First Column IT blog
Tip of the Week: Laptop Cleaning Best Practices
While we don’t mean to gross you out, your computer can be a pretty dirty place - and considering that we have our hands all over it (and who knows what else) all day, it seems a little obvious. What is also obvious is the idea that perhaps it should be cleaned once in a while. Here, we’re giving you a few tips to help you to do so safely.
Considering that laptops are much more portable (and thereby more vulnerable to uncleanliness) we’ll be focusing on the proper technique for cleaning your laptop, which is somewhat different than cleaning a desktop device.
...as today’s tips will focus on laptop cleanliness specifically, there are a few processes that could void the manufacturer’s warranty, like disassembling the laptop to clean the interior. Therefore, we recommend that you don’t do that. Besides, due to the form factor of a laptop, interior messes are not likely to be an issue. On top of being a very lengthy process, it is easy to damage the components of a laptop by taking it apart. So, again, do not take your laptop apart.
The primary reasons to clean a laptop are essentially all cosmetic, so if its function has you concerned, you’d be better off turning to First Column IT and asking my team for assistance.
Step One: Kill the Power to the Device
Hopefully, you would think to do this anyway, but we thought it would be prudent to mention that your device should always be turned off and unplugged before you attempt to clean it. While minimal liquid should be used in the cleaning process, you still want to avoid the risk of electric shock. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in the hospital and/or with a fried device.
Step Two: Cleaning the Various Components
In order to safely clean your device’s exterior, you should be sure to abide by the following recommendations:
The Laptop’s Case
The body of your laptop itself is likely to smudge and gather some grime. Removing this dirt and debris is a simple, if delicate process. Using a mixture of five parts water and one part diluted soap, gently dampen a microfiber cloth. Fully wringing out the cloth, wipe off the exterior, and use compressed air to clear anything out of its ports. Don’t be shy with the compressed air, either.
The Laptop’s Keyboard
Getting water under your keys would be a very bad thing, so don’t use any water at all when cleaning them off. Carefully shake out any debris or use your compressed air to clean them out. To get rid of the oils that your fingers have deposited, use a dry cloth (maybe with a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol, as it dries quickly) and polish your keys. To clean the gaps between the keys, use a cotton swab.
The Laptop’s Display
In order to properly use a laptop, you need to see what you are doing, so you will want to avoid moisture. Therefore, only wipe the screen down with a dry microfiber cloth or special screen-cleaning wipe.
Does Any of This Matter?
Technically not, but there is always the chance that an investment into a device’s exterior will help to encourage safe practices for its interior. After all, it would be a shame if a nicely cleaned device was rendered inoperable by a bug picked up from an unsafe website.
When the time comes to actually replace a device so that its user can keep up with the demands of the business, reach out to us at 703-880-6683. Our experts can advise you on the solutions you need. In the meantime, subscribe to our blog for more useful technology information!