Help and advice

Keeping your laptop clean

For such a major investment, it’s surprising how few of us think to clean our laptops regularly.
Since our life is increasingly computerised, a working computer is essential. Cleanliness is a great help in extending the life of your laptop, and keeping it in good working order. Dirt and other substances can get under the keys and interfere with their function, as well as causing many other technical problems.

However, it’s important to clean it correctly to avoid damaging your precious device. Read on to find out how.

Safety is very important, so you’ll need to unplug your laptop and remove the batteries before you start. This will ensure you aren’t risking an electric shock during the cleaning process.

Smears and dirt on the screen are probably the first sign that your laptop is due a clean, so it seems like a good place to start. To avoid making the problem worse or even damaging the screen, use one of the many specialised screen clears available with a soft cloth. This should be done very gently to avoid scratching.

A solution of equal parts water and isopropyl alcohol can be used to wipe dirt off the rest of the laptop’s exterior. Take care to use small amounts of liquid to limit drying time, as you won’t be able to use the computer until it is completely dry. This is because water can cause extremely dangerous short circuits and shocks when combined with electricity, so take this risk seriously.

The next step depends on whether you wish to remove the keys or not. Taking the keys off helps give the machine a thorough clean, but can be a bit fiddly.

If you want to leave the keys on, compressed air is the most effective way to clean around them. Just make sure you use it in a well ventilated area, as it contains chemicals that can be harmful when inhaled. Compressed air is also good for cleaning out the ports along the side of the laptop.

If you choose to remove the keys, take care to avoid any damage. You should also be aware of how to reattach the keys before getting started. This can be looked up on the internet, as it can vary between models. You’ll also need to know where to reattach the keys afterwards, so a diagram (there are plenty on the internet) can be useful.

If you’re ready to go ahead, gently prise the keys off with a blunt knife. Once they are all removed, you can use your alcohol and water solution to clean the surface underneath.

The keys should be soaked in lukewarm water with a few drops of washing-up liquid until any buildup and grime can be easily wiped away. Then lay them out to dry. Leave the laptop open to ensure it can also dry out. It is essential not to reconnect the laptop until all the components are completely dry.

Once everything is dry, reattach the keys, using a diagram as a guide, plug it back in and enjoy your sparkling clean laptop.


© Axonn 2015