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Many people around the globe use computers now, and they can readily say how this has dramatically improved their lives. Your computer should be adequately maintained as with any other thing you use regularly. Part of the maintenance culture you should have for your PC is a regular cleaning practice.
This practice is as essential as charging your phone when it is flat or putting oil in your car. You may be confused about how the cleaning should be done and how often the exercise needs to be done. Reading through this article will enlighten you more on what the cleaning process of your PC is expected to be and how often you should do it.
Why Cleaning Your PC is Necessary
Since it is not like you dip your computer in a heap of dirt, you may be wondering why cleaning it in the first place is necessary. The fact is, the air around is never free from dust, and there is going to be a gradual build-up of dust on your PC.
The thick layer of dust that has formed can cause overheating as it will end up clogging the fans and filters of the system. The adverse effects this can have on your computer include overheating, potential data loss, and a shorter life span for it in the end.
The best way to avoid this is by cleaning your PC regularly and ensuring it is well-ventilated. To keep your computer properly ventilated, you should avoid keeping it on the carpet. Doing this will prevent it from heating up faster than if kept on a wooden or brick surface. This will keep your computer cool and functional for a long time.
If you can clean your computer regularly, you will not only prevent overheating but also help have a well-functioning system that is reliable for use when needed. You may not notice any improvements on the surface unless you have been having issues with your hardware struggling to run or overheating.
How to Make Preparations for Cleaning Your PC
Before you start cleaning your computer, you must clean the environment where it would be done first. You should use a well-ventilated room or open spaces with doors and windows.
This is to prevent the dust that will be coming from the cleaning exercise from returning to the computer. You can have mats, gloves, and anti-static equipment ready to prevent static electricity from entering your computer.
Steps for Cleaning Your PC
You must understand how to clean your computer correctly. You must avoid cleaning it with products that could get lint stuck inside the PC or result in water damage to your precious computer. These are simple steps you can follow when cleaning your computer:
Play it safe
Turn off the computer and all associated devices, and unplug them from the wall. Since you will be cleaning and getting rid of dust, you should consider wearing a mask to protect you from inhaling dust. Wear an anti-static wristband to protect your PC from static damage. If you don’t have one, try to touch the PSU housing or metal casing before you touch any component.
Allow for fresh air
During the cleaning exercise, make sure to take your computer where the dust can get off and out easily. Remember to keep the doors and windows open during the process.
Dust it off
You can make use of a microfiber cloth to clean off the dust from the exterior of the screen, mouse, keyboard, and system unit. Avoid using wet sprays or common household cleaning agents because they may damage the computer’s casing and lead to water damage.
Attend to the keyboard
Cleaning the grooves between the keys on the keyboard needs much attention. Many hairs, dust, crumbs, and oil may have found their way there. Start by turning it over to dislodge anything that is stuck inside.
A bit of shaking can also help you in this process. There would likely be bits that may not come off quickly. You can use compressed air to blast them out of the crevices and grooves.
If you still have bits and pieces of these materials in the keyboard grooves, you can send blasts from different angles to the keyboard. Another thing you can do is to use a vacuum to suck them out if you have one.
A swab and isopropyl alcohol can be used to eliminate body oils, food build-up, and grease. If you can remove each key, the cleaning could be better, but you should not forget where to put the keys afterwards.
Clean inside your PC
It is also necessary to clean the inside of the computer. Carefully remove the computer’s unit panels, and with compressed air and a microfiber cloth, clean the inside of the system. Get rid of the dust that has settled on the fans, wiring, and vents. Fix the panels back, and your computer should be ready again.
How to Clean Your PC to Improve Performance
Maybe you have not cleaned your computer for some time or have never even tried it. You can now boost its performance and, more importantly, save it from crashing. The following is a more thorough guide on cleaning your PC for improved performance.
- Follow steps one to four in the previous section
- Take it apart
Carefully remove the unit panels and the PC components. The components to remove include the cooling fans, the top and bottom dust filter, hard drives, motherboard, etc. Take note that removing and cleaning some of these components can jeopardise the warranty on the computer. If you are unsure how these components may be removed, it is better to let a professional handle them.
For example, you may receive a severe electric shock if you are not careful when opening the power supply. However, if you remove the components, you should place them on a non-conductive surface, such as a wooden table. Make a careful mental note of how these components were arranged so that you will not have difficulty assembling them again after the cleaning exercise.
An option is to record yourself as you remove them so that the video will be there for you to reference later. Keep track of the screws and the expansion slot bracket covers. You can quickly lose these tiny pieces, which can do the exercise as they are essential for re-coupling up the PC.
Use compressed air and a microfiber cloth to clean every component you just removed. With isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab, clean off all oil markings. Make sure all these components are fully dry before you reassemble them.
Clean the case
The casing that houses the components needs cleaning too. So just before you put them back, thoroughly clean them and use a can of compressed air to remove dirt and dust hidden in crevices. As soon as you have reassembled the computer, its fan should be able to blow out other materials still lodged in the unit when it is turned on.
Organise the cables
Carefully organise the cables into the computer before you screw back the casing tight. The thermal paste transfers heat from the processor to the heat sink. Ensure that the cables are not tangled, which may lead to dust build-up and obstruct airflow through the computer. Check that you did not leave anything out in the reassembling process before leaving the spot.
A Certified IT Expert Can Help You
While the cleaning process can be easily done with the steps highlighted here, you will probably achieve better results if you let an IT professional handle the cleaning. Whether you do the cleaning yourself or a professional does it for you, you must maintain a regular cleaning exercise for your PC as this will help you enjoy its use for a long time.