How to Physically Clean Your Computer

You might have already discovered the hard way that your computer needs a decent spring clean from time to time. Otherwise, dust, dirt and grime finds its way into the interior components of your PC and that’s where it can start causing problems. To keep your computer and all of its components functioning optimally, here are some quick tips on how to physically clean your computer.


Computer case

Unscrew your computer’s left side panel and use a cloth to wipe away dust (it tends to collect at the top and bottom of the case, and a vacuum cleaner might be handy for some of the areas that are more difficult to access). The can of compressed air, meanwhile, is good for blowing dust out of the drive racks and fan grilles. Don’t forget to clean the dust filters, and fan blades if your computer has a case-mounted fan (cotton swabs dipped in alcohol for this).


The components inside your computer case

The first step here is very important – make sure you’ve unplugged your computer from the power supply, and that your PC has had time to cool down since last being switched on.

The CPU won’t need cleaning, but the cooler and sockets will, so disconnect the cooler from the motherboard and hold the fan blades in place while you blow dust out of the heatsink, using your can of compressed air. Use cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to remove any excess dust or debris at the end, and a brush to clear away dust from the socket.

Cleaning the graphics card is relatively straightforward. Simply blow compressed air into the back of the card, and any built-up dust should blow straight out.

When it comes to cleaning your PSU, there’s no need to remove it from the case or even open it really. You can simply wedge a screwdriver through the fan grille to stop the fan from spinning, and blow dust out with compressed air. Try a few different angles to make sure that you get all the dust out.

The fact that motherboards are generally positioned vertically means it probably won’t need much of a clean. Nevertheless, give it some light brushing around the top of:

  • The heatsinks
  • The protruding PCIe and RAM slots
  • The rear panel ports


The peripherals

Give yourself a pat on the back – the hard part is over. Cleaning your mouse, keyboard and monitor is a lot easier than cleaning the internal components of your computer.

For your keyboard, it’s up to you whether you wish to remove the keys or not – you’ll be able to clean your keyboard much more thoroughly by taking the keys off though. Equip yourself with a cloth, rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs and your trusty can of compressed air.

Blow compressed air into all the nooks and crannies of your keyboard while holding it upside down to let gravity do its job. Use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to wipe down the keyboard (including between the individual keys).

As for the mouse, simply dip a piece of cloth in alcohol and give it a scrub. For other peripherals like speakers and microphones, you might want to give them a quick once-over with a brush.

The best way to clean your monitor is with screen wipes (applying them to the screen in a strictly horizontal or vertical direction and then drying afterwards with a microfibre cloth) but failing this, you can use the microfibre cloth on its own to wipe away excess dust and combine with a modest amount of alcohol to dislodge any debris that doesn’t come off easily.


Would you rather leave it to a trained professional? Call QuickTech today

We get it – computers are both expensive and delicate, which means that pulling parts off it and sticking brushes in various components can be a daunting process. If you’d rather have your PC cleaned by a qualified and experienced technician, don’t hesitate to call QuickTech today. Depending where you’re located, we may be able to provide same-day service.

QuickTech can also assist with all your computer repairs, WiFi network support, antenna services, TV setup/relocation and other technical jobs around the home or workplace.

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