How (and why) to clean your laptop

man using laptop

While you may consider yourself a clean person, how germ-conscious are you really if you’re not cleaning everyday items like your laptop or computer keyboard and mouse? If you’re using yours for work, you’re probably using it a lot and the germs soon mount up. A swab-test by an IT training website in 2016 found that its computer keyboards had as many germs and a toilet seat! Gross.

Here are some safe ways that you can clean your laptop and computer equipment without damaging them.

First, turn it off and unplug everything

It’s very important that before you undertake any cleaning that your laptop is switched off and unplugged from any power source. Better to be safe than sorry.

The outside

Once everything is powered down, you can start with the outside of your laptop. Get some diluted soap & water (don’t use any other cleaners) and use as little liquid as possible on a sponge or wrung-out microfibre cloth.

When you’ve wiped down the outside with the damp cloth, go over it all with a dry cloth to make sure you haven’t left any excess liquid.

The screen

You obviously can’t use soap and water on your laptop screen, so how can you clean it? Extremely carefully is the answer – you want to make sure you don’t cause liquid damage or scratch the screen whilst you’re cleaning it. To avoid this, you can use a dry microfibre cloth to buff off any fingerprints or marks you might have on the screen.

If you need something with a little more oomph, you can buy specific screen-cleaning wipes that should do the trick and will be safe to use on your screen.

mac keyboard and mouse on desk

The keyboard

It gets a bit trickier when you try to clean your keyboard, especially if you’ve got a raised keyboard – crumbs and life-dust can get in between and under each key.  There are a few ways you can get this out and you may have to do them regularly to keep your keyboard clean.

Use a can of compressed air or a small vacuum to get out any crumbs that may have fallen through the cracks, holding your keyboard just short of vertical and rotating as you go. This should get out the easy-to-see dirt, now you can use rubbing alcohol to get it clean. Rubbing alcohol evaporates much faster than water and won’t leave any traces of oil, so is perfect for a job like this.

Use an alcohol-dampened cloth to clean the surface of the keys, then use cotton buds to try and get in and around the cracks for a really thorough clean. But don’t overdo it with the liquid!

The trackpad/mouse

Use a damp, lint-free cloth to clean off any grubbiness with either rubbing alcohol or water. If you’re using a mouse with a sensor, you can use compressed air to clean out any debris.

Was this helpful? Do you have any other laptop or computer equipment cleaning tips? Comment below.