Computer Cleaning 101: A Complete Guide to a Dust-Free PC

34

Comments

+ Add a Comment
avatar

yammerpickle2

I have a Cosmos case with removable dust filters. I vacuum them once a month in winter, and about every three week in summer. I also blast my interior with air at the same time while running the vacuum at a safe distance to help suck up the dirt. However, the real key is I have a quiet large room HEPA air filter in the office near the computer. There is very little dust period, and whatever does work its way into the computer is fairly easy to dislodge with a blast of air and suck up either in the vacuum or get processed out by the HEPA filter in very short order especially when I turn it on high.

avatar

CrowTrobot

Any suggestions on how to clean all those copper blades?

Compressed air is not working.

avatar

JlzMT

...sometimes air won't cut it.  That's when I unplug the keyboard, and stick it in a bathtub filled with water and dish liquid.  Swish it around in there for a few minutes, then rinse it out.

You'll be good to go once you let it dry.

 

DO let it dry before pluging it back in.

avatar

TimDawg

Can someone explain the need to avoid using Windex or other sprays with amonia in it?  Obviously you don't spray the screen but why not spray a lint free cloth and then wipe down the screen?  I know the computer monitor cleaning sprays and towelettes I have are all water & alcohol but I'm curious what the deal is with avoiding amonia (other than it stinks)?

 

avatar

Deviate

Those of you using compressors just be certain to regularly drain any moisture/condensation out of the tank before blasting away at your components.

Aside from that, The little $100 3gal compressors are definitely a great way to save on canned air in the long run. Especially if you work on other peoples computers.

avatar

CaptainFabulous

I use a $10 air mattress pump for all but the fine detail work, and then I pull out the compressed air. Works great and I don't have to spend a fortune.

avatar

tbonky

Thanks for the tips Murph!

avatar

Madman777

Nice article.

At home I have a $120 air compressor.  I can ajust the pressure and use it whenever I want.  Every saturday or Sunday I give it a really nice cleaning using the compressor.

It's a very valuable tool for cleaning dust, and because it's more powerful and has unlimited uses, you can keep your computer looking like new for years!

 

avatar

Esmartuek

why this obsession with canned or compressed air? You are only spreading that dust to somewhere else, where it will probably wind up -back- in your computer next week.

Do yourself a favor, clean like you mean it. Use a vacuum with brush attachment. Use the accessories, they help. Fry's sells 100% isopropyl alcohol in the computer cleaning isle for a reason.

Bottoms of mice disgust me, mine is always spotless... Leading me to dread touching anyone elses.

Clean computers run better and last longer. Learn it, live it.

avatar

TheMurph

I do believe I covered that.

"Tempting as it might be to just buy a few cans and just blast the heck out of your system’s insides, you’re just going send dust flying all around your desktop or, worse, all over your nice, carpeted floor. You need a battle plan."

avatar

shaggy981

Bad idea using a vacuum cleaner on your PC. A lot of them can produce static discharge because of the dry air moving through the plastic hose and it could damage your PC

avatar

supakeepa

I was taught the same about vacuums and static.  I also had a clumsy friend get a little too vigerous with his vacuum and bend a capacitor on his mobo.  I just use the vacuum to catch the dust as I blow it. 

avatar

bling581

I do believe they make vacuums specifically designed for PC's. I'm sure not many people own one though but they are an option.

avatar

TheMurph

Correctamundo.  Though you *can* hold a vacuum cleaner tube near your system to hopefully suck up all the dust you're sending flying everywehre.  Judgment, people.  Judgment.

avatar

allantang

This worked pretty damn good on my keyboard:

http://www.cyberclean.tv/site/what.htm

avatar

smashingpumpin

Main pic reminded me not to buy any used keyboard or even a mouse. Porno Sundays or Weekdays makes everything gross! Who knows what those are, Im thinking Cat fur or Senior citizen pubes! LOL

avatar

TheMurph

Jesus.  You had it with cat.

avatar

fygquas

 

Don't get your PC dirty in the first place!

 

1. Don't eat or drink near the PC. 

2. If you have to drink, drink only water so there's zero chance of sticky, sugary mess if you spill.

3. Use a spill-resistant keyboard. I use a Microsoft model that has pathways and holes around the inner sides, allowing spilled water to flow out of the keyboard. Also, this keyboard is not too expensive, so I could just toss it if it gets too dirty.

4. Get a graphic card with removable fans. Inno3d has this feature, sadly I don't think performance/price wise inno3d is the best.

5. Use fans that can be easily cleaned. Enermax fan blades can be easily removed from the fan casing for easy cleaning.

6. The case should be mostly closed to minimise dust entry.

7. The case should have easily removable dust filters behind every intake fan.

8. If the case doesn't come with dust filters, make them yourself with panty hose. Beware, as the panty hose holes is real tiny, this might impede fan airflow.

9. Use passive-cooling as much as possible. If the computer is not for heavy gaming, you can use a massive heatsink like Noctua's 12cm fan heatsink or even 14cm fan heatsink, minus the fans, to cool a core i3 2100, as long as room temperature less than 30 degree celcius.

10. Use fans that can be easily cleaned. Enermax fan blades can be easily removed from the fan casing for easy cleaning.

11. If the room is really really dusty, have the computer case placed inside a big "case" like a wardrobe closet. 

 

avatar

TheMurph

Wait.  So you want to passively cool a system (what?) and stick it in a closet, so the heat can just grow, and grow, and grow?

What?!!?!

avatar

d3v

Not eat near my PC!! Where else am I supposed to eat?

avatar

bautrey

One thing that is even better than not eating at all at ur deskspace is having a pullout keyboard, so when its time to eat, u just put ur keyboard under ur desk.  

 

Also, never put a computer in a closet.  Thats just dumb................................................................

avatar

fygquas

Okay, I need to specify. I don't mean the typical closet, it should be a special cabinet to house your computer case only.

avatar

pellier

Holy shit, I have the same combination of mouse and keyboard, I tohught I was the only one who liked the sidewinder.

avatar

TheMurph

I have a few.  ;)

avatar

reutnes

I've got a sidewinder and it's pretty nice.  i like how the thumb buttons are verticle :)

avatar

TDF1974

  My keyboard was so bad the last time I cleaned it that I pulled every key, took out the circuits and put the housing in the kitchen sink along with the keys for a good bath.  For dust removal I carry the case out to the garage, and use my compressor with a Typhoon nozzle, (usually turn down the pressure a bit) along with the shop vac, does an excellent  job and will put canned air to shame.      

avatar

livebriand

If you have a gpu with a cover to direct airflow, make sure to remove it and then blow compressed air at it. Otherwise, there may be dust inside that you didn't get at. Also, zip ties are a cheaper alternative to velcro when trying to tidy up cables.

avatar

FreeJet

I tell you what, if you want something that really "blows" and is more cost-effecitve than a bunch of cans of compressed air, get one of those powerful DataVac Electric Dusters (http://www.metrovacworld.com/DataVacElectricDuster).  I have one and use it to blast the heck out of my pc on a regular basis.  And as an added bonus, the darn thing could probably be used to blow the leaves out of your yard.

avatar

bautrey

Is it possible to pop off the keys on my Razer Lycosa?

avatar

RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

I like taking my PC outside and using a shop vac with the flow reversed to blow the dust out. I do this twice a year. Those little cans of compressed air don't cut it.

avatar

Blues22475

This is pretty much what I do with my own machine, and customer's machines that look like they need a good blowing out. We have air compressor we use to blow out pc components. I usually just blow fans out by wedging a small screwdriver in the fan blade (so I don't destroy the fan) and blow. Works fairly well and gets it clean enough to be considered an improvement.

avatar

Insula Gilliganis

Wow.. so that is where some of Colbert's fur goes.. in your keyboard!  Looks like you David were a natural for writing this article!

avatar

TheMurph

The joys of owning a cat and a tricked-out PC.

avatar

mightierthanthesword

I had to look up who Mike Rowe was. Pathetic, huh?

 

Thanks for putting in print something I keep telling my housemates: keep the fans motionless when using canned air! Now they'll believe it, because it's on the internet and we all know that means it's true.

Log in to MaximumPC directly or log in using Facebook

Forgot your username or password?
Click here for help.

Login with Facebook
Log in using Facebook to share comments and articles easily with your Facebook feed.