With the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere, homes around the world are getting a good cleaning to rid them of the dirt and clutter that has accumulated over the past year. Dust and debris also settle on our computer. Whether your PC is suffering from an overworked fan or an overworked hard drive, it’s time to give it a thorough cleaning. With the help of the following checklist, this will be a breeze.
In Part 1 of this checklist, I will walk you through the physical cleaning checkpoints of your desktop or laptop. In part two, I’ll list the things you can do to remove obsolete files, unused programs, software, and more from your Windows computer.
Before you clean your computer hardware, keep these general tips in mind:
- turn off your computer
- remove the battery (if applicable)
- unplug the power cable
- ground yourself
1. Clean your keyboard
A study by the University of Arizona found that a keyboard is dirtier than a toilet seat. Honestly, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. When was the last time you cleaned your keyboard? Dirty keyboards are a health hazard, and spring cleaning is quick and easy.
You can gently vacuum your keyboard to remove particles and dust. Then wipe the keys with a lint-free cloth slightly dampened. Finally, disinfect your keyboard with alcohol wipes or spray an alcohol-based cleaner onto the cloth. If the keyboard is very dirty, you can also take it apart and wash the keys in bulk. Be sure to take a picture of the keyboard first to make it easier to assemble.
The video below is for an external Mac keyboard. However, these steps are equally valid for any other standard external or laptop keyboards.
2. Clean your mouse
If your keyboard is dirty, then obviously your mouse is too. You can clean the top surface with a lint-free cloth. Also be sure to thoroughly wipe the LED at the bottom with the Q-tip. If you have an old mechanical ball mouse, remove the ball to remove dust, hair, and particles.