How to Clean Your Computer Hardware

9 February 2018

Why do I need to physically clean my computer?

There are so many reasons why you should clean your computer hardware. Firstly, it’s covered in germs. In our recent cleaning blog, ‘How Clean Are You Co-Workers?’, we outlined just how easy it is to transfer germs at work, whether it’s during the morning tea round or just from simply carrying out your daily tasks.

Consider where you spend most of your time at work. At your desk and on your computer, right? You’re constantly touching your mouse and keyboard in between the numerous trips to the bathroom, eating of snacks and answering of phones. This means that all that lovely bacteria circulating the office is both settling on your computers and re-entering the office orbit as you do. Not to mention your involuntary shedding of skin cells and the inevitable accumulation of dirt, dust and food crumbs in cracks and crevices. Think of all those yummy particles you’re inhaling. It’s also worth pointing out that bacteria and germs don’t need to be visible to be a problem but if they are – then it’s definitely time for to scrub that computer hardware.

The second reason why it’s important to clean your computer is appearance. As I said, bacteria and germs don’t need to be visible to create issues but equally, you don’t want clients or customers entering your office only to gaze in disdain at a dirty, dusty computer, do you? It’s not very modern or inviting. It looks better to have a clean, shiny workspace – and it’s better for you!

Thirdly, it’s better for your computer to keep it clean! The accretion of dust, grease and skin increases the risk of your system overheating. Office computers are notoriously fickle pieces of technology that often come with a variety of problems. It’s rare for one to receive a thoroughly good cleaning – which is stupid because it could improve the longevity of your system.

How do I clean my computer hardware?

Before you start to scrub-a-dub-dub the various components your computer comprises, switch off and disconnect them from each other. Safety first! Remove all connecting wires before even applying a microfiber cloth to your screen! You should also take the pieces outside if possible, so that you don’t simply transport the dirt from your computer back into office circulation.

What you need:

  • A can of compressed air
  • Cotton swaps
  • Toothpicks
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Butter knife
  • Distilled water
  • Misting spray bottle

How to clean your keyboard

Basic clean:

Remove loose debris by spraying compressed air between your keys and then simply turning your keyboard upside down and giving it a gentle shake.

To tackle keyboard germs, apply a timid amount of isopropyl to a microfiber cloth and lightly wipe over the whole keyboard, paying particular attention to the keys.

Deep clean:

If you want to thoroughly clean your keyboard, you’ll ideally want to remove the keys. A lot of desktop keyboard letters can be removed manually, but it’s best to look into the make and model of your keyboard before trying this yourself, otherwise you risk damaging your hardware and voiding your warranty. Once you make sure you can safely remove your computer keys yourself, very delicately prise each key off using a butter knife; you’ll be simultaneously disgusted and mesmerised by the germ party residing beneath.

Wipe each key with a microfiber cloth and a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol then leave it to dry.

While your keys are drying, you have the riveting opportunity to clean those grotty keyboard trenches. Use the compressed air to dislodge particles and then wipe the remaining area with isopropyl alcohol and a microfiber cloth.

Once fully dry, reassemble your keyboard – be careful not to put the keys in the wrong places! You can now wash your hands, reconnect your keyboard and hygienically type away.

How to clean your computer mouse

Deep clean:

There aren’t as many part of a mouse that you can safely remove as a keyboard, so here is the deepest clean you can provide to remove computer mouse germs. Using a microfiber cloth lightly dabbed in rubbing alcohol, wipe over the whole mouse. It is essential that you only use a small amount of alcohol as you do not want to get any moisture in the openings.

Roll the scroll wheel so that you very gently wipe the whole circumference with a microfiber cloth.

Using a tooth pick, gently scale along the creases to remove any gunk that’s accumulated.

Leave your computer mouse to dry before reconnecting it to your computer.

How to clean your screen & monitor

Deep clean:

Similarly to a computer mouse, there is only so much you can do to clean a computer monitor. Not only does a computer screen accumulate germs and bacteria but the dirt and dust it collects can actually be really distracting when you’re trying to work.

You can buy special computer screen cleaning products but these can be a bit pricey. Using the distilled water, isopropyl and misting spray bottle you can make your own cleaner.

Spray your screen using your cleaner and wipe away the dust delicately with a microfiber cloth. Use a cotton bud to gently scrape away any debris that has collected in the edges of the screen.

Use a microfiber cloth lightly dabbed in rubbing alcohol to clean the mount and reverse of the monitor. Be careful not to dig or get any moisture into any of the sockets.

Once dry, plug your screen back in and gaze in wonder at the clear pixels and lack of distracting smudges.

How to clean your computer tower

Basic clean:

Use a microfiber cloth lightly dabbed in rubbing alcohol to clean your computer tower. Wipe the exterior of the tower gently, being sure to reach all those non-invasive nooks and crannies. Be careful not to dig too deeply or allow any moisture into the tower itself.

Deep clean:

As computer towers are full of intricate mechanisms, it’s really important that you clear out the dust regularly. You can safely remove the cover of a lot of towers to get to the grit that’s gathered underneath. Again, check that it is safe to do this for your make and model.

Remove all easily, and safely, removable components before using a can of compressed air to chase off dust and debris. Pay special attention to the removable filters – it’s even worth hoovering them and using a cotton bud to remove particularly stubborn bits. Avoid invading the different sockets and be careful cleaning around these areas.

Reassemble your tower after an appropriate drying period and reconnect it to your computer system.

Who should clean my computer?

Obviously, the whole point of this computer cleaning how to was to provide you with the means to clean your computer all by yourself. We’re always happy to share professional cleaning tips because we simply can’t stand a dirty workplace!

Employees need to maintain a high level of hygiene in the office. You can do this by enforcing an office cleaning schedule or – to save bickering – you can simply put everyone in charge of their own desks, however this isn’t always successful as people can become lazy.

This is why it’s often best to hire professional cleaning services for your business. Contact us now for further information or a quote.

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