One of the important features of the computer, and one that we are most likely to forget is how clean it is. It might not seem important, and many people are more worried about their hardware setup, latest software updates, OS they are going to use or how big their screen. We take care of our bodies, clean and wash it daily, and it would be insane that the same shouldn’t be done with computers. Computers get dirty, filled with dust and dirt which can enable air to flow like it should and cause overheating or even hardware malfunction.
General advice – depending on your setup you should clean your computer once every 2-6 months. It depends on the condition and environment, if there is more dust and dirt around, you will need to clean your computer more often. Never clean the computer while it is turned on, make sure to always unplug it and even then, never spray water or any liquid in it, as it may damage the parts. Also – vacuum cleaner: you can use it around the computer but avoid using it in the computer as it generates electricity. Instead, you may try compressed air that will blow all the dirt away. As far as the chemicals go, try to avoid them. Some are damaging to people and some can damage the computer components and you can never know. If you have to use some liquid, use water or some specialized computer cleaner.
Tools – computer cleaning tools can be bought at any hardware store but you can also use the ones you already have in your house. Cotton cloth might be one of your most common tools, as it is perfect for cleaning plastic and metal outer parts, but you should not use it to clean insides of the computer – mainly conducting circuits. You can also use paper towels to clean your monitor, mouse, keyboard or computer case. If you need extra power, add water or alcohol, as they are great at dissolving dirt. As we said, compressor or a portable vacuum cleaner may be used to blow of dust, so they are also in the tool list. Another good thing to have is a pack of cotton swabs. They are great for hard to reach places such as fans or coolers.
Inside the computer – the most important task you have is cleaning the desktop case. To get to it, unscrew the bolts holding the side panel and you will see all your components there. Every one of them is different. First, make sure you get rid of as much dust as possible. Here, a compressor might come in handy. Make sure to use cotton swab or something else to keep the cooler fan from spinning while you blow over it, it is very important. After you are done, take cotton swabs and work on the detailed dust on hard to reach places. Rub alcohol where needed and if some parts need to be dismantled in order to clean them, do so, and put them back when you are done.