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Cleaning Devices

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Screens

Screens (including phones) can be cleaned with a microfiber cloth and water:

  1. Turn off the screen.
  2. Using a spray bottle, lightly mist a section of the cloth.
    • Don't soak the cloth. Just barely damp is enough.
    • Don't spray water directly onto the screen. If it runs to the bottom it can get inside the screen and short it's electronics.
  3. Use circular motions with the cloth to clean the screen. You don't need to use any pressure. Be gentle.
  4. With all the dirt/dust/gunk removed, turn the cloth over and use the dry side of buff the screen dry, again with circular motions.
  5. Angle the screen/your head against some light to see if you missed anything.
  6. With the screen dry, turn it back on.

Computer Towers

Towers fill with dust over time. They are essentially a closed box with fan(s) blowing air out of them. Therefore air must be drawn into them aswell. Kind of like a weak vacuum cleaner.

They can be cleaned well with a can of compressed air, or moderately well with some lung power. If you have asthma or dust allergies you might want to open a window/turn a room fan on.

  1. Shutdown and turn off your computer.
  2. Unplug all it's cables and connections.
  3. Take one or more sides of your case off.
  4. Use compressed air to blow the dust out.
    • Focus on fans and heatsinks
    • Don't forget your GPU.
    • You may have dust filters inside the front of your case (where the air comes in) which may be able to be detached and cleaned.
    • If using your breath to blow out the dust, be careful of spittle coming out of your mouth, and take a break every few blows/if you start to feel light headed.
  5. Have a quick check to see if any cables have becoming dislodged during cleaning and are going to be hit by running fans.
  6. Put your case back together.
  7. Wipe down and reconnect all it's cables and connections.
  8. Turn your computer back on.

Aim to dust out your tower every six months or so. Cleaning it out before summer will keep it running cooler on hot days.

Laptops

Laptops can generally be cleaned in the same way as Computer Towers, but can be much more fiddly to both take their case apart and put them back together again. If you don't know what you're doing it's very easy to snap off plastic clips which cannot be fixed. And for the record, some of these clips that are extremely easily broken, can ruin your computer when broken. For example, the clips holding in the laptop keyboard ribbon cable. They're too small to glue back on, too.

If you're not confident in taking apart your laptop, some compressed air in and around the laptop's vents is still a worthwhile effort. You could also go to a random car garage with your laptop and ask if you could borrow their compressed air gun for a few seconds and blow out the vents. Make sure your laptop is off though, you don't want to fuck up the fan. Be careful not to damage anything.

Removing Stickers

Warning: Do NOT use Acetone on shiny plastic! It will ruin the finish and you cannot get the shine back!

If, after peeling off stickers, you're left with a sticky residue, it can be removed with WD-40 and a microfiber cloth:

  1. Spray a small section of the cloth with WD-40. You don't need much, maybe one second worth of spray.
  2. Rub the sticky area using small circles. A small amount of pressure is required, but you don't need to scrub. Let the product do the work.
  3. After 15 seconds or so of rubbing, check if there's any residue left and repeat as necessary.
  4. With the residue gone, buff off any excess WD-40 with the dry side of your cloth.
  5. Give the area a minute to fully dry and you're done.

Keyboards

Keyboards are easiest to clean when they come with a Key Puller. They are usually supplied with Mechanical keyboards. Be extra careful when removing the spacebar.

Mice

Mice can be rubbed down with a dry microfiber cloth.

The mouse surface should also be cleaned regularly to avoid dust being drawn into your mouse. Once or twice a week is good for a tabletop (i.e. no mousepad).

Desks and Tables

A microfiber cloth and some lightly misted water will clean most dust and dirt from your desk. Be sure to remove everything off the desk first. For anything sticky or stuck, scrape it with a putty knife, razor blade, or anything that can be used similarly.

While there's nothing on the desk it's a good time to move it and clean the floor under and behind it.