PDQ Library:  Laptop Cleaning

Cleaning a laptop should be done on a regular basis if you want it to work properly.

Vacuum dust from air intakes but do not try to "vacuum" the inside of a computer. Vacuums can create static electricity that could kill a system. It's better to clean the inside of a computer with a vacuum in "blow" mode using plastic nozzles to reduce the risk. A crevice tool helps direct the air flow, but keep it a few inches away from touching anything to reduce the chances of electrical damage from static. You can also use an air compressor with an adjustable pencil type blower nozzle set to 10 to 20 psi.

Be sure to blow out the area between the fins of heat sinks. Fan blades should be held from spinning with your finger or a pen. The tough dirt on the leading edge of most fans can be loosened with a toothbrush first. The blown-out dust can make a mess.

While you have the case open, check and press socketed chips and cable connections. You can also reseat cards. You can clean the contacts GENTLY with a pencil eraser but electrical contact cleaner is safer (available at electronics and computer stores). Be sure to put the cards back in the same slots or Windows will go nuts next time you boot up!

[Summary of comments by Steve Gonnella and Fred Langa]

Travelling with a laptop

Backing up ~ Dealing with moisture and corrosion in your PC

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