In the Forums...
Posted: July 21, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Keeping your computer clean can do a lot for your system, and even your overall productivity. Sticky keyboards make it difficult to type (believe me, I know), dirty monitors can make it difficult to read an e-mail or score a frag, and dust inside of your computer can make overclocking difficult. In this guide I will be covering how to eliminate all of these problems, as well as a few others that I've come across in my time. Keep in mind that this isn't the be all, end all system cleaning guide - but following these steps should keep your system in good shape and help your parts live a longer, happier life. Before I start, I'd just like to mention that you should only perform these steps if the hardware in connection is turned off. Cleaning a computer while it is on could damage the equipment and possibly even cause harm to you.
There are several things that you should have handy if you intend on going through and cleaning your computer components. This isn't a comprehensive list, and you can definitely substitute some of these materials for others, but this is what I use when I'm cleaning out my computer.
- Can of Compressed Air
- Lint free cotton cloth (available at any electronics store)
- Glass cleaner/TV cleaning solution
- Isopropyl Alcohol
- Q-tip (cotton swab)
- Clean rag
As I said, this is far from a comprehensive list - you may substitute some of these materials for others, or possibly even use a totally different method to clean one of the components we talk about. That's up to you.
There are two steps that need to be performed when cleaning a computer monitor - cleaning the screen and cleaning the casing. To clean the monitor, simply apply some window cleaner or TV cleaner to a cloth until it is damp (not soaked) and then rub the monitor screen evenly. Never, and I mean never, apply the cleaner directly to the monitor - that is an easy way to ruin a very expensive piece of computer equipment.
To clean the monitor casing, first take the same damp rag and wipe it over the back casing of the monitor, including the vent holes. Then take the compressed air and use it to clean any leftover dust off of the back of the case and out of the ventilation holes. Whatever you do, however, do NOT open up the casing on the monitor. The cathode ray gun in the back of the monitor acts like a big capacitor and could seriously electrocute you if it isn't properly handled - so just say no to taking the back of the case off.
It's best to turn off or even unplug the monitor when cleaning it.