How to Clean Your Old and Dirty Laptop the Right Way

How to Clean Laptop Properly

How to Clean Laptop Properly

Does your laptop seem to have a growing plant due to dust accumulated from your surroundings? It looks like you are facing an enormous problem. A big, dirty problem.

Last year, it made all of us more suspicious about the surroundings and surfaces we deal with every day. We make sure to hand-was constantly. Wiping down of groceries using Lysol which had been stored on our shelves for so long.

On the other hand, due to the pandemic, and even then, we use our laptops to perform our daily tasks at home or at the office. Sometimes dust, coffee stains, oil, food particles amassed on our laptops and in its ports, under its keys.

If those particles are noticeable in your laptop, then it’s time for deep cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning your laptop won’t last for an hour, especially if you have the basic cleaning materials. After cleaning, will look brand new again.

This How-To tutorial will teach you how to deal with your laptop‘s screen, keyboard, port, vents, and outer surfaces. We also include in this tutorial the things you need to do and avoid, so as not to damage your laptop. This tutorial will also provide you some easy tips on how to maintain your laptop look clean always.

Prepare your Cleaning Materials

Most of the materials we will be using can be found in your home. Proper cleaning cloth or, you can use a microfiber towel. Microfiber cloths can be bought from automotive supply shops, or in online stores as well.

Aside from Microfiber cloth, you can purchase pressurized canned air (commonly known as Gas Duster) from online stores or electronics stores. The good thing about this pressurized air is it can blast off the dust from spaces that are hard to reach.

It is better to have a plastic dental cleaner with tiny bristles, like a miniature bottle brush. This can help remove hairs, crumbs, and other debris hiding in your laptop.

For cleaning solutions, we suggest using a bar of dish soap or vinegar that is appropriate for any surface. Also, you can also use isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide for disinfecting the keyboard.

To summarize, here are the cleaning materials you need to prepare

  1. Microfiber cloth
  2. Pressurized canned air
  3. Small brush
  4. Disinfecting solution

So, before we begin, shut down your laptop, and start moving into a ventilated area. Use a hard flat, surface, table, or desk. You can place a clean towel on the table before putting on your laptop on top. This will protect your laptop from scratches when you flip it over the lid.

Make sure you wash and dry your hands before and after cleaning your laptop.

Tips on the Proper Handling of Your Laptop

Your laptop will be stationary while cleaning it, however, you may need to move it in unnatural ways to clean the entire laptop. Improper handling can break your laptop’s exterior finish, and damage the circuitry in it.

Put as little pressure as possible

Always observe this principle, since it has been the most common cause of laptop failure. The cracks of the laptop and its circuit board were usually caused by, not that it’s dropped but, the chassis was flexed or pressed too much.

Use both hands

Remember to use both hands to support either side of the notebook. Especially if picking it up or moving it. Using both hands will distribute its pressure evenly, creating less stress on the chassis. Avoid single-handedly picking it up, doing so may produce extreme pressure in one area, causing your laptop to break.

No-Liquid within the perimeter

This is often ignored by many. Please keep open liquids out of the working area of the laptop. More importantly, if you have pets and children that may cause an accident near you and spill out water. This will damage the circuit board of your laptop.

How to Clean Laptop Properly

Start Cleaning using the Canned Air

Small particles, dust, and hair can be found anywhere, in gaps and ports in your laptop. It can be under your keyboard, screen edges, under your laptop as well, the ports and cooling vents.

Before pressing the canned air, make sure to follow the instructions, the directions, and its warnings. If the package has an additional nozzle, use it. It is included to concentrate the air stream.

Important: Keep a slight distance between the nozzle and the target, or sticking it in a port, has a dangerous effect. Also, if you want to avoid the formation of moisture in a USB port, or under the keyboard keys, you should consider the important notice for safety purposes.

Use the canned air with the can in an upright position. Not doing so will result in water vapor coming out of it. Let it rest if the can gets cold, before continuing.

One spot where dust tends to accumulate is in the exhaust vents, fans, and heat spreaders. Be ready for a little burst if you press the canned air into the area.

To clean the keyboard, you should start at the bottom row going up. Two presses per key may give you a nice result. Also, apply it from different angles to get rid of everything.

If you are not happy using the pressurized canned air, try using dental cleaners. It helps to loosen the debris with its brush, then blows it up using the canned air. Don’t overdo it, do not poke too hard it may cause damage to your laptop.

Well, we are done removing the debris and small particles, let’s proceed with cleaning the surface.


Cleaning and Disinfecting the keyboard

As we said earlier, if your laptop has accumulated dirt, then most probably it really needs a thorough and deep cleaning. You will your mixed solutions and microfiber cloth for this one.

The wrong way of cleaning your keyboard is just wiping straight across its surface, your microfiber may catch some on the edges, but it may rip off your keys. We don’t want that to happen.

 Slightly, damp a little amount of your mix solution cleaning product on the small portion of the microfiber. We also want to emphasize a small amount lightly. The liquid may drip out when you squeeze the towel, and you want to let that liquid sink in your keyboard, and get inside of your laptop.

You can now gently clean the keys of your laptop. Clean it slowly using the microfiber cloth in a circular motion with a finger.

Cleaning the Touchpad and Chassis

After cleaning the surface of your laptop, we’ll clean its exterior. Dampen your microfiber with your cleaning product. It should be cleaned in an outward way starting with the palm rest, and touchpad, to the screen border. After that, close the laptop, and work on the lid and the underside.

As stated earlier, do not exert too much pressure on cleaning these surfaces. Clean it in a circular motion. Do not rub too hard, you might break something in your laptop.

If you find something like stains, coffee stains, or other craps, you may want to apply a tiny amount of diluted dish soap directly, for a minute to break down the stain. Later on, clean it with a microfiber dampened with water.

How to Clean Laptop Properly

Finally, Clean the Screen

The delicate part of cleaning your laptop is cleaning its display panel or screen. Dampen your microfiber with water. Start your cleaning process from the edges, inward to avoid lodging cleaner as you wipe.

While cleaning the display panel, support it with your free hand so the laptop doesn’t flip back, the lid doesn’t flip. Exert less pressure to avoid cracking the panel display.

If you also find stains on it, you can use diluted soap. Be careful not to let any liquid drip into the edges of the screen. DO NOT SPRAY ANY LIQUID DIRECTLY ON YOUR SCREEN. Always apply it to your cleaning cloth first, check for any drips before applying to the screen. Direct spraying may result in, runoffs that will eventually get under the screen, and may cause electronics malfunction.

Final Thoughts

There is no need to apply wax on any surface of your laptop. It is not a vehicle where you need to apply it afterward. Bear in mind, that any material on the surface of the laptop could easily transfer onto your screen since it has close contact with the keyboard.

All in all, you should clean your laptop occasionally. Bring a microfiber cloth and a disinfecting solution so you can clean your laptop as you want.

So that’s it! That is how to properly clean your laptop. Here’s the recap, first, prepare your cleaning materials, then, start cleaning the keyboards, the chassis and the touchpad, the exterior surface of your laptop, and last is the screen.

Do not exert too much pressure while cleaning it with a microfiber cloth, you might break it or damage your entire laptop. Use proper water solutions and disinfectant.

After the cleaning process, you have a brand-new looking laptop.

How to Clean Laptop Properly

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