Laptop Maintenance

Laptops get used everywhere from home to hotels and, no matter how hard you try to keep them clean, they still get dirty. Cleaning your laptop at least once a year or more often if you travel with it frequently will keep it running in top shape. Infrequent cleaning can lead to overheating and permanent damage to your computer.

     Remove the battery before any cleaning procedure, even if you aren’t planning to touch any of the electrical components. Unplugging the power cord and removing the battery will ensure that you can safely clean your laptop.


Exterior. Wipe the exterior of your laptop with a damp cloth. recommends using water to moisten the cloth; however, when a substance is stuck to the case, you can also use a little rubbing alcohol. But be careful that the alcohol doesn’t attack the surface. I’ve had good success spraying a blue colored paper shop towel or a clean lint free cloth with Windex then wiping the entire surface including the screen. If the screen streaks follow up with another shop towel or cloth moistened with water. Never, ever, spray Windex directly on the screen, or keyboard.


Keyboard and Touchpad. Turn the laptop on its side and brush the keyboard with a dry clean paint brush to remove crumbs or other debris. Use the above procedure to clean the keyboard and touchpad using Windex. Laptop keyboards are much more fragile than desktop keyboards, and they should be treated with care when you clean them. Gently wipe the cloth over the keys to remove excess debris.

     When you spill something on your laptop, use a damp cloth to wipe it up. If liquid spills into the keyboard, immediately shut down the laptop and set it so that the keyboard is facing downward. This will help the liquid drain out of the keyboard tray.

Cleaning Case Openings. Remove dirt with a brush or a cotton swab. You can also remove dust using compressed air. Blow the compressed air away from the inside of the computer to prevent it from getting trapped in the case. When using compressed air be careful not to damage the fan. Holding the fan in place with a toothpick can help prevent damage caused by over blowing.

Finally. . . Follow up with a clean-up and defrag of your hard drive. Follow my procedures on Click Resources, scroll down to Tech Tips, and then Performance and Maintenance Tips. Click on Monthly Computer Maintenance to read about on how to keep your computer in good condition.

            Remember, the monthly meetings of the PC Computer Club are the second Tuesday at 7:00 PM each month in the Ardmore room of the Community Center. We try to answer your questions to resolve any problems you may be having with your computer.