How to Keep your Computer System Physically Clean

May 7, 2009

So, what is the best way to remove fingerprints and/or smudges from your computer screen? What about those smudges on your laptop? How do you safely remove them without damaging your screen? There are many different types of cleaners out there that are “supposed” to be okay to use computer screens, but there have been horrible accounts of people using an “approved” product and ruining their brand new screen.  ALWAYS read the manufacturer’s recommendations before using anything to clean your electronics, or you can potentially damage your screen.

A good way to clean a computer  or laptop screen is to use a microfiber cloth.  3M makes a cloth that can be found at Amazon for under $6.00. Just the cloth alone can also be used as a quick fix to wipe off a smudge without having to use a cleaning solution.  If you want a little extra cleaning power, you can use chemicals.

Chemicals are powerful. They can be so powerful that they can damage your computer screen. But simply using water is not enough to clean your screen and will often leave streaks. To get a bit technical, the best  cleaning solutions that should  be used on a computer screen typically contain two chemicals: water and isopropyl Alcohol. You can actually make your own solution, but then you have to worry about getting the right proportions. The easiest fix to keeping your screen looking fingerprint/smudge free is to get some pre-made wipes. 3M Makes some excellent cleaning wipes designed for computer and laptop screens which are unscented and non-abrasive. You can find them by clicking here. There are other solutions out there that will work, but these happen to be one that have worked very well for us at our office.

If you do decide to buy a different solution keep in mind a few things. First off, keep in mind that the ONLY ingredients should be water and isopropyl alcohol. Anything that is scented has other additional chemicals added which are not needed, and remember to make sure that the manufacturer of your electronic device approves.

If you have an iPod, PDA, Cell Phone, Blackberry, iPhone or Palm device that you would like to clean, you can use the wipes that already have the solution on them, or use the plain cloths that 3M makes.  Those will work perfectly for getting rid of smudges.  You can also get a screen protector.  They work well if properly maintained, but they can peel off after not too long.  Thankfully, these screen protectors are fairly inexpensive at $3.49.

Apart from keeping your screen clean, it is important to keep your keyboard clean. Dust particles can build up very quickly. The easiest fix is to get a can of duster, which can be found by clicking here. Essentially, it is a compressed can of air that can be used to blow away dust from a keyboard.

A computer will generate a decent amount of heat and therefore is required to have fans on it to keep it cool. Well, those fans will build up a lot of dust on your computer case which can affect the way your system is supposed to stay cool. A system which is overheating will likely cause a lot of issues. So, it is important every few months (or whenever you notice an accumulation of dust on your computer case) to clean it out. Power off your computer, unplug it, and open it up. You can then use duster to blow away all of the accumulated dirt. Or, few a more “efficient” humorous option, watch the video below.


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