Spring Cleaning:Dusting Your Computer

Computers are convenient but complicated. Learn how to clean your computer properly, without damaging anything.

Cleaning and dusting your computer is as important as running your anti-virus software, running Windows update, and shutting it down every night. Keeping your computer clean and free of dust will extend the life of your machine and keep you a happy computer owner.

What do you need to clean your computer? There are a myriad of products available in electronics and computer stores designed specifically for the type of computer you have. No matter what type of computer you have, you will need three basic items for keeping your computer clean and dust free. You will need cleansing screen wipes, dry dusting clothes, and canned air.

Be sure and pick screen wipes specifically designed for the type of screen you have. Glass screens require different products than LCD screens. Read the back of your chosen wipe carefully to ensure you have the best product for the type of screen you have.

Choose a dry dust cloth with a smooth, soft surface so as not to scratch your hardware or your screen. This can be a packet of disposable clothes or a reusable cloth that you can wash and use again and again. This cloth is important and should be used on a daily basis to keep dust and debris from gathering on your screen due to static electricity.

When selecting canned air, choose a product that comes with a tiny straw (it almost looks like a coffee stirrer) that can be fitted to the nozzle to allow for a more accurate aim when using the air. This attachment allows you to get into the nooks and crannies of your keyboard, mouse, and other tight areas where dust might gather. This is especially important if you have a laptop computer, as dust trapped in the keyboard can affect not only the keyboard entry but the entire computer.

To clean your computer, first start with the moist screen cleansing wipe. This should be rubbed gently over the entire screen area. Take care to get into the crevices between the casing and the screen to remove any trapped dust or debris. Fold the wipe over and wipe down the rest of the exterior surface of the computer. This will dry quickly on its own. To avoid streaks on your monitor, however, next use the dry dusting cloth to dry your moistened screen. Take care to dry all parts of the monitor, including the crevices between the screen and the casing.

Once your monitor is cleaned and dusted, use your canned air in short, quick puffs to blow out any dust that might have settled between the keys on your keyboard. Be especially detailed about this if you have a laptop computer. Wipe the dust away with your dusting cloth so it doesn't get blown back into the computer. Use the canned air to clean around each key, brushing away any dust that comes out.

Keeping your computer clean and dust free will help ensure you get your money's worth out of your technological investment.

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