With many businesses and nonprofit organizations in Wichita temporarily closed, people who can work at home will have to settle for their home-based offices. And while working from home, you wouldn’t want unexpected disruptions caused by faulty machines. One way to avoid this is to set aside some time to clean your computer.
Computer issues caused by overheating and dust buildup will require urgent fixes or replacement. Summit Advisors’ IT experts offer a few tips to keep your PCs and peripherals clean and working optimally.
A few reminders
Clean the computer while it’s turned off
Shut down your computer, disconnect any hardware like an uninterruptible power supply, and unplug it from the electrical socket before cleaning it. Computers and peripherals may get damaged if cleaned with the power turned on.
Have cleaning supplies handy
You don’t need to spend a lot on cleaning solutions and equipment since you may already have some lying around the house.
You will need:
- Microfiber cloth or any clean soft cloth
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Cotton swabs/Q-tips
- Compressed air or a dust blower
Personal computers (PCs)
You’ve probably been using your monitor for so long that you don’t notice that it has accumulated dust. Fortunately, monitors are easy to clean.
- Start by wiping it with a dry cloth.
- Next, wipe it with a microfiber cloth slightly damp with water or isopropyl alcohol diluted with water. Isopropyl alcohol is a non-abrasive solution and is ideal for cleaning computer monitors, provided you’re using a small amount. Wipe surfaces with a careful motion, from side to side or up and down. The cloth should not be soaking wet and wipe only spots with clear smudges, dust, and fingerprints.
- Alternatively, you can use screen cleaner wipes to clean your PC monitor.
Keyboards are highly prone to dirt and grime from multiple and frequent touching so it needs to be cleaned. Those who sneak in in-between work time snacking would understand why. Here’s how to tidy up your computer keyboard.
- First, remove visible dust using compressed air or a small computer dust blower. You can also turn it upside down and lightly shake or tap it until bits of dirt lodged between the keys fall off.
- Then, use a dampened cloth to carefully wipe the entire surface, including keys with visible marks and that are sticky. Then use mildly damp Q-tips to clean off difficult-to-reach surfaces in between keys.
- Brush off leftover muck using a keyboard brush or an air dust blower.
- If you want to be thorough, you may use a can of compressed air to clean your keyboard. But be careful not to blow out bits of dirt from your keyboard into other parts.
- Optical mice use light to detect movement on a surface, so make sure it’s clean. Turn it over and simply wipe or scratch off accumulated dust with a piece of cloth. Then using a slightly damp cloth, wipe the upper surface, including the right, left, and center mouse buttons.
- Mechanical mice may require more thorough cleaning than optical mice. To clean a mechanical mouse, disconnect it from the computer first and remove the batteries. Then wipe the outside surfaces using a slightly damp cloth.
- To clean the mouse roller, carefully take off the base that holds the ball. Then remove the mouse ball and wipe it with a clean cloth. Use a can of compressed air to clean the mouse’s sensors, then clean the base that holds the ball before putting it back in and replacing the ball.
- Mouse pads accumulate bits of dirt and gunk, too. Simply clean your plastic or rubber mouse pads with a cloth slightly dampened with water or isopropyl alcohol.
- Cleaning a laptop screen is similar to cleaning a PC screen — with a cloth dampened with water or isopropyl alcohol. And as with cleaning PC screens, you should never use strong glass cleaners and similar cleaning solutions, as these could damage the screen. For instance, liquid could seep into the edges and permanently damage the LCD display and seep into your hardware.
- Clean the keyboard of your laptop the same way you would clean your PC keyboard. Wipe the keys off using a slightly dampened cloth and Q-tips to clean the tiny spaces in between the keys.
- Wipe the outer casing of your laptop using a cloth, and gently rub grimy spots. It’s best to remove the battery and keep the area around it dry while cleaning your laptop.
Summit Advisors is fully operational and ready to help small- and medium-sized businesses in Wichita solve computer problems. Call our IT consultants at 316-247-3150 or leave us a message.