How to Physically Clean your Computer

In this digital world, the computer is easily one of the commonest belonging a person possesses; this device has taken the world by storm since its invention. Since its user-friendly design became implemented, it has experienced an upsurge.

The device has become indispensable to us, to a point where doing without it is nigh impossible. Basically, all things we frequently use require cleaning. So alas, it requires us to clean it after some periods of time. Otherwise, the consequences could be gross, ranging from it not working to it overheating and at the same time becoming slow.

So the question arises, How can I Physically Clean My Computer?

Now the frequency of cleaning your computer depends on a few things, mainly on where you place your computer if you keep it on the bare floor,  it can collect dust quickly.

Never smoke, eat or drink any liquid near it, and make sure you keep your pets far away from it as possible; you can clean it once or twice per year.

However, if you do none of the listed above, clean your computer system more often. The ideal ratio for cleaning it will now be around three to six months if your computer is under the conditions I mentioned.

Please note that whenever you feel like your computer is getting hotter than usual or quicker than usual, it means you should definitely clean it up.

This is because dust particles are collected on the computer cooling fan. This will eventually result in the fan clogging and failing at doing its job of cooling.

The intensity of cleaning required depends on the computer. We usually handle laptops more than desktop computers since they are relatively easier to carry around. This results because they get dirty faster than their desktop counterparts.

Fortunately, the reason that makes laptops gather dirt quicker also makes them easier to clean than their desktop counterparts. It is not advisable to take a laptop apart to clean it, you can clean it in minutes, which is extremely faster than the time required for its desktop counterpart.

So what are the tools needed for cleaning your computer?

You will need;

Tools Needed For Physically Cleaning of your computer

  •  A screwdriver for removing components or disassembling the entire computer if required. A typical easily accessible slot or a cross-slot screwdriver will do the job.
  • A can of compressed air is necessary, as this is the best way to get built-up dust out of the system and out of hard-to-reach places. Do not shake the can and hold it in an upright position to prevent liquid air from escaping, making matters more complicated. If you want to clean your COMPUTER without having to use compressed air, you can do it, but it will be much more tedious.
  • You will also need soft brushes or a blower to easily remove the dust particles off circuit boards or keyboard surfaces.
  • Cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol, which will get rid of stubborn pockets of dust in unreachable spots.

Now let us get to the topic of the day, which is “How to Physically Clean Your Computer.” I am going to treat each major part of the computer one by one.

1. Mouse

How to Physically Clean your Computer
How to Physically Clean your Computer

As we all know, there are two types of mice, each requiring a different cleaning style. The mouse is the easiest part to clean on a computer.

  • The Optical mice require little cleaning because they do not contain many parts; instead, it uses an optical light emitter; however, these can and will get sticky over time as dust collects near the optical light emitter.


  • The Mechanical mice are susceptible to dust that can accumulate inside the mouse, making it difficult to track properly. If the mouse is not working, it probably needs cleaning.


How to clean your mouse?

Always Unplug the mouse from the USB or PS/2 port before attempting cleaning.

  1. Moisten a cotton cloth with rubbing alcohol or ethanol, and use it to clean the top and bottom of the mouse lightly; please try to keep it moist and not wet.
  2. If you have a mechanical mouse, remove the movement tracking ball by turning the ball-cover ring counter-clockwise, then open it. You can then clean the mouse’s inside with a cotton cloth moistened with some rubbing alcohol isopropyl.

Place it on a sheet of paper and move the mouse back and forth repeatedly for some time; dust and particles will come off onto the paper and dislodge.

2. Laptop Cleaning :

How to Physically Clean your Computer

Laptops are easier to clean than their desktop counterparts, and so it is easier to clean.

When cleaning laptops, you will need;

  • A very soft cloth. (I highly recommend a microfiber cloth)
  • A very mild dish detergent.
  • A bottle of Isopropyl alcohol and
  • A can of compressed air.

Ensure that your laptop is not plugged into a power source. If so, turn it off and unplug the socket’s charging cable. You are also better off if you remove the battery.

It’s best to start with the outer surface, the lid, and the bottom panel.

Mix the dish detergent with some warm water and lightly damp the cloth on it. The cotton cloth will serve. Use the cloth to rub the lid and bottom panel gently.

Rinse the cloth with some clean tap water, squeeze it tightly to remove moisture, and then rub away the detergent from the lid and bottom panel.

Wipe it with a dry cloth to remove any water residue that may later cause problems for your system.

Be sure to squeeze the cloth every time you use it, so it’s not soaked wet when you use it and does not cause issues on your laptop.

Onto the Keyboard

This is the trickiest part when you physically clean your laptop because the laptop keys are very close to each other. You must avoid letting liquids drip down underneath it.

The first thing is to grab the can of compressed air to remove crumbs between the laptop keys.

Get some rubbing alcohol in a clean rag and use it to wipe the keys. The benefit of alcohol is that it is safe because it evaporates quickly and helps remove natural oil emitted from your fingers to the keys.

I recommend using a towel with disinfectant to clean the keys. However, make sure you do not get the keys too wet, and you can rub some alcohol for easier vaporation.

If you plan to remove the keys to be more thorough in the cleaning, one word of advice is to take a picture to remember where each key goes when you are reassembling.

As for the air vents on the laptop side, these are also important but relatively easy to clean; grab your can of compressed air and blow away the dust collected there; it will amaze you at the efficiency. For the laptop screen, use a cloth with a window cleaner and wipe the screen gently.

Next up is how to clean a desktop computer; this is more complex in the cleaning procedure.

Let us start with the desktop Computer Keyboard;

How to clean your desktop computer Keyboard

How to Physically Clean your Computer
How to Physically Clean your Computer

Cleaning a desktop computer Keyboard is a straightforward process, and you can do it with or without removing the keys from the keyboard. Whichever one you choose, you will need a piece of soft cloth, some rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, and a can of compressed air.

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  1. Start by holding the keyboard upside down, using a blower to blow out dust and debris lodged in it.
  2. Dip a soft cloth in alcohol and rub the keyboard’s main body vigorously, including the tiny crevices between the keys and the keys themselves.
  3. If you want to clean the area under the keys (which is actually a good idea if you have not cleaned your keyboard in a long time), you will need to remove the keys. This’s done by pushing any thin object underneath a key to dislodge it–be it a screwdriver or a knife;
  4. Once those keys are off from the keyboard, use clean cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to clean the area that the keys occupied.

The Next Stop is the monitor:

How to clean the monitor

How to Physically Clean your Computer
How to Physically Clean your Computer

The monitor is an important part of your computer and is by far one of the most used parts of the computer; hence it requires much cleaning. Substances like Dust, fingerprints, and dirt can make your computer screen very difficult to read;

However, it’s relatively easy to clean your screen, although much caution; there are some top-rated monitor-cleaning kits you can buy for cleaning, but they may damage your monitor if they’re designed for a different monitor system.

E.g., A screen monitor cleaner sparsely designed for glass screens will not work with non-glass LCD screens and risks damaging your computer screen. Therefore, the method I encourage is to use a soft clean cloth moistened with water.

Please note that on no account should you use a glass cleaner to clean a monitor. Most monitors come with an anti-glare coating that can and will react with the glass cleaner and most definitely damage your computer!!.

The steps to follow while cleaning your monitor are as follows;

  1. Try to Turn off the computer system and never skip this step.
  2. Always unplug the monitor from the power supply. If you happen to be using a laptop, unplug the laptop from power too.
  3. Use a soft clean cloth moistened with water to wipe the screen

Do not spray any liquids for any reason directly onto the screen!. It will leak into your monitor and damage the internal components.

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Cleaning Procedures for other computer surfaces

You should always clean your computer case, sides, and back of the monitor to avoid a buildup of dust and dirt, which is detrimental to your computer’s smooth running.  Here are a few tips you should use when cleaning these other surfaces.

  • Avoid dust at all times; dust is your computer’s major enemy. It would help if you used an anti-static cloth to dust your computer casing. Please do not use any furniture cleaners or strong solvents, as this will damage it.
  • By using a can of compressed air, you can blow out debris from air intake slots easily.
  • You can use Ammonia diluted with water or popularly known as a glass cleaner comprising ammonia and water to clean computer surfaces.
  • You can clean the monitor housing and case (but not the monitor screen!). Spray the safe cleaning solution onto a paper towel or anti-static cloth and wipe in a downward motion only. Note that it’s downward motion only and nothing more.


Cleaning your computer is one integral part of the computer ownership process and is one you must take seriously. Take your time as one slip up can spell disaster and ruin you for life. So read up facts about your system and figure out its specifications.

Your thoughts on how to Physically Clean your Computer are all welcome via the comment section, and please don’t forget to share our post with your friends you think may need it.

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