People of our times are completely dependent on information technology and it has penetrated many areas of our life that can’t be imagined without a computer, laptop, or smartphone. There is a chronic shortage of time and people want to communicate with their friends and maintain business ties at any time and from any place. This is where a laptop comes in handy and has an advantage over a desktop computer.
Laptops are easy to move from one place to another, lightweight, have a compact size, and a built-in battery. Their ability to access data from any place in the world like a park, café, or a car makes them convenient to carry and use.
All the electronic equipment gets dirty over a period of time and needs to be cleaned. The laptop too gathers dirt and grime, more so if you are traveling frequently. The dust, crust, and crumbs that accumulate inside the laptop can clog fans, vents, and heat sinks that can even cause poor performance and overheating.
Learning to clean a laptop is an important skill as you are dealing with delicate hardware that can be easily damaged. Using a freshly cleaned laptop is as satisfying as a brand new one.
Cleaning a laptop is more tedious than cleaning a desktop. The keyboard, the internals, the screen, and the case have to be cleaned. But it is possible to clean a laptop in under an hour if you have canned air, 90-100% isopropyl alcohol, a microfiber cloth, and cotton swabs. Ninety percent or higher isopropyl alcohol is fine as it won’t damage the internal components.
You should not be too much bothered with specialty cleaners that are available in big electronics stores as they would be overpriced as compared to what is available at home.
Cleaning from Inside-
Most of people want their laptops to look beautiful from the outside but it is internal that counts. The dust and crumbs that accumulate inside can result in poor performance.
Once you have gathered the tools it is time to clean the laptop from inside. It is easy on some laptops but is the same on most of them. Take the laptop, prepare compressed air or eco-friendly can less air and get down to work. Canned air will blow crumbs and cat hair everywhere, so if you have already cleaned the screen you will have to clean it again after using canned air.
Turn off the laptop, unplug the cable and remove the battery (If possible). Take compressed air, give it a burst away from the laptop(to avoid condensation), then start blowing air into cracks and crevices, keyboard, vents, and the USB ports.
It should be blown in short bursts as the longer sprays will cause the moisture to accumulate inside the laptop, which may even damage the fans by making them spin too fast. Smokers and pet owners have to take special care and clean the inside of the laptop often due to the accumulation of dust, hair, and other particulates.
· Hold the laptop from the sides and turn it upside down with the screen open. Shake it gently to remove crumbs. If you have not cleaned your laptop for a long time shake it over a trash can to avoid making a mess.
· You can use a can of compressed air. When you do it tilt your laptop at an angle so that you are forcing dust out of your keyboard. If you blow compressed air directly into the keyboard you will blow the dust further inside.
· If you look at the keys from an angle, you will be able to see where grime has built upon the keycaps. Use the pencil eraser to get rid of this dirt. After using the pencil eraser you have to clean the keys again to get rid of the stubble the eraser left behind.
Cleaning the screen-
Your laptop screen is delicate and needs to be cleaned properly and regularly. Paper towels and rags should not be used to clean the laptop screen as they may leave dust behind and scratch the screen. Don’t use alcohol, vinegar, glass cleaner, or any cleaning chemical. The only thing you should use to clean your laptop screen is a microfiber cloth which is cheap and easily available. Follow the following steps-
· Turn off your laptop and let the screen reach room temperature. If it has too much dust give a few sideways bursts of compressed air.
· Take the microfiber cloth and run it across the screen in a gentle horizontal or vertical motion. Light pressure and wide movements are just fine.
· If your screen is greasy, lightly dampen your microfiber cloth with water and use the same sweeping movement and light pressure as discussed above. If the screen becomes too damp, dry it with a clean microfiber cloth.
· Vinegar shouldn’t be used to clean your laptop screen but should be used as a last resort for stains that can’t be cleaned. If there is some stain that can’t be cleaned prepare a solution of 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water, dampen your microfiber cloth and wipe the screen.
Cleaning and making the Laptop Case shiny-
The laptop’s case can handle pressure better than the keyboard or the screen. But ensure not to apply harsh chemicals or liquid directly to the laptop. The cleaning solution should be put on the microfiber cloth, not on the laptop directly. The procedure is as follows-
· Use purified or distilled water and a few drops of gentle dish soap. Do not use regular household cleaners for cleaning the case or even any harsh chemical such as bleach or ammonia.
· Take a clean sponge and soak it in the cleaning solution. Twist it to remove water till it is completely dry. Rub this sponge over the outside surface of your laptop. Don’t clean inside ports or vents with the sponge as it may result in the moisture getting into the laptop and damaging the components.
· If the laptop case has seams and crevices, it may collect dirt. Dip a cotton swab into a cleansing solution and clean these small areas. Ensure that the cotton swab is not too wet and apply light pressure to avoid pushing moisture into the machine.
· If the narrow crevices, ports, or vents are clogged with dirt, use a toothpick to remove the dirt. Hold the toothpick at an angle like you hold a pencil and be gentle with the toothpick to avoid scratching the surface.
· If you find that there is debris in the ports, you can use a can of compressed air. Use the can at an angle to blow air into the port you want to clear. Never blow the compressed air directly into the port or vent. This may send the debris deeper into the machine. Blow from multiple angles to ensure that you have cleaned it properly.
· If your laptop has sticky spots on the case that can’t be removed with gentle cleaning, use cotton dipped in isopropyl alcohol to clean the spot. Ensure that the cotton is not too wet so as to let the alcohol into the machine. Apply moderate pressure till the spot is cleared off.
· Once the case is clean, take a microfiber cloth and wipe the complete case in a circular motion. This will remove moisture from the surface.
We have discussed the procedure for cleaning the laptop. To keep the laptop free from germs you should follow a proper cleaning routine which can be every three months. But if you find a lot of dust accumulating regularly the frequency of cleaning can be increased.
Cleaning the laptop is an important habit that can prolong its life and make the working environment more enjoyable. By taking time to properly clean the laptop and keeping the hard disk organized and free of unnecessary files your digital life will become pleasurable and you would be able to concentrate on the work on hand, rather than the disturbances caused by dirt and grime.