Just like you clean your home and car to prevent the buildup of dust; it is also essential that you clean your computer thoroughly so it doesn’t heat up. Cleaning depends on the environment where your computer is kept. Keeping your computer on a table or desk prevents less entry of dust and carpet particles inside the casing. The dust buildup may affect the performance of your PC and causes it to heat up quickly.
If your computer gets hotter more often, then you need to clean it after every 3 months and this article will help you how to do it.
Clean the Computer Case
The first thing you need to do is to clean the computer case from the outside as well as the inside. First, make sure that the computer is always turned off when to plan to clean it. It is better that you remove all the attached peripherals and any cables before cleaning the computer case. It is also advised to move the computer to a bright light and ventilated area so it becomes safe to blow off all the build up dust.
Next are the tools that you would require to clean the case. Here is the list of few things that you need to clean your computer case from outside and inside.
- Screwdrivers to open the casing
- Compressed can of air
- Cleaning napkins or microfiber cloths
- Isopropyl alcohol (99 %)
- Thermal paste
- Cotton swabs
- Natural multi-surface cleaner
This cleaning process will only take your 20-30 minutes. First, start off with cleaning the exterior of the case. Just spray the cleaner on the microfiber cloth or on the casing directly but avoiding the external connections like USB ports or fan ventilation area. After spraying, wipe it off with a microfiber napkin and you are done. Now it’s time to clean the interior. The first step is to unscrew or slid the panels outwards. Every computer case is different and once you are done with the opening of the panels, grab the compressed air can and release air where you see lots of dust including the slots for RAM.
Now, use the compressed air can to blow inside the PC fans and using a pencil or cotton swab to stop the fan blades so don’t spin when the air is blown on the fan. Carefully clean the fan blades with a cotton swab dipped in isopropyl solution as they are very delicate and may crack easily. If the blades are harder to reach, you always have the option to remove the fan from the case for easy cleanup.
Next comes the cleaning of CPU. You can clean it in two ways; by using the compressed air blowing technique or by removal of the heat sink. Once you have detached the heat sink, clean it isopropyl alcohol to wipe off the gunk and thermal paste and let it dry. Now is the time to apply the coat of fresh thermal paste. The thermal paste transfers the processor’s heat to the fan and the paste needs to reapply whenever the fan is removed from the processor. Apply the thermal paste in a pea-sized amount on the center, allow it to spread evenly and then attach the heat sink.
Don’t forget to clean to case’s bottom and attach the cables and power cord. Use a vacuum at the area where you cleaned your computer to prevent inhalation of dust particles. It is better to wear a mask while cleaning the case using compressed air can.
Now your computer case is totally dust-free!
Is Isopropyl alcohol safe to use?
Those who are wondering why we suggest isopropyl alcohol for cleaning the inner components of the computer, here is the answer. The isopropyl alcohol is volatile and will evaporate within few minutes without leaving any drop on the components. Moreover, it does not conduct electricity. So it’s safer to use and has been used for cleaning computer case from ages.
Clean the Hardware
If the computer performs slowly, then you need to clean the hardware. The hardware of the computer is enclosed in a durable strong casing which prevents it from damaging. This hard casing also protects the hardware from moisture, dirt, or dust particles. So when we say clean the hardware, we refer to deleting files, removing viruses and some uninstalled software.
It’s time to boost your computer life and speed!
The first thing you need to do is keep your computer updated. You can manually set up to download and install the new updates on your computer. You also have the option to let your computer automatically update. Next is to delete all your internet data junk that is making your computer slow. When you use the internet, the computer stores some bits of information that hinder its performance. If you are an internet explorer user, it is easy to remove all browsing history and cookies by clicking an option that you will find in the control panel. If you use Firefox or Google Chrome, then you have a clear recent history option in the advanced settings of the browser.
You need to make sure that your computer is safe from all kinds of malware and viruses. Many Antivirus software and apps for finding and deleting adware and spyware are available like Avast, AVG, Comodo etc. Install this software to find and delete all the viruses and junk files from your computer. Moreover, use the disk cleanup and disk defragmentation feature that you will find in the start menu. Remove and uninstall all the unwanted software or programs from your computer by clicking on the ‘uninstall a program’ in control panel.
Clean the Keyboard, Mouse, and Monitor
Keyboard: Your keyboard is full of bacteria, germs, and dust when if you don’t see or feel it. You won’t notice but there is dirt, dust, food, and hair under your keyboard keys. Cleaning your keyboard will make it free of dust and germs, also increases its performance. Before you clean the keyboard, turn off the computer and detach it properly. An efficient way to clean is using the compressed air that you used for cleaning the case.
Blow the compressed air between the keyboard keys. In addition, you can clean with a microfiber cloth with some isopropyl alcohol on it. Use cotton swabs to clean between the keys. If you intend to deeply clean your keyboard, then you have to remove the keys. Removing keys is essential when you have food particles or drink spills under the keys. Removing the keyboard key is an easy process by holding the flat object under the keys and pulling it off.
Some other innovative ways of cleaning the keyboard include using a cleaning slime that attaches all the dust and food particles to its surface. The cleaning slimes are washable so you can use them again and again. Another way is using a clear tape on the keyboard to stick dust to it. Once you are done with cleaning, Spray disinfectant on a cloth and wipe the keyboard with it.
Mouse: The same procedure goes for the mouse; remove the batteries if you use a wireless mouse. If you have the scroll wheel type, then turn over the scroll wheel to help unlock something that might be stuck. You can also remove the lid and ball to clean it from the inside with a cotton swab or tissue. Wipe the mouse with a microfiber cloth with some disinfectant on it avoiding the optical sensor area.
Monitor: If you want less eye strain, then consider cleaning your monitor too. We prefer using a dry cloth to clean the monitor, but if it’s not enough to clear the dust and fingerprints, spray a glass cleaner on a soft microfiber cloth or Swiffer dusters that won’t scratch the LCD screen. You can also use plain water to do this job. Make sure you use glass cleaners that are free from ammonia because it might damage the screen. If you have a CRT monitor, clean it with a soft damp cloth. The best direction for cleaning is to push the tissue across the display screen in one just direction and move from the top to the bottom to avoid damaging the pixels of LCD monitors.
Clean Other Peripherals
Cleaning your gadgets like headphones is also essential as it might have ear wax and sweat. Liquid cleaners are not used for cleaning headset made of leather and vinyl ear cups. So, it’s safer to use a soft microfiber cloth to clean. Furthermore, a headset tape works best with ear cups made of foam to pull off all the dust. Try replacing the headphones cushions when they get dirty.
Warning: Do not ever use a vacuum machine to clean dust from your computer and its part. It may sound an easy way of cleaning but it may damage the internal components as it creates a static charge. Do not directly spray any liquid cleaners on to the components.
After cleaning, your computer will look as good as a brand new one. You would definitely feel a boost in the performance as well. Repeat the computer cleaning every 3 to 6 months or when necessary.