How to Clean a Computer In Under 5 Minutes

  • Wiping a keyboard with a lint-free cloth
After cleaning, wipe the keyboard with a dry lint-free cloth to remove any residue. Image credit: Thinkstock

 

Computers are magnets for dust, lint and sticky fingers but to clean a dirty screen and keyboard without causing damage you need to use the right products and techniques.
 
To do the job you’ll need a lint-free cloth, a gentle cleaning product and a can of compressed air, about $16, from hardware stores.
 
The first step is to turn off the computer and disconnect all the power sources, removing any external plug-ins like USBs, and for laptops remove the battery too if possible.
 
To clean the monitor, dampen one section of a lint-free cloth and gently wipe the screen with the damp part then the dry part. Use the same technique to clean the housing.
 
The best way to get gunk out from between the keyboard keys is to use compressed air then a cleaning solution of half isopropyl alcohol and half water, applied using cotton buds. You can pry the keys off some keyboards for easier cleaning but not laptops or wireless keyboards.
 
For Apple Hardware using any type of sprays, solvents or abrasives is not recommended. Instead, gently go over keyboards, trackpads and mouses with a disinfectant wipe, then dry using a clean lint-free cloth. To use the cotton-bud technique, dampen buds with the disinfectant wipes then use on the keyboard.
 
TIP Ensure that the wipes don’t contain bleach and are only damp, not dripping wet.  

Step 1. Knock out dirt

Knock out dirt and crumbs or trapped lint from between the keys by tipping the keyboard on its side and shaking it. Blow any remaining dirt and lint from the keys and housing using a can of compressed air.

Step 2. Clean the keys

Wipe them with a cotton bud dipped in a gentle cleaner, patting off any excess with a dry, lint-free cloth. Wipe the cotton bud over the top and the edges of the keys, changing swabs frequently.

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