Keeping your laptop (or computer) squeaky clean


A dirty laptop not only looks bad, but has negative side effects you may not think about.

Spreading of germs, especially in cold and flu season, and may even slow your computer down.

Germs like to live in all those little crevices, waiting for you to touch them, climb on you and get you sick (or sick again).

The sluggish computer comes from dust buildup inside the fans and exhaust ports. This causes heat to build up and the computer doesn’t run as efficient as it could be.

Here’s a few tips to keep your computer running and looking in tip top shape.
Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Mild dish soap
  • microfiber cloth
  • compressed air
  • Isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
  • warm water

I am going to explain this procedure on laptops but you can transfer the techniques to a PC tower as well.

First shut the computer down, unplug it from the power source, and remove the battery (if your model allows).

To clean the case use a bowl of warm water and a few drops of mild dish detergent. Place your microfiber cloth into the water wring it out very well; clean the top of the laptop, flip it over and clean the bottom. Be very careful no liquid gets into any of the USB ports, power supply opening or any other openings that may be present.

You can open the screen up, making sure your cloth is not that wet you can clean the area around the screen bezel, palm rest and any other large surfaces. Be sure NOT to clean the keyboard yet, you do not want water on the keyboard.

Once you clean all the surfaces, repeat with a warm damp cloth with NO SOAP. Once more with a dry cloth to remove any streaks.


Use the compressed air to blow the cookie crumbs and dust bunnies out of the crevices of the keyboard.  Be sure not to tip the can or hold it upside down as the propellant will come out and get everywhere (also freeze you if it gets on you)

Once all that crud is out take your microfiber cloth with a little bit of rubbing alcohol on it and clean the keys, this is good to use for 2 reasons. It remove the oil from your fingers, as well as evaporates really quickly letting no liquid drip between the keys.
If its cold and flu season (or you’re more worried about germs) use a disinfecting wipe on the keys before the alcohol.

The laptop screen, or any LCD screen for that matter, is a tricky thing to clean.

You don’t want to damage it, by using harsh chemicals. There are commercially available LCD screen cleaners out there to get this job done. However I have had great success using a mixture of  alcohol and water (no more than 50/50 mix) use distilled water if possible as tap water can contain minerals

  • Do not use any cleaning agent that uses ammonia, such as window cleaners, as this can discolor your monitor.
  • When using isopropyl alcohol, don’t use more than a 50/50 mix with distilled water.
  • Do not put heavy pressure on the LCD screen as you can damage the display surface, if there is a heavy build up, use a few passes rather than more pressure.

Now that your computer is looking all clean, its time to look in that exhaust port. What is that stuff? eew! That’s a buildup of dust (maybe pet hair) and other gunk. Use that compressed air one more time, blow it into the intake, and exhaust port of the fan. watch out as dust will come out the other port. Once you have no more dust coming out it’s as clean as you can get it without taking the cover off.

If you have a tower, remove the side panel, usually attached with thumb screws, or 2 Phillips screws on the backside, and you can clean off all the components inside. Wherever there is a place for dust to hide, blow it out.
If you have a lot of dust inside you may notice a buildup of heat. This can cause the computer to seem sluggish because its trying to work harder to keep cool.

If you have any service done on your computer by Quast Tech Solutions, this cleaning is considered a complimentary service before its returned to you.