Like any other device that we spend hours on each day, laptops are magnets for germs, dust and grime. There has never been a better time to do a little spring cleaning for your computer. When was the last time you even considered giving it a good spruce-up? Basic maintenance takes only a few minutes, and the payoff is well worth the time and can give your laptop longer life. Not to mention, it’s just good hygiene. We have shown you how to clean your phone, now let’s take a look at the best ways to clean your laptop.
What You Need
The most important component to cleaning your laptop is isopropyl alcohol. Available at Amazon, you’ll want to pick up something that is rated 90 to 100 percent. On top of that, you want to find compressed air, cotton balls or q-tips, and a microfiber cloth. These are the primary “tools” you will need to properly clean your laptop.
Of course, you can vary these products slightly, but don’t substitute the isopropyl alcohol, the biggest piece of the puzzle. Stay away from products like Windex or Lysol wipes. While they are popular cleaning products, they are best-used on recommended surfaces and not sensitive electronics like a laptop.
Quick Reminder Before Getting Started
Before you start cleaning, it is important to consider what kind of cleaning you want to do. Obviously, you are doing this in the name of hygiene, but you also want to be super careful to make sure you do not do any damage. You should wipe carefully as to not avoid damaging your keyboard or screen. The most important lesson is to never, ever spray any cleaning solutions directly on your laptop. They can get into any number of open crevices between the keys, speakers or anywhere else there is exposure to laptop components.
Begin with the Keyboard
Your keyboard is almost assuredly the “dirtiest” laptop component, so that’s where you should begin. Grab your microfiber cloth and whisk it over the keyboard a few times to catch the top layers of dust. Your next move is to turn your laptop over and give it a quick shake. You can choose to hit the keyboard with a blast of compressed air before or after this step. Either way, there’s a chance dust and crumbs have accrued over time. The compressed air helps knock some crumbs loose so they freely fall to the ground.
Once you have tackled the keyboard, give your USB, HDMI, or other ports a quick blast of air. Dust can accumulate in these spots as well, so it cannot hurt to blast it out.
Next, grab your isopropyl alcohol and a cotton ball or two. It’s important to not completely dampen the swab. You want it wet but not dripping. Move the ball(s) over the keyboard, between the keys, and if you need to, add in a q-tip to this step to make sure you are hitting every inch of the keyboard. You can do this step as many times as you want. Just make sure you don’t go too far, or you can end up with condensation underneath some of the keys.
Move to the Display
Whereas keyboards are pretty durable, your laptop screen is very sensitive, so you want to tackle these steps with the utmost care. Once again, reach for your microfiber cloth and gently run it over the screen. Do this in either a horizontal or vertical motion but not both. If you do, you could run the risk of leaving smudges or scratches. If you are not comfortable using isopropyl alcohol on the screen, the best alternative is a dedicated screen cleaner kit for a laptop. These dedicated cleaners work on nearly every type of display for both Windows and Apple computers.
Sanitize the Laptop Body
With the keyboard and screen covered, now you want to get the rest of the laptop – the casing. This focuses on the opposite side of the display, touchpad and underneath the keyboard near the battery. You can rely on your microfiber cloth and isopropyl alcohol here as well to clean the rest of the surfaces. As you are looking to disinfect, it’s good to stick with the alcohol, otherwise you can use the same spray as the screen cleaner kit to remove dust and grime.
Once you have gone through all of the steps, there is just one final note. Before you turn on your laptop, make sure everything is completely dry. Barring that, you now have a laptop that is free of dirt, grime and, most importantly, bacteria and germs. If you want to be thorough, you can open up the casing and clean the interior of your computer, too.