Cleaning Your Laptop Computer

by April Reinhardt
(last updated August 18, 2017)

Does your laptop computer restart on its own after a few minutes of use? Does it make loud noises? Does it experience read/write errors, or indicate that a disk has failed to respond? Does it generate excessive heat? If so, your laptop is probably in need of cleaning.

When dust, hair, and debris clog the air inlet and outlet, or the heat sink, your laptop may overheat, damaging the components inside. An unusually hot base, very hot air coming from the outlets, and the computer shutting itself off are all signs that the laptop is overheating. When those things happen, it is time to clean the laptop.

Unlike a desktop computer, laptops are difficult to open and clean. Before you attempt to clean your laptop, keep in mind that there are tiny screws and parts, and they are easily dropped and lost. If you are not computer hardware literate, it's best to take your laptop to a professional to have the inside components cleaned. Follow these steps to clean your laptop computer:

  • Turn off the laptop and unplug it.
  • Remove the battery.
  • Use a soft, damp cloth to clean the case. Do not use household cleaning products. If there is residue that you cannot remove with water, use rubbing alcohol.
  • Using cotton swabs, clean the openings of the laptop. Usually located on the sides, back, or bottom of the laptop, these openings draw in cool air and expel hot air, and can become clogged with dirt, dust, and hair.
  • Since you cannot remove the keys of a laptop keyboard, use a soft, damp cloth to clean them. You may also used compressed air to spray away dust or hair from between the keys.
  • Use a soft, damp cloth to clean the laptop touchpad (mouse).
  • Laptops have LCD flat panel displays, and are not made of glass. Never spray liquid directly onto the LCD, and do not use paper towels to clean it since it may etch the surface. Use a soft, dry cloth to clean the display. If you have ink marks on your display, clean the LCD with rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth.
  • If you are extremely knowledgeable about computer hardware, you can attempt to open your laptop to clean it. Keep in mind that some manufacturers will void the warranty if you attempt to open your laptop. To clean the inside, remove the fan cover, remove the inner core, and then vacuum. There may be a large accumulation of dust inside, so do not be surprised.
  • After you're finished cleaning, reassemble your laptop.

When you clean your laptop, make sure that you schedule time to do it correctly. If you are in a hurry, you may not do a thorough job, or you may lose parts, rendering your laptop inoperable.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Caring for Simple Cuts

There are a just few mandatory rules to follow when caring for simple cuts. And although most people know first aid for ...

Discover More

Insulating Your Plumbing

Even if you live in a mild climate and don't experience cold winters, you can insulate your plumbing and save energy and ...

Discover More

Xeriscaping Plants

When planting in your xeriscape, choose plants that can grow in drought-like conditions. Just because you've chosen to ...

Discover More

The Power of Microfiber! Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths will become your favorite tool for every cleaning task. This 36-cloth package is perfect for hundreds of uses in the garage, kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and all around the house. Each cloth is tough, streak-free, lint-free, reusable, and washable. Check out Microfiber Cleaning Cloths today!

More Cleaning Tips

Cleaning LCD Computer Screens

Due to the reduced size and weight of LCD computer screens they have become increasingly popular in both the home and ...

Discover More

Cleaning a Computer

Chances are you have spent a lot of money on your computer. Keep the hardware and software nice and in good condition by ...

Discover More

Keyboard Cleaners

Your keyboard is a vital part of your computer. By keeping it clean, you can ensure that it will continue to work well.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in Cleaning Tips from Tips.Net. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.