Be sure to sure read our earlier Spring Cleaning article: Make your computer safer in two easy steps.
Unless your laptop is brand new, odds are it could use a good cleaning. Over time, the screen, keyboard, and case typically get covered in fingerprints, food, and funk. If it’s been a while since you’ve spruced up your laptop, there’s no better time than the present!
Follow these simple steps and your laptop will look (just about) as good as new.
What you will need
To clean your laptop, you’ll need a few basic items:
- A solution of equal parts isopropyl alcohol, and distilled, purified, or bottled water
- A soft, lint-free cloth
- A can of compressed air
- Cotton swabs
Prepare your laptop
Before cleaning your laptop, turn it off and unplug it. Then mix the solution of isopropyl alcohol and water and dampen your cloth with it. Never, ever spray or pour the solution directly into your machine.
Clean your laptop exterior
Use the damp cloth to clean both the exterior of your laptop when it is closed and the area around your keyboard and screen when it is open.
Clean your laptop screen
Clean your laptop screen by using the same dampened cloth (or a fresh one if the first is too dirty) to rub gently in circular motions from left to right, top to bottom of your screen.
Clean the ports and cooling vents
Spray the can of compressed air at an angle (keep the can upright!) into the ports and cooling vents of your laptop. Be careful not to spray too hard, since this could shoot liquid into your device.
Clean the keyboard and touchpad
The can of compressed air can also be used to clean your keyboard. The compressed air will loosen and remove any debris that is stuck in between and underneath your keys.
For very dirty keyboards – if it is safe to do so for your model of computer (check your manual!) – you can remove the keys, dip a cotton swab into your cleaning solution, and wipe underneath the keys.
Use your damp cloth to wipe the keys and the touchpad. You can also use a cotton swab dipped in cleaning solution to clean your keys.
Make sure your computer is completely dry before turning it back on. Voila! Enjoy your squeaky clean laptop!
For future reference, here’s a handout you can print and keep handy.
If you have questions about cleaning your laptop or need help, contact the IS&T Service Desk.