Tips to Clean Your Computer for Optimal Performance

Many people rely on computers to make a living, finish schoolwork, use social media, pay bills, and play games. As often as computers get used, they aren’t cleaned as regularly as they should be. A clean computer can run faster, spread fewer germs, and last longer.

But what are the proper methods to clean your desktop or laptop safely? Learn specific techniques to clean certain parts of your computer the right way.

When to Clean Your Computer

Like many things, your computer has to be cleaned often to stay in top shape, but the frequency depends on your environment. For example, if you work in a factory or on a construction site with your computer, debris will settle into the components faster and require cleaning more often.

But what about your home computer? In general, if you have pets and kids, smoke often, or have wood floors that can circulate dust, plan to clean the computer about once every two months. If your computer is in a fairly sterile office environment with adults and carpeted flooring, once every six to eight months should be sufficient.

General Computer Cleaning Tips

Each computer component should be handled a bit differently to keep it safe and in working order. But before you clean anything, keep the following general tips in mind:

  • Always turn off your computer before cleaning anything. This step ensures you don’t press any buttons to create accidental commands during cleaning.
  • If you want to use a spray cleaner, always spray it on a cloth and use the cloth to clean your device. This method safeguards your computer from possible damage the liquid could cause.
  • Never use a vacuum to clean the internal components of the computer, as the vacuum can jostle delicate parts and cause damage.

For more general cleaning tips, talk to your local computer repair shop.

Cleaning Tips for Specific Computer Components

Some parts of your computer require more specific cleaning than others do. Below, we have listed a few in-depth tips for you to use as you clean.

Computer Exterior

Use a damp, lint-free cloth to wipe down the exterior casing of your computer. Spray an all-purpose cleaner on the cloth to wipe down sticky spots. If necessary, use a cotton swab to clean between computer keys and in the crevices around the screen.

Disc Drive

Contrary to popular belief, even disc drives need to be cleaned to function properly. A dirty disc drive can prevent a disc from being read properly, and could damage the disc.

Use a slightly damp cloth to wipe down the slider, and make sure it dries thoroughly before you close it. You can also purchase a CD-ROM cleaner or ask your computer repair store to do the service at your next repair appointment.


Keyboards, like cell phones, are used constantly and carry dirt and bacteria. If you don’t have time to clean anything else, make sure to at least clean your keyboard to prevent the spread of disease. Remember to unplug the keyboard or turn off your computer before you proceed.

Turn the keyboard upside down and shake out any dirt or crumbs. Then, use a can of compressed air (positioned upright to keep the propellant from leaking) to spray between crevices.


If you’ve ever tried to use your computer when the sun glares on it, it’s nearly impossible to see through fingerprints and dust. You can make a homemade screen cleaner with equal parts distilled water and rubbing alcohol. Put the cleaner in a spray bottle and use with a dry cloth to wipe away grime.

A clean computer can keep you healthy and run better, faster, and longer. Talk with your local computer repair shop to get more tips on how to clean your specific computer, or ask the professionals at these shops if they can clean your computer for you.

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Comments (1)

  • Jordan


    Great tips here! People often don’t realize how necessary keeping your computer clean and organized is. Thanks for sharing these tips!


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