and Properly Clean Your Computer

How to Thoroughly and Properly Clean Your Computer

Computer basic maintenance

Computer basic maintenance is a must to have a smooth-running PC, you have to make sure that it is clean. So, how do we clean the monitor and the CPU? Get a rag and wipe the dust off? The simplicity of it is tempting—that may work on the monitor but your CPU will not be very happy with you with that kind of sloppy handling. Although that will get rid of the surface dust, there will still be dirt in other parts/places. They may be disturbed by your “cleaning”, yet they will remain.

That is why we prepared this guide for you on how to properly clean your computer, from the monitor to the CPU. Trust us, your Gaming PC will thank you for it afterwards.

Monitor

Monitors get dusty over time, and most of us are happy with swiping the dust off away before getting down to business. However, that is not enough to remove the dust, finger marks, and whatever-have-you on your computer monitor.

New monitors being churned out by manufacturers these days are more sophisticated and more sensitive than older kinds. This also means that they are more liable to getting damaged quickly. Have you ever noticed that when you exert even a tiny bit of strength, the monitor gets discolored? Improper handling will lead to that, and other worse damages.

If you want your monitor to live longer, follow the steps outlined below:

  1. Stock up on microfiber cloths. These little guys are the ‘it’ when it comes to cleaning anything, and do not usually require any chemical additives to do the job (as long as you any do it properly too).
  2. Unplug. This is very important to make sure you do not get electrocuted.
  3. Dust the screen. Before you get down to business, remove as much dust from the screen as possible. Compressed air dusters or rubber bulb dust blowers will do the work for this step.
  4. Wipe the screen. Do this lightly with your microfiber cloths. Make sure you do not apply undue pressure that could cause damage to your screen. And when you do this, wipe from right to left or left to right rather than using circular movements.
  5. Use distilled water (optional). Slightly dampen the microfiber cloth with distilled water. It should be wet to the touch but not too wet that you can wring water from it. Use this to wipe the more stubborn dust and oil.
  6. Use a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and vinegar (optional). Save this one for emergencies. By that, we mean to say save it for greasier, stickier, dirtier substances that managed to make their way to your screen. For the vinegar, the regular white one you have in your kitchen cupboard will do.

Computer Case

Monitors are fairly easy to clean, right? But the next component of your computer can be a tad trickier. You can simply dust off the case, but what of the accumulated dust and dirt on the inside? This would require opening up your computer case, and as anybody who’s done this can attest, this needs careful and deliberate hands. And if you let your dirty CPU be, then you should not be surprised if it gets hotter than it usually does or suffers a system failure.

You cannot completely protect your CPU from dirt, no matter how much you clean the surrounding area. That is why it is important to regularly clean your system to ensure that everything is speck-free for longer service lives.

Vacuuming your case regularly is a good thing, but it does not remove as much dirt as possible. If you want to be thorough, follow the steps below for a cleaner and longer-lasting PC:

  1. Vacuum the exterior. If you had not done that a day before or earlier in the day, do it before you open up the CPU to go through inner parts. And if there are still sticky dirt your vacuum cannot suck in, you can get a microfiber cloth to remove them.  
  2. Open up the Tower/desktop unit . Make sure you open your system on a surface that is not conducive for electricity, like a wooden table. Even though your Computer Case is already plugged off, there is still a chance that you can get a bit of electric shock. Better yet, wear protective gloves.
  3. Start with the rear. For this step and for the succeeding ones, vacuum cleaner attachments specifically made for the PC are important. Though the standard parts are okay, the specially-made tools are a whole lot better (so you won’t have to fear the vacuum sucking important parts). And when cleaning the rear, use a small brush.
  4. Get to the fans. If the grills of the fan can be removed, then the same brush you used with the rear will do fine. If not, attach a brush with long bristles to unsettle the dust on the fan blades so you can vacuum them afterwards. This process works for other fans too.
  5. Arm yourself with a small brush. Now to the Tower Case innards, use a small brush to remove most of the dust. You would also want to check the wire mesh behind the front bezel, as this part accumulates a lot of dust and other gunk (like human and pet hairs!) over time.
  6. Work from the top down. After brushing off the clumps of dust, it is time to get to other parts. First up would be the floppy drive, tape drive, and other similar drives. These parts have doors but you can pry them open a bit and use the vacuum to remove the dust inside them.

Next would be the power supply. It is important to clean it as dirt blocking its grills would make it vulnerable to damage. After that, get to brushing off dust from hard drive bays, optical drive bays, expansion cards, and other parts that are above the motherboard.

Doing those things would have made the dust fall to the motherboard, so vacuum those before proceeding to the next parts.

  1. Clean the CPU cooling fan and heatsink. These two are the most difficult parts to clean that are very important to keep clean. Use a brush or vacuum for these, and make sure the fan doesn’t turn when you’re using the vacuum. To clean the heatsink, use the vacuum still and use a compressed air duster to remove the remaining dirt.
  2. Take a careful look at the parts. Before putting your CPU back together, examine every part and crevice for any dirt that might have escaped you during your first cleaning pass. If there are, then go at them until there is no visible dirt left.

Sources:

http://www.howtogeek.com/170080/the-how-to-geek-guide-to-cleaning-your-lcd-monitor-screen/

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-clean-your-monitor-or-tv-screen/

https://www.ifixit.com/Wiki/Computer_System_Cleaning

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