It’s a given that from time to time your PC will get dusty, even in the most tidiest of houses. That’s why we have created this step by step process for you to keep your PC working in tip-top condition.
- Microfiber cloth
- Can of compressed air
- Handful of cotton buds
- Antibacterial wipes
It’s not just your home that needs a good spring cleaning. Your PC and peripherals accumulate dust and grime and require on-going attention just like any other frequently used appliance. You need to clean the keyboard, mouse, and screen, of course, but you shouldn’t neglect the interior, as well. Dust build-up inside your PC’s case can lead to overheating and component failure. Follow our simple cleaning schedule to keep your machine spick-and-span.
Step 1: Once a week: Clean your keyboard
Studies have shown that more bacteria live on each square inch of a typical office desk than on the same area of a typical office toilet seat. The reason: The bathroom gets cleaned with disinfectants fairly regularly, but most PC users dust their desks and keyboards only occasionally, at best. This neglect can turn your keyboard into a Petri dish, especially if you often eat near your PC.
To help keep your desk area germ-free, clean your keyboard once a week. Start by holding it upside down and gently shaking it to dislodge any crumbs. Large particles like food debris can make keys unresponsive. Next, take a can of compressed air (available at most electronics retailers) and use the straw-like nozzle to blow out dust from between the keys. These steps should extend the life of your keyboard and keeps it working like new.
The scarier thought, of course, is what you can’t see: germs thriving on your keytops and mouse surface. At least once a week—and certainly more often during cold and flu season—gently wipe the keys with a moist antibacterial wipe. It’s best to do this when your PC is off, so you don’t corrupt any programmes you may have open as you press all the keys. Let’s not forget to wipe down your mouse, too.
In addition to your keyboard and mouse, it’s also wise to clean your monitor once a week using a microfiber cloth. If that doesn’t do the job, use a slightly moistened, soft cloth. Avoid cleansers that aren’t specially formulated for LCDs; stick to water, as polish smears the screen.
Step 2: Once a month: Clear the fans
When it comes to your PC’s case, dust and pet hair that make their way inside are more of a concern than surface dirt. Proper airflow within the chassis is critical to maintaining an optimal operating temperature, and dust can build up in the various fans (case, power supply, CPU (processor), and in some models, GPU (graphics card)), causing them to slow down or seize up altogether. If that happens, the resulting excess heat can cause the CPU to automatically drop down its speed to avoid overheating. Eventually, components might fail altogether.
Once a month, with your PC off, turn the case around and clear any dust you see around the air intakes. Use a cotton bud to clean the fan blades and other areas you can’t reach with a cloth. You might be tempted to hit them with a blast of compressed air, but don’t: This will only force the dust deeper into the fan mechanism and PC case, and could damage the fan.
No matter how dusty your PC may be, resorting to your household vacuum cleaner is not an option. The static electricity generated by these appliances will do more harm than the dust itself. Also while you have the PC out for a clean, just wipes over the cables with a soft cloth, no doubt they too will be dusty.
Remember to do this clean on a weekly basis and your PC will last that extra bit longer.
Thank you for reading.