This guide is about physically cleaning a computer. Do not get it confused with cleaning junk files from your drive.
Cleaning A Computer
Cleaning your computer is a very important task that should be done regularly to keep your computer in tip-top shape.
Simply put, Dust traps Heat, which slows down and reduces the lifespan of components.
Regularly cleaning your computer can improve performance and prolong the life of your computer. Not maintaining the cleanliness of your computer internally and externally can result in performance and cosmetic discrepancies.
Do’s and Don’ts
Your computer is delicate and requires you to be meticulous. Using the wrong solvents or using the wrong tools can end up in a damaged component.
- Use a pressurized air blower such as compressed air cans.
- Microfiber cloth (or other soft cloth)
- Use a vacuum cleaner (causes static buildup)
- Any cleaning solvents
First turn your computer completely off. Get it to a low-dust open area which is well ventilated. If your computer is very dusty, take it outside.
Tape down your fans, ramping them up with the pressured air can damage them and can shorten their lifespan. You don’t need to apply a crazy amount, a peel of office tape is gentle enough and can hold down the fans.
When blowing pressured air in your computer you’ll want to do it in short bursts (applies especially to pressurized canned air). If you’re using an air compressor make sure that the PSI isn’t too high. Get as close as you can to the component without poking it. You’ll also want to pay special attention to the heatsink fins as they can house large amounts of dust.
Finally we can clean the fans. Using the microfiber cloth, gently wipe down the fins and get rid of residual dust.
Your environment can influence the long-term cleanliness of your computer. Placing your computer on the floor, smoking around your computer, or not keeping the area around your computer clean are contributing factors that will increase dust depositing and advance the maintenance period of your computer. Avoid anything that can lead to a high amount of dust.