It may sound like just another task to add to your already busy life, but cleaning your laptop and smartphone is vital to ensure smooth operation of these precious devices. Anthony Hill, Head of Technology at Geeks2U recommends that users clean their laptop “every six to twelve months” and their smartphones “as often as possible”.
To get started, follow Anthony’s advice that the “laptop is turned off, unplugged from the charger and batteries are removed if possible”. This article will focus on how to clean a laptop screen, how to clean a laptop keyboard, how to remove dust from a laptop, and how to clean a smartphone.
How to Clean Laptop Keyboard
Keyboards can get extremely grotty, particularly if you eat or drink at your laptop (who doesn’t?!). Without regular cleaning, keys can fail and require replacement. The keyboards on Apple MacBooks sold in the last three or so years are notorious for failing after a few crumbs become lodged in the thin butterfly mechanism under the keys.
The first step is to get a can of compressed air and blow all the dust and loose particles out from around the keys. Tip the laptop upside while doing this if possible, so all the debris falls out. After the dusting, get a damp (but not wet) microfibre cloth and give the keys a wipe. No need for detergent or other cleaners, just water is often enough to remove any stains or marks. For heavier marks and stains, a “Magic Eraser” (white cleaning cubes found in supermarkets) will get the job done.
How to Clean Laptop Screen
You’re probably looking at your laptop’s screen as you read this, just realising how dirty the thing you look at all day is. It’s not unusual for a screen to look clearer and sharper, with richer colours after giving it a good clean after years of neglect. Luckily, it’s quite easy to do.
Like most electronics, a slightly damp microfibre cloth is all you need for a basic clean. Wipe it along the screen, in a straight motion (not circular) and using a new part of the cloth with each wipe. Make sure not to get your cloth or sponge too wet, as moisture can seep between the display and case, which will damage your laptop.
Don’t use window cleaners, household cleaners, aerosol sprays, solvents, ammonia, abrasives, or cleaners containing hydrogen peroxide to clean the display, as they can damage the glass or plastic display surface.
How to Remove Dust From A Laptop
Dust can kill a laptop. Literally. Components inside the laptop generate heat and if that heat can’t escape because the fans and vents are clogged with dust they fail, and the repair bill can often outstrip the cost of a new laptop. Dust can also impede performance, as if heat generated by the CPU can’t escape properly, the CPU will throttle its speed down to compensate. If you notice your laptop’s fans spinning wildly, but you aren’t doing anything intensive on your laptop, that’s also a sign of dust clogging up vents and fans.
Purchase a can of compressed air from a hardware or electronics store (Bunnings or Jaycar for example) and give the vents a few short bursts to blow out the dust. There are often vents at the base and sides of most laptops. Anthony Hill recommends that “if the vents are heavily clogged with dust, disassembly may be required by the manufacturer for a deep clean, so internal fans and heatsinks can be deep cleaned, as compressed air probably won’t reach that far inside.”
Smartphone and Tablet Cleaning
Do you wash your hands prior to using your smartphone or tablet? It’s unlikely you do, so that means there’s probably a mini-laboratory full of germs breeding on the glass and metal surfaces of your smartphone. Smartphone cleaning wipes are available at some chemists and are pre-moistened wipes with anti-bacterial fluid that also dries quickly and doesn’t leave a smudge. Don’t use household cleaners as those can stain metals and erode coatings on a smartphone’s screen.
The speaker vents, charging and headphone ports on smartphones can get clogged up with pocket lint and other crud from being in pockets, bags and cases. It’s not uncommon for smartphones to have difficulties charging due to dust bunnies sitting in the charging port, preventing a firm connection between cable and port. Simply get some compressed air and give the ports a blow out every now and then.
By following these instructions on a regular basis, you can ensure your precious electrical devices will run in top condition for years to come. If you’ve let your computer go for a while without a clean and want it deep cleaned by a professional, get in touch with Geeks2U and they’ll be happy to assist.