How to Clean Your Computer

Computer Cleaning Tips

So far, you've read about the computer cleaning products you can use and how to get dust out of your computer. Here are some more useful computer cleaning tips, including both things you can do and things you should avoid:

  • Set a regular schedule for cleaning the surface of your computer as well as for getting the dust out of it. Clean the surface at least once a month, and clean the dust out of the inside at least once every six months [source: Munroe]. Clean it more often if its in a dusty room, it sits on the floor, you eat or drink around it, multiple people share it or you often have dirty hands when you're using it.
  • Sometimes dust isn't just from the air around you, but from another object that comes in contact with it. Dogs, cats and birds shed hair, feathers and skin particles that can find their way into the computer. Plus, a laptop can collect dust, fuzz and other debris from the bag you carry it in.
  • Note that "anti-static" could mean one of two different things when you're reading product labels. Anti-static cleaners are chemicals that can help cut down on a surface's natural attraction to dust, which is good for the outside surface of your computer. Anti-static cloths are cloths that are free of static electricity that can damage computers.
  • Avoid getting liquid cleaners in crevices where they can do damage. To prevent this, apply the cleaner to the cloth instead of directly on the surface, and don't make the cloth so damp that it'll drip when you wipe. If you're using pre-moistened wipes, wring them out some before use if they're dripping wet.
  • A less expensive alternative to using commercial screen cleaners is to use a microfiber cleaning cloth that's slightly dampened with regular tap water. You can add isopropyl alcohol to the water to help cut greasy fingerprints, but keep the alcohol at less than 50 percent of the mixture to prevent possible screen damage [source: Johnson].
  • Even if you don't open the computer's case, you can use still a gas duster to remove dust from fans, grates, keys and ports. Before you do, be sure to disconnect the power, and hold the gas duster at a slight angle so that most of the dust falls outside the case instead of into it. Be careful to avoid spraying chemicals onto your computer components.
  • Don't use a vacuum cleaner in or near your computer. Whether it's sucking or blowing the air, the vacuum may be too strong for the computer, and it can create a static charge that can damage important parts of the computer [source: Broida].
  • Even though gas dusters are often called "compressed air," don't substitute them with an air compressor. The air pressure from these compressors is too high for this task and can contain chemicals that could damage the computer [source: Acklan and Rimmer].
  • As with any chemical cleaners, keep gas dusters away from children. The chemicals used to create the gas in gas dusters have proven to be deadly when directly inhaled [source: Alexander].

Hop on to the next page for lots more information about cleaning the dust bunnies and other dirt from your computer.

Related Articles


  • Acklan and Rimmer. "Cleaning the Interior of your PC." Bleeping Computer LLC. January 2006. (Nov.7, 2010)
  • Alexander, Peter. "'Dusting' is the new killer high for teens." TODAY. MSNBC. NBC News. July 27, 2005. (Nov. 7, 2010)
  • Broida, Rick. "Clean up your grungy PC." CNET. June 15, 2005. (Nov. 5, 2010)
  • Johnson, Joel. "How to Clean an LCD Screen." Popular Mechanics. Hearst Communication, Inc. March 1, 2007. (Nov. 5, 2010)
  • "What is microfiber?" 2008. (Nov. 7, 2010)
  • Munroe, Alyson. "Clean your computer." Microsoft. (Nov. 7, 2010)
  • Trapani, Gina. "Geek to Live: Evacuate PC dust bunnies." Lifehacker. Feb. 8, 2006. (Nov.7, 2010)