How to Clean Laptops

Whether you use your laptop for work, gaming, entertainment, or a combination of these things—you likely rely on it daily. When properly cared for, a laptop should easily last you for several years before needing to be upgraded or replaced. Unfortunately, many people don’t take proper care of these machines—and this can result in the need for premature repairs or even total replacement, which can be costly.

When was the last time you cleaned your laptop? No, we don’t mean cleaning up your hard drive by getting rid of duplicate or unnecessary files; we mean physically cleaning its keyboard, screen, exterior, and accessories. If you haven’t done this recently or have never taken the time to clean your laptop (no judgment here!), you may want to consider adding this task to your to-do list.

Why Clean Your Laptop?

There are a couple of important reasons to physically clean your laptop. For starters, laptops can be major breeding grounds for all kinds of bacteria that can make you sick. This is especially true when it comes to your laptop’s keyboard. Whether you’re the only person who uses your laptop or you share it with other people, its keyboard is likely crawling with bacteria. Yikes! Taking the time to clean it on a regular basis will help reduce your chances of getting sick.

Cleaning your laptop can also help to extend its useful life. You see, as dust and other debris accumulate inside your keyboard, vent fans, and other small crevices, this can cause your laptop to overheat. Gradually, this can become a major problem that has the potential to cause significant hardware failure.

Signs You Need to Clean Your Laptop

So, how do you know when it’s time to clean your laptop—and how often should you do it? In general, if you haven’t cleaned your laptop in the past month, it’s probably time to bite the bullet. Likewise, if your keyboard is grimy or sticky to the touch—or if there is visible debris on your laptop or smudges on the screen, it’s time to clean it.

The frequency with which a laptop needs to be cleaned depends on how often you use it, as well as some other cleanliness factors. For example, if you tend to eat while you use your laptop, the potential for crumbs and food debris getting into your keyboard and other areas of the machine is higher. As you result, you probably need to clean it more often. As a general rule, you should aim to clean your laptop about once every one or two weeks if you use it often.

Cleaning Your Laptop’s Keyboard

Before you even get started with cleaning your laptop, it’s important to unplug it from its power source and to disconnect or remove the battery, if possible. Shut the laptop off as well; you never want the power running to your laptop while you’re cleaning it. You should also always defer to the instruction manual that came with your laptop for specific instructions on cleaning and disinfecting. If you’re not sure where your manual is, check online to see if you can find a digital copy for reference.

Next, gently turn your laptop upside-down while its lid is open. This should help to dislodge some of the debris that may be on the keyboard. Do not shake the laptop, as this could damage internal hardware and other components.

From there, you can set your laptop back down on your desk or table. The best way to clean your keyboard of remaining crumbs and debris is to use a can of compressed air. You can typically find this at your local grocery store, home improvement store, or even an electronics store. Compressed air can be sprayed in between individual keys on your keyboard to force dust and other debris out.

Once you’re happy with the debris removed from in between your keyboard keys, you can safely disinfect your keyboard by applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol to each key using a cotton ball. Rubbing alcohol dries quickly and will sanitize the surface effectively.

Cleaning Your Laptop Screen

Next, it’s time to clean your laptop’s LCD screen. Now that your laptop is powered off and the screen is blank, you can probably see just how many smudges and smears are on it!

You can find wipes that are safe for electronics and LCD/LED screens at your local electronics store, but if you’d prefer to save some money and avoid using chemicals, you can actually make your own DIY screen cleaner using just two ingredients. Simply combine equal parts distilled water and white vinegar. Pour it into a spray bottle and then spray a light amount onto your laptop screen. You may also apply it directly using a microfiber cloth if you’d prefer.

From there, gently wipe your screen using a microfiber cloth until it’s dry. Be sure that the cloth you use here is microfiber and not abrasive in any way. Otherwise, you’ll risk scratching your screen.

Cleaning Your Laptop Shell and Accessories

Another breeding ground for bacteria on your laptop is the touchpad/mouse, so be sure to clean that as well. You can do this by simply running a cotton ball with a small amount of rubbing alcohol over it.

You can also use that same can of compressed air that you used to clean your keyboard to dislodge debris from other parts of your laptop, such as inside USB ports, charging ports, and fan vents. This may help to improve your laptop’s performance.

For the rest of your laptop, including the shell and any other accessories (such as an external mouse), you can use rubbing alcohol and a cotton ball to disinfect and cleanse. If there are any smudges or debris caked onto your laptop, you may need to go through a few cotton balls to get rid of it all.

Once you’re certain that your laptop is completely dry, you can replace the battery, plug it in, and power it back on. From there, enjoy browsing on your sparkling-clean laptop!

Spend Less Time Cleaning…Hire a Pro!

It shouldn’t take more than maybe 30 minutes to clean your laptop—and the more often you do it, the less time it should take. Still, all those little cleaning chores can add up and take over a large chunk of your life. Many people choose to hire a professional cleaning service to help them reclaim some of that valuable time while still enjoying all the benefits of a clean house. Contact Maid Sailors today to explore our cleaning service options and to schedule your first appointment with our professional team!

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