Spring Cleaning: How to Refresh Your Computer – Part One Physical Cleaning

Dirty Computer

Image Credit: Paulimus J

It may still be cold in parts of the U.S., but in Florida it’s already beginning to feel a lot like spring, which naturally leads us to think about one thing – spring cleaning.

But did you know that it’s not just your environment that could use a good cleaning? Your computer could probably use one as well.

Whether it still feels like winter where you are, or whether it’s starting to warm up already, taking some time to clean your computer now will ensure you’re ready and prepared to take on the coming year.

Our spring cleaning series breaks down the various steps of cleaning your computer into easy, manageable chunks, so you don’t have to spend days and days cleaning your computer.

Instead, follow the series and perform the steps outlined. By the time the series is done, your computer will be cleaned up and running good as new, and you’ll be ready to handle anything the year throws at you.

Part one of the series focuses on physically cleaning your computer.

Did you know that your computer, and specifically your keyboard and mouse, are some of the dirtiest places in your office? In fact, your keyboard could be dirtier that the toilet. Eeewww. And you touch it several times a day.

Instead of letting germs and bacteria fester for another year, take some time to clean your computer. Your body will thank you.

Cleaning Items Needed

To physically clean your computer, you will need:

  • Canned Air
  • 70% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Electrostatic dusting cloth
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Electronics Vacuum

Important Note: Never spray anything directly on your electronics. Instead, spray your cloth, then wipe the device clean.

Cleaning Your Devices

Keyboard

While you can leave your devices attached, it’s best to detach keyboards and mice so that they don’t activate programs and commands on the computer while you’re cleaning. This includes both wired and wireless devices.

After disconnecting your keyboard, turn it upside down and shake it out. This will remove any large debris, such as food crumbs, hair, etc. Then, spray the keyboard with canned air, removing any additional large debris. If you have an electronics vacuum, use it on the keyboard now.

Once all the big crud is removed, there will probably still be spots that need some deep cleaning. Dip a cotton swab lightly in Isopropyl Alcohol, and spot clean any heavy gunk. Make sure that the swaps have enough alcohol to clean with, but aren’t dripping wet.

Continue cleaning until your keyboard is sparkling clean. Repeat this process every few months, particularly after a cold or illness to remove any residual germs.

Mouse

Wipe down your mouse with a microfiber cloth to remove any large particles. Remember to wipe down both the top and underside of the mouse.

While rare these days, if you have a mouse with a ball, remove the ball and wipe it down. Gently clean any rollers with a cotton swab dipped (lightly) in Isopropyl Alcohol. (Again, you want it damp, not dripping.)

Otherwise, wipe down your entire mouse. For any stubborn spots, clean with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Repeat until your mouse is sparkly clean.

LED Screen

Even screens get dirty from time to time. First, clean your screen with canned air, to remove any large dust particles.

Then, clean your screen using LCD wipes, or a soft-dust free microfiber cloth. Moisten the cloth with a mix of distilled water and white vinegar, and wipe the screen in circular motions.

Wipe until your monitor is clean and streak free. Repeat every couple of months, or when your monitor is dirty again.

Note this will work for LCD TV’s too.

Computer Case / Laptop

Once all your peripherals are cleaned up, it’s time to clean the outside of your computer.

Shut down and turn off your computer. Using the canned air, clean any fans, air intakes, or other areas on the outside of the computer that is collecting dust. If your computer is super dusty, take it outside to clean.

Then, gently wipe down the outside of the case with a microfiber cloth. Clean any stubborn spots with a cotton swap dipped in Isopropyl Alcohol.

If you have a laptop, remember to clean really well between your keys, your touchpad, and any other area that is frequently touched.

And you are done! You should now have a sparkly, clean, germ free computer, keyboard, mouse, and monitor. Now plug everything back in, turn on the computer, and get back to work. 😉

Stay tuned for our next installment of the Spring Cleaning Series, where we’ll focus on cleaning the inside of your computer.


Julie Strier is a freelance writer who believes that a clean computer is a happy computer. Email:julie@mybusinesswriter.com. Website: www.mybusinesswriter.com.

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