How To Clean Your Laptop Inside And Out In Easy Steps

Being well organised helps improve every aspect of your life. Don’t live another day in a messy place! Nobody wants to enter their bedroom to see clothes on the floor, rumpled bedsheets, and stray coffee mugs. Similarly, if your computer is messy or dusty, it can add to the amount of stress you have to deal with throughout the day. All computers become dirty over time. Laptops, especially, require even more frequent cleaning due to how they are used. It doesn’t matter if you have a cool DIY laptop stand! The struggle is real! And don’t even think about leaving your mousepad dirty as well!

Woman work using laptop 

Dirt and grime build-up, particularly on the screen and keys, might cause your laptop to malfunction. Cleaning it is such a delicate task because you are dealing with a fragile piece of hardware that can be easily damaged or ruined. Let’s look at how you can clean your laptop inside and out.

How often to clean your laptop

The short answer is that you should clean whenever you detect dust accumulating on the exterior. Smudges and scratches form on LCD screens over time. Your laptop stand might be full of dust as well. For most people, cleaning their laptop once every five months or so should serve the purpose and keep it working smoothly.

For a more exact answer, it depends on a few factors. For instance, the environment in which a laptop operates has a significant impact. A laptop in an industrial room might only need cleaning once in a while. Whereas, a laptop in a kind of messy place, for instance, would undoubtedly require more frequent maintenance.

Before you begin your cleaning process

Even though your laptop will remain motionless while you clean it, you’ll have to manoeuvre it in unusual ways to reach every surface. It can be damaged or broken if done incorrectly. Also, you won’t need to use a lot of cleaning products.

When handling a notebook, the general rule is to apply as little pressure as possible on its surfaces. This principle can help you avoid one of the most prevalent reasons for notebook failure: cracked circuit boards, or at the very least, broken solder traces. 

These frequently happen because the notebook’s chassis was flexed or pressed too hard rather than because the laptop was dropped. When taking up or moving the notebook, use both hands to hold either side of it, especially if grabbing it by the keyboard deck. This distributes pressure from your fingertips more evenly, reducing pressure on the chassis. 

Laptop on a wooden table

Picking up the laptop by one of its corners is not a good idea because it concentrates a lot of pressure in one spot. Another no-no is lifting the computer by any section of its lid. To make the footprint of the lid smaller, close it before moving it. When a notebook is closed, it is less likely to be harmed if it is dropped.

Another rule that is frequently disregarded is a liquid-free perimeter. Keep open liquids out of your notebook’s spill range. This is particularly critical if you have pets or toddlers who have a habit of surprising you at inappropriate moments. Accidents happen on a regular basis. Also, avoid using harsh cleaning agents and bleach at all costs. 

Exterior cleaning

Unplug the laptop from its power source and remove the battery if it is detachable. Make a cleaning solution with distilled water and rubbing alcohol in a 1:1 ratio. Avoid using tap water as it can leave mineral spots on your touchscreen

Now, dampen a lint-free cloth with the isopropyl alcohol. It should be moist but not wet, so make sure to wring it out. Also, avoid paper towels as they can leave dust behind. Let’s take it one step at a time:

1. Laptop case

Wipe down the exterior of the laptop with the already moist cloth. Then, open the lid and wipe the spots around the keyboard. 

2. Display

First, wipe down the screen with a dry cloth and then clean it using a fresh, damp cloth. Wipe the laptop screen in a gentle circular motion or from left to right, top to bottom. Don’t spray any solution directly on the screen, and never use the typical glass cleaners. They are great when you want to clean your windows. The real windows only (pun intended)!

3. Keyboard and touchpad

To loosen and remove dirt, crumbs, and anything else lodged in the keys, use compressed air. Turn the laptop over and carefully shake out any loose material, using your fingertips over the keys to aid the process.

Woman cleaning laptop keyboard

You can remove individual keys on some keyboards and wash beneath them with a cotton swab dipped in the cleaning solution especially, if you have stuck keys or an extra dirty keyboard! Then replace them in the proper order. You may disinfect the keys by using a disinfecting wipe containing hydrogen peroxide.

4. Ports and cooling vents

Clean the case apertures, such as ports and cooling vents, with compressed air too. Spray at an angle so that the debris is blown away from, rather than into, the laptop. Be cautious when spraying the fans if you unlocked your laptop to access the cooling system. 

Place a cotton swab or toothpick between the fan blades to keep them from spinning too fast while you’re blowing air on them, which can harm them.

Interior cleaning

Before we begin our journey to the heart of your laptop, it is essential to note that a more thorough internal cleaning should be left to professionals since abusing the components could result in damage. However, if you know your way around it, you can still clean it yourself, and you will need two things:

Unlike PCs, many laptops, including Macs, employ Pentalobes, which are small five-pointed screws that sound slightly more occult than they are and require a specific screwdriver. Other laptops don’t use such screws and instead employ convenient levers to remove the back panel. However, because laptops differ so much, it’s wise to double-check your laptop’s specifications beforehand.

Man cleaning dust from laptop motherboard with compressed air

You’re ready to get to work once you’ve gotten the right screwdriver and your canned air. Before you begin cleaning, make sure your laptop is turned off and unplugged. We can’t stress this enough, but failure to do so could result in catastrophic hardware damage.

Remove the back panel and use the little plastic straw attachment to the aerosol can to gently blast short bursts of air into the laptop’s ports and crevices. Before blowing air on the fan, make sure to hold it in place with your finger, so it doesn’t spin too fast and harm the device.

Reasons you need to clean your laptop

You will need to clean your laptop straight away once faced with certain factors such as:

1. Drained battery 

When your laptop overheats, it has to work much harder to operate at its best. As a result, the fans spin at full speed to keep the hardware cool, wreaking havoc on your battery and causing it to drain far more quickly than usual. 

Keeping dust out of the vents and fans will help your battery last longer, but double-check the instruction booklet before disassembling it to verify you aren’t going against the warranty.

2. Stuck keys

When food crumbs, dust, and grime accumulate on your laptop keyboard, the keys might become jammed and stuck when you press them. Not only does this slow down your average words per minute rate, but it also increases the likelihood of hardware failure and the accumulation of germs.

Dust and dirt stuck underneath the laptop

3. Slow performance

If your laptop is overheated and running at maximum capacity, it will try to slow down to keep cool. You might find yourself spending a lot of time browsing the Internet, waiting for your documents to load, and staring at that terrible loading spinning wheel.

If you don’t want to waste time, clean your laptop’s keyboard every other week and the fans at least once a month. You’ll almost certainly thank yourself later.

4. Getting sick

The dirt that develops on your laptop, just as on doorknobs and light switches, often goes unnoticed and, as a result, uncleaned. But, believe it or not, our most common behaviours, such as eating at our desks and failing to wash our hands, transfer lots of germs and bacteria to our laptops the moment we touch the keys. 

Those bacteria, as powerful as they are invisible, can make you sick if they are allowed to proliferate and pile up on your laptop. In fact, one British study found that swabbed keyboards in a typical London office had more dangerous bacteria than a toilet seat. Why? According to the findings, most users rarely wipe their keyboards and even less regularly clean their mice.

5. Life span

Finally, if you clean up your laptop on a regular basis and keep its internal components in good working condition, you’ll almost certainly extend its shelf life. Not only will this save you thousands of quids in repairs and updates, but you will also avoid the need for a brand new laptop soon.

Tips to keep your laptop clean

There’s a lot you can do to keep dust, dirt, and germs from accumulating on your laptop in the first place. Start with a case or laptop sleeve if you don’t already have one. A case will not only protect your computer screen from scratches but will also absorb some of the dirt and dust accumulation on your laptop. When not in use, keep your device in its case to prevent it from collecting dust.

Washing your hands regularly is also a very effective approach to prevent the accumulation of dirt, grease, and fingerprints, as well as the spread of bacteria to your device. And, of course, avoid eating or drinking near your laptop. 

That’s all there is to it! Your laptop is now spotless from top to bottom. The fans should be a little quieter, and you might even notice an increase in performance straight away. Maintain the functionality and aesthetics of your laptop by following this guide and cleaning it properly on a regular basis! Find out next: How to clean your mouse from sweat easily!

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