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Cleaning Your Computer: 12 Simple Tips

Friday, November 2nd, 2007 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized

Cleaning Your Computer: 12 Simple Tips

A stitch in time saves nine! Believe it or not, but this adage works brilliantly for your computer too. Not only will keeping your computer clean help you save on maintenance cost, but it will also keep you stress free so that you can focus on your work and nothing else! So, why is cleaning your computer so important? Well, basically because dust and debris collect in your system, causing your computer to heat up, which can eventually lead to hardware failure.

Here are a few simple tips that will keep you in the clear. Read on!

1.) To clean your computer case, first unplug your system power from the electrical outlet. Remove all the cables and connectors from the back side of your computer. The computer will require the fans to be blown out as well. Some PCs have multiple fans: one on the processor and one or two on the power supply. Make sure you clean them all. The best thing to use is probably compressed air. Just blow that air all around the hardware components, while keeping the nozzle at least four to five inches away from the main board components.

2.) Another good alternative to compressed air is to use a portable battery powered vacuum that can effectively remove the dust, dirt and hair from the motherboard and prevent it from getting trapped within the case. However, do not use a standard electricity powered vacuum, as it can cause a lot of static electricity that can damage your computer. When using the vacuum, it is vital that you stay a couple inches away from the motherboard and all the other components to help prevent contact, as well as, to help prevent anything from being sucked into the vacuum. Ensure that you do not remove any small components with the vacuum, such as jumpers.

3.) To clean your keyboard, pick up a can of compressed air at your local office supply store. In case you’re not sure, compressed air is a handy invention that forces air from a can out through a long thin straw. You can use it to clean out dust and debris on your keyboard, without having to take the whole thing apart. Be careful not to blow dust into your hard drive though, as that may cause damage to your machine. It’s a good idea to turn the keyboard upside down and give it a few good shakes before you use it again. If you’re brave, you can pop off the keys and soak them in a solution of ammonia and water, but be careful, because not all the keys come off easily. If you feel resistance, stop!

4.) If you feel the need to test fate, you can pull out the memory and other cards from your computer and gently rub a pencil eraser on the contacts before putting them back in. However, don’t pull any cards out unless you’re having problems reaching certain areas.

5.) Remember, never open a CRT monitor. Even when it’s unplugged, they retain enough current to seriously harm you.

6.) When cleaning the inside of your computer (motherboard, etc.), make sure your computer is off. Also, never place your computer on the ground. You should always use a computer table or shelf while you’re cleaning.

7.) Only use an air duster/canned air to remove dust from your computer’s components. It’s best to do it outside as well so that it doesn’t end up all over your house!

8.) When cleaning your monitor, make sure you do so with a clean rag and only use cleaning agents designed for electronics.

9.) When you’re finished with the inside, use a lightly dampened cloth or paper towel to wipe off the outside of your computer case. Gently wipe down the casing using Q-Tips to clean small places like vent holes and disk drive openings.

10.) Never clean the inside computer components or other circuit boards with a damp or wet cloth.

11.) Wipe down the outside of your mouse with a slightly damp cloth. Next, unscrew the ring from the bottom of your mouse and remove the ball. Dust off the ball with a soft cloth and look inside the cavity of your mouse. There will probably be some dust clinging to the rollers that move the ball and you can just scrape that out with a Q-Tip. When you’re finished, replace the ball and ring. Optical mice will require little maintenance, but ball mice can be disassembled. Clean the ball itself, as well as, the X and Y axis rollers.

12.) To keep your computer looking clean longer, purchase an inexpensive plastic covering for your equipment!

If you follow all of these guidelines, your computer and all of its equipment will shine like new!

~ Zahid H. Javali

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