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How to keep your computer hardware clean

Simple ways to clean your desktop or laptop computer

Dust is the bad cholesterol of the computer system. Too much dust and the air vents in your computer clog up, which leads to overheating and underperformance. Dust in other accessories, such as keyboards and mice, can cause malfunctions and prevent equipment from working properly. One minute, you are smooth sailing across the web, and the next minute, your computer shuts down. Make sure your computer is getting the cleaning attention it deserves. Here's how to get started.

The materials you need

Prepare yourself with the items listed below. You will need:

  • A microfiber or cotton cloth
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Cleaning wipes
  • All-purpose spray cleaner or water
  • A can of compressed air

The materials you don't need

Repeat after me: "I will not use the following items."

  • Paper towels
  • Rubbing alcohol or ammonia on the computer monitor
  • Sandpaper
  • Hair dryer
  • Vacuum cleaner

Before we begin

Make sure your computer isn't hooked up to power. Safely shut down your computer and unplug all cables connected to it, especially the power cord. Now it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work!


Cleaning the top of your mouse is one of the easiest tasks you can do. Take a microfiber cloth or a wet wipe and wipe down the mouse. Phew! What a workout. You deserve a break. Come back later when you're ready for round two.

Mouse: Round two

Flip your mouse over and you will see little footpads. These help your mouse glide on the surface, but they can trap unwanted dirt. Take a toothpick and gently clean the borders of the footpads. Computer mice have moved away from the traditional track ball to an optical lens. This means your mouse uses an LED light to detect movement instead of a mouse ball. Grab a cotton swab or cotton ball and clean the lens. Good as new!

For the rare group of people who are still using a traditional track ball, open the hatch at the bottom of the mouse and remove the ball. Use a toothpick or cotton swab to remove the dirt that is stuck on the wheels and rollers inside. Now clean the mouse ball with a wet wipe to remove any filth attached to the ball. Make sure the ball is completely dry before inserting it back into the mouse. Close the hatch and you're done!

A mouse reminder: Keep the surface clean and dust free to lessen the chances of harmful filth entering the device.


The external portion of your computer tower or laptop is just as fun to clean as your mouse is. Simply use a microfiber cloth or wet wipe to eliminate all dust settled on the case. Pay close attention to the air and fan vents. Fans circulate the air inside your computer to prevent overheating. Clean the vents with a cotton swab to provide as much breathing space as possible.


Your keyboard will take a little more work. If your preferred style of removing waste particles is to turn your keyboard upside down and violently shake it, well then we have a better solution for you. Take your desktop keyboard or laptop, tilt it 45 degrees and use the can of compressed air to blow away all the Dorito chips and cookie crumbs that lay waste underneath. If having a can of compressed air is out of your budget, a cool trick is to take tape or a sticky note and slide it in between the keys. Any dirt lodged in will be caught by the adhesive.

Once your keyboard is food free, move on to your monitor.


Whether you are using a laptop or desktop computer, cleaning the LCD screen takes a little more time and is more sensitive than your mouse, so be gentle. Use a microfiber cloth or any type of cotton material to remove hair or dust particles that have landed on your screen. Using paper towels or napkins is too abrasive and will scrape the screen. There will be moments when those pesky stains and fingerprints won't come out no matter how much you rub away. You can use a special cleaning spray or just plain water. Do not use a spray that has alcohol or is ammonia-based as it can damage your LCD screen. If you decide to use water, dampen (do not dunk) the cloth. Never apply liquids directly onto your monitor or any other electrical device. Apply to the cloth you're using first, and then lightly scrub the spots on screen.

Now what?

Make sure all the components are dry before you plug everything back in. To prevent dust from quickly returning, place your computer somewhere other than the floor. Having your computer on the floor gives pet hair, dust, or dirt on the ground a higher chance to return. Keep your computer and the workspace around it as clean as possible. Depending on your environment, you should clean your computer station every three months.

Good as new!

Congratulations! You now have a computer as clean as when you first got it. As far as cleaning inside your computer tower, we know that can get confusing. Give Method a call so we can assist you in giving your machine a clean sweep inside. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us at 844-463-8463 or email us at

Tags: screen | mouse | monitor | clean | keyboard

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