How To Safely Clean And Maintain Your Computer

Posted on: 25 March 2016

Cleaning your computer may seem fairly low down on your list of priorities, but a clean workspace will do wonders for productivity. These 4 tips—from purging your system to polishing your screen—will ensure your computer remains in tip-top shape. Before you begin, turn off your computer and unplug it from the mains.

Clean Your Keyboard

Offices are a hotbed for contaminants and bugs can find their way onto your keyboard within just two hours of entering the building. Use a paper towel dampened with rubbing alcohol to wipe between the keys and remove the excess dust. When you've removed the bulk of debris, wipe the keys with a cotton cloth sprayed with a household disinfectant. Regularly cleaning your keyword will kill harmful bacteria and prevent debris from becoming lodged under the keys.

Clean Your Screen

When you're spending most of the day staring at your computer screen, you may become accustomed to the buildup of dust and not realise how dirty it gets. If you use a touchscreen monitor, the oils from your hands will also transfer to the screen, leaving a grimy residue on the surface. To clean, simply dampen a soft cotton cloth with water and gently wipe the screen. Computer monitors are fragile and often coated in an anti-glare film that can degrade when commercial cleaning solutions are used; therefore, you should avoid using a glass cleaner for non-LCD screens or a monitor cleaning kit, unless you're absolutely sure it is designed for your type of monitor.

Clean Your Mouse

Optical mice don't have mechanical parts. However, when dust accumulates on the light emitter, it can cause erratic cursor movements. To clean, gently wipe with light with a cotton ball dampened with rubbing alcohol. Let it dry before you plug it back in and turn on your system. If using a mechanical mouse, remove the tracking ball to gain access to the sensors on the inside of the device, and then clean them using the same technique. 

Purge Your Hard Drive

When you've finished cleaning the exterior components, turn your computer on and start cleaning the interior components. Files and folders often accumulate very quickly and often have no purpose other than to take up precious space on your hard drive. Remove duplicates, purge your email inbox, empty your downloads folder and run your utilities: virus checker, Disk Cleanup (Windows), Disk Utilities (Mac). Organize your system at least once per month to stay on top of things.

Keeping your computer clean and functional is a highly understated aspect of office cleaning that warrants more care and attention than most people provide. Setting aside just 10 minutes each month will ensure that your system remains operational and won't hinder your work performance.