The right way to clean and disinfect your laptop – Windows Central

Your laptop goes everywhere you go, so naturally it can get a little gross. Here’s how to make your notebook PC a little less … grimy.

Eating while typing is a bad habit. Every little food particle your don’t wipe off your fingers tends to end up on the keyboard, and then they’re cycled inside through to the actual innards of the laptop chassis.

Such is the life of an organic being using a stationary tech product with plenty of crevices for things to fall into. But with a little bit of patience and some time, you can easily clean your laptop so that it stays fresh through even the most perilous, dirt-ridden journeys.

Here’s how.

Make a cleaning kit

You can keep your laptop looking good with just a few key ingredients.

No matter where you are in life, you can keep your laptop looking good with just a few key ingredients. At home, stock up on 70 percent or higher rubbing alcohol and toothpicks. You should also grab a pack of microfiber cloths, as well as a can of compressed air, which is particularly good for blowing out dust from all the different ports on your laptop. You’ll also want to put aside a clean dish sponge for a quick wipe down of the device.

The necessities for cleaning your laptop are really quite basic.

You’ll want some sort of cleaning solution that will disinfect the laptop body. I built my own little collection of pre-mixed spritzers based on whatever I could find on sale at Amazon, but there are plenty of highly-rated kits available for purchase, like this one from Tech Armor, which comes bundled with separate chassis and screen cleaning solutions.

You could also make your own chassis cleaning solution with eight ounces of rubbing alcohol and eight ounces of distilled water. A 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and distilled water also works if you’re into keeping things relatively green and don’t mind the intense smell of vinegar. A tiny bit of mild dish soap on a sponge will do just fine, too.

How to clean your laptop

First, turn off your laptop completely and then unplug it. Grab the can of compressed air and start blowing out the various ports where you see dust has accumulated, ensuring that whatever little particles are in there are flying up and out. If you see that there’s too much grossness to clear out with just the compressed air, grab a fine toothpick and carefully dig out the grime. Be careful not to puncture the speakers and not to bend any prongs that might be needed for proper connections between peripherals. If you see debris collecting in other parts of the laptop, such as the cracks around the actual frame, you can clear those out with a toothpick.

A wrung-out sponge with a bit of mild dish soap can do the job just as well as any pre-mixed cleaning solution.

Next, quickly soak a sponge in a bit of dish soap, run it under the faucet, and then wring it out until it’s dry. (Note: Do not clean your laptop with a soaking wet sponge.) Gently wipe down the laptop case – the front, the back, and across the keyboard. But don’t be rough, or you could end up popping off a key by accident.

Don’t use the compressed air to directly blow into the keyboard.

Another word of caution: Don’t use the compressed air to directly blow into the crevices between the keys on the keyboard. This could actually push down debris further. Some people have expressed better luck with a vacuum cleaner, so if you have one with a small enough attachment, you can turn it on and run it across the keyboard and its cracks to pick up any loose crud. The best part is that you don’t have to see any of it get sucked up!

Compressed air can be a friend and a foe. Use it wisely.

Cleaning the screen

Do not use an alcohol- or ammonia-based cleaner on your laptop’s LCD screen.

Absolutely do not use an alcohol- or ammonia-based cleaner on your laptop’s LCD screen. This can damage the display, rendering your laptop useless. It’s even more detrimental to touchscreen-based displays. If you need to clean it, invest in a safe screen cleaning solution that comes bundled with a fresh microfiber cloth. A little dish soap on the sponge goes a long way, too, but make sure there aren’t any particles on the sponge or you could end up scratching your laptop’s display.

Cleaning on the go

For quicker cleaning experiences, a pre-moistened cleaning cloth is just as apt at cleaning your laptop as the multi-step cleaning process. Grab a brand like these Wireless Wipes, which smell nice and clean your device. If you purchased the aforementioned Tech Armor cleaning kit, it comes with a number of easily concealable portable wipes.

You might also consider using hand sanitizer between meals and before touching your laptop. A little can go a long way, and I’ve often found that something as simple as a small bottle of Purell hand sanitizer can work miracles at removing dirt from the skin.

Now, go forth and cleanse your computer.

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