A clean computer is a happy computer. Just like any other piece of gadgetry, a computer requires regular cleanup sessions to keep it purring. In fact, January is Clean Up Your Computer Month, so let’s get to it.

Power Down First

Power down and unplug before you start cleaning anything so you don’t accidentally hurt yourself or your PC. OK, now here’s how to clean your PC and keep it that way.

The Monitor

Let’s start with the monitor. As the thing that holds most of your attention throughout the workday, you know that dirt, dust, fingerprints, and other gunk can accumulate to make a monitor look very unappealing and even difficult to read properly.

Always be cautious cleaning your PC. Do not spray any liquids on the screen; it can cause damage. Just use a damp cloth to wipe off your monitor, or rubbing alcohol for LCD displays. Once the screen is clean, it’s just a matter of wiping off or vacuuming up any remaining dust and fibers, making sure that there is nothing obstructing monitor vents.

The Keyboard

Next comes the keyboard, which is one of the nastiest, dirtiest parts of a PC setup. In fact, keyboards often have more bacteria and germs than a toilet seat!

Don’t forget to power down your PC before unplugging the keyboard, especially if you’re using an older keyboard. Start by turning the keyboard upside down and shaking it. Using compressed air is also a great option, as it blasts off food, dust particles, and dead skin that might not fall out on its own.

Deep Clean

If you want a really thorough cleaning, you can remove the keys from the keyboard. Hold down the key in front of the one you want to remove, then use a flat screwdriver to pop off the desired key. Once the keys you want to clean have been removed, it’s just a matter of wiping them down or blowing compressed air. As long as you haven’t spilled soda or coffee on your keyboard, this should get your keys stick-free.

The Fan

For cleaning up the rest of your PC, the main thing you’ll want to look at is the fan, which is notorious for collecting dust. When too much dust collects in front of the fan, your PC will overheat, which could lead to long-term damage. The best way to clean a fan is with compressed air. Blow the dust away from the fan in a way which allows for maximum cleaning potential.

More often than not, you’ll only be working on the computer case fan. Anything else, and you’ll have to work with the innards of your PC, which can be dangerous if you aren’t a trained tech. (This is why it’s sometimes cheaper to pay one of us.)

Stick With Air

It’s a good idea to give your PC a once-over with compressed air to remove any accumulating dust particles that could affect its ability to perform properly. Never, ever, spray liquids anywhere inside a computer. You could damage internal components beyond repair.

It’s a good idea to clean out your computer hardware once every 6-to-12 months, depending on use.

For more great tips on how to keep your PC clean, or for help maintaining your technology, give us a call at (973) 882-4644.