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A clean computer

tips for Cleaning Screens, Keyboards and the Mouse

We do everything at our computers. We eat, we drink, we file our fingernails. 

Occasionally, we will dust the monitor. And sometimes, if we're very, very good, we will wipe off the keyboard keys.

If you're thinking "What's the big deal about computer cleaning? Just spray it with a window product, right?"

Wrong, laptop killer. Never spray anything directly onto a computer screen. Some spray will get through vents onto the circuit boards. And circuit boards are very finicky about being dropped in on by any liquid, especially strong solutions. Here's how to get a clean computer safely.

1.  How to Clean Computer Screens

To clean your computer screen, start by turning off the computer. 

Use a microfiber cloth, either dry or dampened with clean water or a product designed for computer screens.

If you use anything else, you run the risk of damaging the screen. 

Clean the screen several times a week. A dirty screen can cause eye strain.

2.  Keyboard Cleaning Tips

Science can't explain it, but soft drinks, crumbs, and coffee are inexplicably attracted to computer keyboards.

Put them, and a kid or three, in the proximity of one another, and they're bound to interact messily sooner or later.

Clean a computer keyboard's keys with a disposable cleaning wipe, such as the iCloth Screen Cleaner Pro-Grade Individually wrapped wet wipes, or a cloth sprayed with an all-purpose cleaner.

To remove the dirt, dust and other debris that gets caught between the keys, turn the keyboard upside down and shake gently to dislodge the particles.

An air duster (a canister of condensed air) is also a great aid in removing all these bits and piece that get lodged inside the keyboard. 

  • If the spill was a sticky drink a cola or a latte, perhaps - try prying the small keycaps off the keyboard with a flat-head screwdriver to get better access to the mess.
  • Take a picture of the computer keyboard intact before you remove any keys. That way, you can put them back where you found them. Don't remove the space bar, the Enter key, or other large key caps, however. 

3.  A Clean Computer Mouse

Every time you roll the mouse, you are moving dust, dirt, and gunk into its innards. For a clean computer, you need to remove the gunk it to keep it rolling along.

Most of us use our computers every day, so we're constantly handling that mouse, which means that its surface is a breeding ground for all sorts of germs.

A good habit, particularly in cold and flu season, is to give the mouse's surface a daily cleaning. Spray a bit of antibacterial cleaner on a soft cloth, or use an antibacterial wipe and gently clean the surface of the mouse.

If you turn off your computer overnight, make it a habit to clean the mouse before powering up in the morning. 

Deep-cleaning: Debris on the underside of the mouse can affect its performance. If you have an optical mouse (beam of light to track movement), dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol, and then gently clean the area where the LED and the lens are located.

Using a dry cotton swab, gently wipe over the area to make sure it's dry. For a ball mouse (with a roller on the bottom), you may need to disassemble and clean with a microfiber cleaning cloth, making sure to remove all dust, hair and other debris.

If necessary, use a few shots of compressed air to remove stubborn lint from inside the mouse. 

Mouse pad: Don't forget to clean the mouse pad, too. What's the point of cleaning the mouse if it's still picking up debris from a dirty pad? Gently clean the pad, using a cloth dampened with an antibacacterial spray cleaner.

Let it dry thoroughly before setting the mouse back down on the pad. 

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  1. Clean Home
  2. Coming Clean
  3. A Clean Computer: Cleaning the Screen, Keyboard and Mouse


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