4. Make Your Own Filter
A great way to keep dust from infiltrating your PC is to create your own air filter using a Swiffer Dry Refill sheet. All you need to do is cut the sheet to fit the grill on the outside frame of your case and affix it with a few pieces of masking tape. In this instance, we pasted it between the outside of the case chassis and the front-frame. Be sure to place this filter only where air is being sucked in and remember to replace it every few months (or as it visibly accumulates dust).
5. Clean Your Mouse
Assuming your cords are still unplugged, dampen a lint-free cloth with rubbing alcohol and clean the outside shell of the mouse, paying attention to any residue on the buttons. It’s important that you exercise caution while cleaning peripherals like an optical mouse—cleaning solutions should never come in contact with the optical sensor at the bottom of the mouse—it could ruin it. Also, avoid using paper towels; stick to lint-free materials so that you don’t risk leaving behind any fluff that could stick to the sensor.
6. Clean Your Keyboard
One easy way to clean gunk out of your keyboard is to turn it upside down over a sink and smack the bottom to knock out the colony of crumbs that have undoubtedly settled in. Run through the keyboard’s spaces with a can of compressed air to get loose crumbs and hairs out of the way, and then use rubbing alcohol and Q-tips to clean grease off the surfaces and in between each key.
For a more thorough wipe-down, you could even stick your keyboard in the dishwasher, though we warn you that this is NOT a solution for expensive keyboards with LCD displays and USB slots—there is also a very real chance that it will destroy your keyboard. Before placing it inside the machine, bundle the cord and put a plastic bag over it, making sure it covers the USB/PS2 plug and that it is securely sealed with a rubber band.
Situate the keyboard on the top rack of the dishwasher so that it is facing down—we want the jets to hit up against the keys and wash off the residue. If your dishwasher has a speed dry cycle, turn it off—if you let the inside get too warm it could warp the plastic or crack the circuit board from thermal expansion. For the first run, we suggest omitting soap altogether, but to remove tougher stains, a pea-size amount of soap is also OK, but use at your own risk. After running it through a light cycle, let the keyboard dry for several days or until all the water has dried before reconnecting it.
7. Clean Your Monitor
Grab a microfiber cloth and gently wipe your screen to free it of dust, fingerprints, and any other smudges. You can make your own screen cleaning solution using a half-and-half mix of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol and distilled water, or you can pick up a premixed solution from any computer store or office supply retailer. Under no circumstances should you use Windex or paper towels to clean an LCD screens, especially those with anti-glare surfaces. If you’re using a CRT, use a few dabs of rubbing alcohol to gently wipe away greasy spots from the screen.
Have any PC cleaning tips or dusty PC horror stories? Share in the comments section below!