Keeping the files and storage on your computer reasonably clean and free of clutter is important, but what can be just as important is keeping the actual computer hardware clean. Proper maintenance of computer parts is often neglected by users both experienced and inexperienced alike.
Keeping a clean system isn’t something that should be ignored, it takes little effort and keeps the computer running smoothly.
A word of caution however: never spray any computer part with any sort of liquid.
Instead of that, lightly spray a towel or cloth with the liquid instead. Don’t make the cloth too wet; computers and excess water don’t mix. Also, when liquid is involved, make sure that anything you are cleaning is turned off and unplugged.
The easiest thing you can do is to simply clean off all the dust that may have gathered on the computer. Dust can gather surprisingly quickly, especially when the machine is in an enclosed or semi-enclosed area. The dust can be gotten rid of in any typical way (although be aware that if you intend to clean the inside of the computer, using a vacuum cleaner causes unwanted static).
Personally, I just use a cloth to clean off any dust I find on the computer. Pay particular attention to any areas with a fan, keeping the ventilation areas cleared of dirt and dust is important. Do the same for the monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse, and any other peripheral you might have.
Making sure that your keyboard is clean is not only good for the keyboard itself, but also your health.
The keyboard and mouse are by far the most touched parts of a computer, neglecting to clean something that you spend so much time touching is not a good idea. More detailed and thorough ways to clean these peripherals can be found online, but simply wiping them down with a disinfectant wipe is always a good idea. While monitors don’t tend to be touched, a similar wipe down with proper cleaning fluid (or water in a pinch) will serve fine. Remember to make sure that they are unplugged from the computer and turned off, and also to never spray any liquid directly on any part of the computer, just spray the liquid on a cloth.
There isn’t enough space in this article to go into enough detail on how to fully clean a computer; in order to get more thorough instructions I would recommend looking up information for yourself online on how to clean different parts of the computer. For the most part, keeping your computer clean is a simple, easy, and useful process. It is an excellent habit to get into, as doing so will help your computer continue to run smoothly as time goes on.
Any questions, requests for clarifications, or comments can be sent to gregbailey9@ gmail.com. Greg Bailey is a Computer Science major at UCR.