It is important to keep your computer and other IT gadgets squeky clean. The primary goal besides hygiene, is to make sure that the computer can function at it’s peak.

Computers can be damaged by dust and liquid spills like coffee splashes. Other elements that can damage electronic devices, including computers, are:

  • moisture,
  • extreme heat,
  • extreme cold,
  • using your tek-gadgets in direct sunlight,
  • snowy or rainy weather.

Over time dust can gather on critical components, forming a heat blanket that prevents adequate cooling. When computing components operate at higher than normal temperatures, especially for extended periods of time, they can pack up and fail. One such common failure happens when a laptop is used while placed on a bed (without a cooling stand).

Due to the fact that the laptop usually cools by sending hot air outside the grilles on its underside and sides (depending on the form factor design), sitting it directly on the bed would clog up the pores and prevent proper cooling, leading to a shortened lifespan if not failure of the laptop to function well.

Before cleaning any electronic device, especially sensitive gadgets like computers and laptops, the first thing to do is to turn its power off. Also disconnect the cable from the power adapter or wall socket. You may only turn it back on when it has dried off (a few minutes, e.g. 3 to 4 mins should be enough wait time before turning the device on for use). The wait time must be increased (before turning the device on) if it’s visibly still wet.

Never use a damp cloth to clean inside the ports or slots! This can corrode the ports and damage them. Usually its not necessary to even clean the ports, but if you feel like cleaning them, you may use a dry brush (an old clean and dry toothbrush with straight bristles w0uld do just fine). If the ports have some sticky residue or are too dirty, you can dip the brush in ‘pure 100% isopropyl alcohol’ and use the brush while wet (with 100% isopropyl alcohol ONLY), to clean the ports and connectors, e.g. USB slots, HDMI slots, RJ45 Network Ports etc.

Cleaning cloths; the best ones are ‘lint-free’ microfiber cotton based cloths. In order to avoid scratches and damage to your devices, especially computer monitors and screens on TVs, tablets and phones, you can dampen the cloth with a very weak solution of water and dishwashing liquid, making sure to squeeze out any excess as much as possible, so that the cloth is ever so slightly damp (not dripping wet), and then wiping the gadgets.

To get the best results, if the computer or gadget is very dusty, increase the amount of dishwashing liquid to water ratio (not too bubbly, but definitely soapy), and increase the dampness (but never to a single drop in dripping). Wipe in scooping motions and turn the cloth around to use a clean part of the cloth on consecutive strokes to avoid scratches. Make sure to wash the cloth often in the dishwasher and water solution to get rid of the dust from the computer or gadget, squeezing it nearly dry and repeating the wiping until the surfaces are clean.