You probably like a tidy home. It’s a good idea to keep your computer tidy, too. For instance, using an external hard drive or cloud-based storage can declutter your computer while helping to keep valuable data safe and secure. In this article, we will learn more about how to clean our computer hardware.

How to clean your Computer Hardware

To keep your computer’s hardware in good shape, there are key tasks you should add to your list of chores — after turning off and unplugging your computer.

Wipe down your computer

Dust off the outside of your computer with a soft, dry cloth at least once a week. Remove any fingerprints on the screen. If you want to use cleaning fluid, visit a computer store to find one that’s specifically designed for your monitor type.

Regular household cleaners may damage a monitor screen, wearing away coatings.
Instead, gently wipe your screen with a soft cloth. A microfiber cloth is great for this purpose.

You can dampen your cloth with distilled or filtered water to wipe away tougher smudges. Plain water usually works, too, but filtered or distilled water will help you avoid streaks.

If heavier cleaning is needed, moisten a cloth with a 50-50 mix of distilled water and distilled white vinegar and gently rub your screen clean.

To clean the front and back of your laptop case, use a clean sponge that’s been dipped in mild dish soap and water and wrung out. Rub gently.

Make sure your computer is dry before turning it back on.

Clean Your keyboard

Pick up your keyboard, turn it over, and gently pat it on the back to dislodge crumbs, stray hairs, and other tiny bits of dirt. If you’re having trouble removing sticky dirt, try using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, or the cleaning mixtures mentioned above.

Gently wiping around the keys can help keep the keys from sticking or failing. If your keyboard is acting up, you may need to open it in order to “deep clean.” Check your computer or keyboard manual for instructions on how to open and clean this component safely.

Blow dust buildup out of computer vents, fans, and accessories

Every three to six months, consider using a screwdriver to open your computer’s exterior case. With a can of compressed air (available at any computer store), clean the dust buildup out of the fan and the case. Put the case back together and use cotton swabs to pick up any lingering dirt on the fan vents or other small crevices on the outside of the case.

For laptops, check the manual for instructions on cleaning or safe case opening.

You also can use a few short bursts of this compressed air to dust out your keyboard and mouse.

Run check disk tool

To help detect hard drive issues before they lead to other problems, Microsoft Windows provides a Check Disk tool. The tool will scan for and repair issues such as file system errors or bad sectors. If you haven’t done this scan before, run a full scan, which enables automatic repairs. The process may take a few hours.

Check surge protector

Power surges can put harmful stress on your computer, and in some cases damage the power supply and other components. Did you know surge protectors can lose their protection after undergoing just one power surge? Even if they still appear “on,” they may not be providing the protection you need. So it’s a good idea to check them from time to time, especially after a notable power surge.

Keep PC ventilated

Maintaining proper airflow inside and outside of your PC is important. Make sure you have at least three inches of space on either side of your PC that’s free of obstructions such as other computers, papers, or walls. Also, make sure your room is large enough or well-ventilated enough to facilitate good airflow.

Another thing to watch is your CPU fan and fan blades. If your processor keeps overheating and forcing your PC to shut down, you may need to upgrade your CPU fan.