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Properly Cleaning a Laptop

It is important to keep modern computers clean, and laptops are no exception. However, a laptop’s different form factor makes cleaning it much different from cleaning a traditional desktop computer.

Let’s review the process that someone seeking to clean their laptop should follow, broken down between the different components.

BEFORE YOU BEGIN: Make sure you have backed up all your data, then turn off the device and unplug it. While we’re going to stick to safe methods of cleaning a laptop, accidents happen, so let’s mitigate most of the issues before there’s a risk of them taking place.

How to Clean a Laptop’s Chassis

  • Use a microfiber cloth, very lightly dampened with water or a dedicated laptop cleaning fluid, to wipe down the exterior of your device. Be careful around ports and vents to avoid introducing moisture to the laptop’s interior.
  • Use compressed air to clean all vents and ports, applying it at an angle so debris isn’t pushed further in.
  • If your laptop’s documentation confirms you can, gently open the back to clean vents, ports, and fans with compressed air. Make sure doing so won’t void any warranties.

How to Clean a Laptop’s Keyboard

  • Carefully lift up your laptop and, with it upside-down, gently shake it to dislodge any crumbs from the keyboard.
  • Use a microfiber towel to wipe down the keyboard, and use compressed air to clear out additional debris.
  • If the laptop features removable keycaps, remove and replace one first to ensure you can do so. If you aren’t sure, however, don’t try removing the keys or keycaps.

How to Clean a Laptop’s Screen

  • Use a microfiber cloth to wipe your screen, dampening it slightly if necessary.
  • Use water, a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution, or a dedicated screen cleaning solution, avoiding other household cleaners.
  • Use slow, circular motions to avoid creating streaks.

Hopefully, these tips will help you properly clean your laptop. Just be careful to avoid damaging your device.

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