Whether you are just planning on purchasing a laptop or you already own one, if you dither in taking care of your laptop or notebook, you shouldn’t be surprised when you can’t explain what causes it to malfunction. The accumulation of dust, over time, may cause thick dust build-up, resulting in overheating or another technical issue.
Whatever the brand or model of your laptop, it matters less. Because you do not care, its elegantly polished skin will come off in no time, grime will surely accumulate on the inside, the keyboard/touchpad will display fingerprints, its screen will become dull and torpid, making your laptop appearing old at infancy.
When was the last time you clean your laptop? Never, the first month of purchase or 6 months ago? Maybe you are even afraid of bringing your laptop out in the assembly of pals because it looks like… do you know the inside can be 10X dirtier?
To keep your laptop in good looking and working condition for a long time, proper and efficient cleaning is the key. This guide will help you understand everything about cleaning your laptop, before diving into the cleaning steps there are general cleaning tips and tools required;
General Cleaning Tips for laptops
It’s better to err on the side of caution, before embarking on the onslaught, equipping yourself with essential information is paramount, for your good intent not to result in regret. These tips are of mammoth cogency if you don’t want to cause more harm than good; for cleaning your laptop and its peripherals.
- Beware of liquid splash and streak, never spray any amount of liquid onto any part of your laptop. The union of electronics and water always ends in asunder. If needed, use a cloth sprayed with the liquid
- When cleaning your laptop or any of its parts, ensure your power down, remove the battery (if removable), and unplug from the power source before cleaning
- Avoid using a domestic vacuum cleaner for your laptop inside, although it will do, you are risking a high probability of damage to the in-elements of your laptop. The vacuum cleaner is generally known for generating static electricity, a back voltage that may damage your laptop.
- Always use water or highly soluble and diluted solvents, some cleaning solvents chemicals that can destroy your laptop casing, while some are even allergy tools for some people.
- Smoking, eating, and drinking should not be done anywhere around the laptop
What Do You Need to Clean Your Laptop?
Since your laptop is made of several components and parts, a thorough cleaning is when you can give all parts the appropriate cleaning it deserves. You will need more than just one thing to get this done and a little bit of investment may be required; although optional. You should also know that cleaning the inside is as important as the outside. Of what essence is that good looking baby that could get nothing done except giving you a headache. Despite the availability of laptop cleaning tools on the market, you can employ the service of domestic equipment such as;
- Soft towel or microfiber cloths
- Cotton swab
- Rubbing alcohol
- Air duster or can of compressed air
If you are still in the mystery that cleaning a laptop is an uphill endeavor, you can see you just need a meager investment of your time and money, at under 20 buck and 20 minutes, you can get your machine back to its new self.
6 Steps to Cleaning Your Laptop
Ever heard about garbage in, garbage out in computing? your laptop does that very well. So, why should you, its owner let garbage in without getting it out. It’s better you start doing that for your laptop hardware, because that only in-garbage can render your laptop complete garbage.
Before diving into the cleaning proper, here is sincere advice;
Consult your laptop manual: some laptops have distinct instructions on mode of cleaning, these must be taken into consideration to avoid any unforeseen problems. Your laptop may have a similar case, and the best approach is to stick with the user manual that’s specifically written for your laptop.
Step 1: Cleaning your laptop encasement:
The appearance of your laptop is a dictate of its encasement, to keep your laptop looking nice, it quires you to diligently clean this plastic casing. You will bump upon some vents and air holes in the process of cleaning the case, you need to also ensure they are cleaned up, for efficient airflow and cooling system.
Dampen a soft towel or microfiber cloth with an equal mixture of water and rubbing alcohol (e.g. Isopropyl alcohol), ensure the moistening is lint-free and rub gently overall plastic covered area of your laptop. For difficult stains, you can add a little bit of domestic detergent to the fabric and re-wipe until it cleanses out.
Ensure that all ventilation slots, ports, and air gaps are wiped with a cloth to make them lint and hair-free. These openings are always good to spot for caked grime and home for dust bunnies. It is also preferable to work the compressed air around every one of the openings to suck up dust in these areas. Also utilizing vacuum cleaner for the outside of your laptop is not dangerous.
Step 2: Disc drive cleaning (DVD, CD-ROM and other)
A begrimed disc drive or CD-ROM can cause disc problems when the system tries to read them. These disc problems could result in installation errors or program running issues.
To clean this disc drive, there is a disc drive cleaner that is obtainable in local accessories’ stores, which can be used to get rid of hair, dirt, and dust. Likewise, the ejecting tray of the disc drive can be cleaned by using a water moistened fabric. Rub the inner part gently until you are satisfied and ensure it is completely dry before returning the plate back in.
Step 3: Cleaning the keyboard and touchpad:
Your laptop keyboard is very much different from the standard computer keyboard; many laptop keyboards cannot be disassembled except by an expert. Keyboards are famous sanctuaries for germs and bacteria, it’s imperative to get something fit for effacing the nasties.
it’s advisable to use the same method you use in cleaning the outer case of your laptop. The mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol in a microfiber towel is sufficient as a disinfectant for your bacteria-laden board. Wring out very well, starting with a dab and run the moistened cloth over individual keys on your keyboard and in between.
Also, be certain to rub over the touchpad as you go for improved responsiveness and fine look, at the time there might be nasty residue imprint that is temporal on your trackpad or some of the keys, in such occasion, a little nail polish remover (acetone), can help get rid of such a mess.
It’s likely you can’t get your laptop keyboard apart, and utilizing a moist cloth won’t make the keyboard dust-free. Canned compressed air can help in this regard, compressed air should not be used upside down, shoot air into the spaces by tilting your laptop sideways, resting on one of its sides and blow out all mess beneath and in-between the keys.
Step 4: Cleaning your laptop screen:
Fingerprints, dirt, and dust can render your laptop screen unreadable. Before cleaning your laptop screen, you should remember your laptop screen is not the same as a CRT computer monitor. LCD or LED monitors aren’t made of glass, hence the cleaning procedure differs in all respects.
To clean your laptop screen, use a soft microfiber cloth or non-rugged towel, as long as the cloth is new and fresh, you wouldn’t need to apply any liquid. Else, water is the ideal liquid for cleaning your screen. Wipe gently while cleaning, do not apply much pressure on the fragile screen and avoid anything that can scratch the screen.
It is worthy of note when cleaning LED or LCD monitors, do not sprinkle or spray water or any liquid directly on the screen.
Step 5: Cleaning the cooling system:
Cleaning the interior of your laptop can be challenging without bringing it apart. Disassembling a laptop for conventional users is arguably impossible and maybe suicidal for your laptop life. In the event of extreme dust build-up and caked dirt, it is necessary to find a way of cleaning the inside every now and again. The interior of your laptop consists of important elements, such as hard disk cooling fan and processor’s heatsink which are responsible for driving hot air away from your laptop. Dust can have a devastating effect on their effectiveness, hence affecting the overall performance of your laptop.
To remove extreme dust and dirt build-up on the inside, a canned compressed air, utilized in shorter bursts and in an upright position can be used to blow away this dust by pointing its nozzle toward your laptop cooling system. This will suck up the dust reliably and efficiently. Look for opening on the side, back or under your laptop and direct the straw of your air compressor. Just make sure to avoid moisture seep up to drip onto your laptop.
Also, you can use a cotton swab to get rid of dust in areas like USB ports, on-side vent openings and so on. Wherever the dust is caked is a perfect area to direct your compressed air nozzle to get hazardous dirt off of your laptop.
Cleaning your laptop should by now be easy-peasy, you’ve been equipped with necessary, and how-toes of cleaning your laptop in simple steps. As you can see, you don’t need to be a savvy-techy before you can give your laptop a refined look, neither do you need the service of a specialist, you can go on to clean your laptop with confidence.
It also advisable you design a cleaning schedule for your laptop, perhaps on a monthly basis or based on the environment and frequency of use. This ultimate guide has put before you, a hassle-free approach to turn your system new-like. Stop shaming yourself and your system in public.
Cleaning your laptops or other electronics properly is the major key to keeping them in proper functioning condition for a long time. Else, you want your laptop replaced in no time.