How to Properly Clean Your Gross Laptop

Little plastic girls cleaning a laptopRattana.R / Shutterstock

Like any computer, laptops are magnets to dust and dirt. But a dirty laptop is not just a cosmetic nightmare, it can also lead to poor performance and overheating. So, how can you clean your laptop properly?

Cleaning a laptop is probably more tedious than cleaning a desktop. You have to clean the keyboard, the internal elements, the screen and the housing itself. Nevertheless, you can easily turn your laptop into less than an hour, provided you have canned air, some 90% to 100% isopropyl alcohol, Q-tipsand one microfiber cloth.

Start inside

Most of the dirt that you see on your laptop is purely cosmetic. While everyone wants their laptop to be beautiful on the outside, it's really the interior that counts. But the dust, crust and crumbs that accumulate inside your laptop can clog fans, air vents and heat sinks, resulting in overheating and poor performance.

We will start with cleaning the internal components of your laptop. It will be easier on some laptops than others, but it is essentially the same process in all areas. Take your laptop to a place with low pollution (garage or outside), prepare your pressurized air or respectful of the environment air without box (do not use a vacuum), and get to work!

A dusty laptop interior. It's disgusting!Algre / ShutterstockIf your laptop opens: Turn it off, remove the battery (if you can), and then unscrew the back panel. This can cancel your warrantybut that's the price you pay for beauty. Use small puffs of compressed air to push the dust from the center of your laptop towards its ventilation slots. Then push all the dust from the vents by pushing lightly (if the fans turn too fast, they may break). That's all! You have finished. Screw your laptop together.
If your laptop does not open: Most modern laptops can not open, which makes cleaning less scientific and more complex. Turn off your laptop and push a few puffs of compressed air into its ventilation slots. Be patient and do not put the compressed air stick in the ventilation holes. You could touch a wire or push condensation in the air just against the board.

It's rare to find anything other than dust, hair and crumbs in your laptop. If you happen to see spots on or around the board, clean them with 90% -100% isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab. Make sure that you apply alcohol on the cotton swab, not on the board, and that you never use household cleaner on your laptop (or any other electronic device).

RELATED: How to clean the dust of your laptop

Hit that nasty keyboard

Once your laptop is beautiful inside, it's time to revamp Princess Diaries. We will start with the keyboard because it is probably covered with years of small spots and fat fingers.

Cleaning a laptop keyboard is a strange process. Unlike a desktop keyboard, which can usually be disassembled, the keyboards for laptops are a rather superficial operation. You will need a microfiber cloth, cotton swabs, 90% isopropyl alcohol and compressed air. Never use household cleaners to clean electronic devices and do not use vinegar instead of alcohol, it could seep into the keyboard and corrode its components.

A dirty and dusty laptop keyboard.Denis Torkhov / ShutterstockStart with a dry microfiber cloth: Use it to clean your keyboard before embarking on more detailed work. It will pick up most of the dust so you can focus on the dirt.
Strike it with compressed air: Like the microfiber cloth, compressed air can remove dust from your keyboard before you embark on detailed work. Do not forget to use short bursts or condensation can form under the keys.
Take out the alcohol: Apply 100% isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab (do not put it on your laptop) and start scrubbing your keyboard. Stand between these keys and do not be afraid to use a dry toothbrush (preferably not used) to treat restricted areas.
If there are crumbs under your keys: Laptop keyboards are difficult to disassemble. Do a Google search on yours to see if the keys are removable. If this is the case, remove them with a small flat tool (a pick is perfect), then hit the delicate place with the help of a cotton swab or alcohol. A brief puff of compressed air. If the keys can not be removed, direct a canned air breath under your troubled keys and pray for the best. Do not go to sea or you may end up with condensation under the keys.

If you can not get the underside of your keyboard, consider having it repaired by the manufacturer or take it to a local repairer. There is no point in ripping your laptop when someone else can do it for you.

Make this screen beautiful again

Improper cleaning is a quick way to end up with a broken laptop screen. The LCD screen of your laptop is incredibly delicate. It must be cleaned properly and semi-regularly.

We will keep this simple. Do not use paper towels or cloths to clean the screen of your notebook. They leave behind dust and may scratch your screen. Do not use alcohol, vinegar, glass cleaner (or glasses), Windex or any other cleaning chemical. And if you see a product marketed as a screen cleaner, do not use it on your laptop screen. This thing is snake oil!

A human hand cleaning a laptop screen with a microfiber cloth.Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock

The only thing that should touch your laptop screen is a microfiber cloth. They are cheap, so do not substitute. You can also use canned air, but this is not necessary unless the screen is particularly dusty.

Prepare the screen: Turn off your laptop and wait until the screen reaches room temperature. If it is very dusty, give it a few puffs of compressed air on the side. If it's not really dusty (most laptop screens are simply stained), avoid canned air.
Lightly wipe the screen: Take your own microfiber cloth and slide it on the screen with a slight horizontal or vertical motion. Do not push and do circular movements. Otherwise, you may leave circular marks or scratches. Light pressure and wide movements are ideal.
For difficult and greasy screens: If your screen is particularly nasty, slightly moisten your microfiber cloth with water and apply the same sweeping movements and light pressure as those just described. If your screen is too wet, gently wipe it with a clean microfiber cloth.
For impossible stains: We said earlier that you should not use vinegar to clean the screen of your laptop. You should only use vinegar as a last resort. If there is sticky shit on your screen, prepare a solution composed of 50% water and 50% white vinegar, moisten your microfiber cloth and gently wipe the screen by performing wide movements.

Now that the screen, keyboard, and internal parts of your laptop are all clean, it's time to take care of its case. This is by far the easiest part of cleaning a laptop, as long as no sticker residue remains.

Cleaning a laptop case

Unlike the delicate keyboard and screen of your laptop, its case can withstand a hard love. Just be careful to avoid corrosive chemicals and never apply liquids directly to your laptop. All cleaning solutions go on your microfiber cloth, not on the laptop itself.

For a quick cleaning: You can clean the case of a laptop with a range of solutions, but we recommend that you use a microfiber cloth (the wipes leave dust) with white vinegar, isopropyl alcohol or water (do not mix them) Lightly apply the cleaning fluid to the cloth and wipe the laptop case. Do not be afraid to apply elbow grease to problem areas and be sure to dry your laptop with a clean cloth when finished.
Cleaning sticker residue: If your laptop is covered with sticker residue, it's time to clean it. Simply apply 100% isopropyl alcohol on a microfiber cloth and start scrubbing. If this is not the case, try using a little bit of Goo Gone. Do not use a hair dryer to heat the adhesive as heat can damage your laptop.

And that's it! Now your laptop is clean from head to toe. If you do a good job, his fans should be a little calmer and you may even notice a slight increase in his performance. Be sure to clean your notebook thoroughly every few months to maintain its performance and appearance.

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