Laptop Cleaning

by Cassandra Merkling
(last updated June 8, 2020)

The first thing to do when trying to clean a laptop is to turn it off. Unplug and remove the battery of your computer. That having been said, the steps to getting a laptop are pretty straightforward and basically in the same vein in most laptop cleaning instructions. Of course, always check your computer's user manual for the best instructions, but as far as generic instructions for most laptops go, here's the skinny:

Part One: The Outer Laptop

Wipe down the whole laptop case with a soft cloth, such as a piece torn off an old t-shirt. Don't use anything abrasive on any of your computer, whether it is a cloth, sponge, or cleanser. Generally, it's recommended that you clean off the casing with only water, but if you're having trouble with an especially tough spot of grime, just place some rubbing alcohol on your cloth and clean with that. Never pour or spray cleaning fluid (even water) directly onto your computer. You can do a lot of damage if liquids seep into the cracks of your computer and go where they should not.

Even if you do not eat or drink directly beside the keyboard, you can get stuff like crumbs in it. Clean the keyboard by using that little miracle of geekdom, compressed air in a can, to blow away residue. Your User Manual will let you know if you can open your keyboard to clean inside or remove keys to clean individually. Cotton swabs are helpful in both of these endeavors.

The screen can best be evaluated for dirt when it is turned off (and it will be if you have unplugged it like I have told you to do). Use a soft cloth for this part of the computer as well. Your laptop display will not look good if you attempt to use paper towels, tissues, or toilet paper to clean it, so do not do so. A cost-effective and easy-to-make cleaner can be made of one part isopropyl alcohol to one part water. Ammonia-based cleansers will leave a film, so avoid using those.

Cleaning the touchpad is pretty simple; just wipe it off with the soft cloth you used on the other parts of your computer.

Part Two: The Innards of the Laptop

Spray the vents of your laptop computer with compressed air, taking care not to get any liquid on the fan blades and avoid spraying on the fans themselves because that can over-spin your blades and harm—possibly even destroy—your fans. Cotton swabs again come in handy when you need to hold the fan blades in place while you clean them. You can also use a toothpick to hold them in place.

Use compressed air and cotton swabs to clean out the I/O Ports, but take care that you do not compound the problem by blowing dirt into the ports.

Anything deeper than this, such as cleaning the heatsink, cannot be covered in this article, since every laptop computer is different. If you think it's still dirty after you have done all you can, consider taking it to a specialist to have it serviced.

Author Bio

Cassandra Merkling


What Is Your Body Mass Index?

Finding your Body Mass Index number is a good way to estimate how much you should weigh, but it's not right for everyone. ...

Discover More

Eating Healthy while On the Run

Eating properly when you're away from home can be a challenge, but you may find that it is entirely manageable even for ...

Discover More

Home Organization

There are many aspects of home organization to consider. When getting started, try to stick with the basics and take it easy.

Discover More

Tough Tools for Tough Cleaning Jobs O-Cel-O sponges and Scotch Brite scrubbers are truly a fashion-meets-function success story. The highly absorbent and durable sponges in this handy six-pack make quick work of tough cleaning problems in any kitchen, bathroom, or garage. Check out Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges today!

More Cleaning Tips

Cleaning Your Laptop Computer

If your laptop is over a year old, and you notice that it isn't running well or makes loud noises, then it may be time to ...

Discover More

Computer Cleaning Kit

Do you have the tools necessary to keep your computer clean? Create a computer cleaning kit so you will always have what ...

Discover More

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

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 1 + 9?

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

Newest Tips

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.