cleaning a laptop screen

How to clean your laptop

Whether you use it every day or you pull it out on occasion, your laptop can quickly accumulate a mass of dust, grime and other bacteria without you even noticing.

According to research by Kimberly-Clark Professional, a leading provider of hygiene solutions, 27% of all keyboards were so dirty that they were a high risk for spreading germs and illness.1 Baring this in mind, it is important to clean your laptop as this can not only extend its life but it can keep yourself and those around you healthy too.

When cleaning your keyboard make sure to cover all surfaces, including the trackpad and screen. And don’t forget to wipe down an external mouse if you’re using one. Whilst you’re at it, it’s good practice to give your desk a full clean  as bacteria can build up on phones and other objects that are being regularly touched throughout the day.

Read on to find the best ways to clean your laptop safely and efficiently.

How to clean your keyboard

The good news is that you don’t need much to clean your keyboard.

First make sure the laptop is switched off, disconnected from a power supply, and remove the battery if you’re able to. Once you’ve done this, there are four main items you’ll need:2
  • Canned Air
  • Rubbing Alcohol (90% or higher most effective)
  • Microfibre Cloths
  • Cotton Wool Balls

Start with the inside first before tackling any outer grime. If your keyboard is particularly dirty, turn it upside down and give it a gentle tap so any loose crumbs or debris will fall from the keys. The next step is to grab your canned air and start spraying air into all nooks and crannies, including vents and USB ports. Short bursts are best for this. This stage removes any dust, which can cause your laptop to overheat if left.

Once this is complete it’s time to tackle the outside. Using either the microfibre cloth or the cotton wool balls, douse these with the rubbing alcohol, wring them out so they are damp and not wet, and start scrubbing. It’s extremely important that the rubbing alcohol is applied to the cleaning tool and never directly onto the machine itself.3

If you wish, you can also use disinfecting wipes to clean down surfaces, and most products are safe to use but always check instructions first.

How to clean your screen

Keeping your screen clean is a lot easier and you should be able to keep on top of this by wiping it down using a microfibre cloth, keeping fingerprints and dust at bay. Wipe in one direction from the top to the bottom of the display and don’t apply unnecessary pressure.

If you have a particular dirty smudge and need something with a bit more kick, you can use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, as recommended by manufacturers such as Dell. However, the rules are the same that this cannot be sprayed directly onto the computer and that the cloth must be damp and not dripping wet.4

Once complete, make sure that all areas of the laptop that have been cleaned are completely dry before switching the laptop back on or plugging into a power supply.

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Last updated: 9 April 2020