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How to Clean your Computer Screen without a Short Circuit


As I sit here in front of my well-loved computer, I start to notice some dust collection here, snack crumbles there, spots on my screen and all sorts of fun little “who-knows” within my keyboard. We know how dirty they must be, but the concept of cleaning such an expensive and necessary piece of equipment can be frightening. So I did my research, and here’s what I found:

According to How To Clean Anything…

What you may need: soft cloth, anti-static cloth, water, screen cleaner (such as Falcon screen cleaner)

How to tackle the task:

  1. Check your computer manual. It may advise you to only clean your screen with a damp cloth, as many computer screens have an anti-glare coating that you risk damaging if you use a harsh household cleaner. (HTCA) Avoid traditional window cleaners – they can easily damage a sensitive computer screen.
  2. If you are using just a damp cloth to wipe the computer screen, be sure to dry the screen off afterwards to prevent streaking.
  3. If advised by the manual to use a soft or anti-static cloth with cleaner, be sure to spray onto the cloth and not the equipment!

Cleaning the CPU
(Aka the big box aka the “brain” of the computer)

What you need:

  • Soft cloth
  • Compressed air
  • Pre-treated computer wipesV
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Special cleaning attachments
  • Soft bristle brush.

How to tackle the task:

  • General Rule of Thumb for CPU cleaning is to use a compressed air can first and blow the dust free, then use your vacuum with attachments to clean it up.
  • These guys explain it best: E-How
  • Great tip for using the compressed air: use short bursts so your air does not get too cold and harm the “insides” of your CPU.

 Cleaning the Keyboard

What you need:

  • Compressed air
  • Clean microfiber cloth or towel
  • Pre-treated computer wipes
  • Vacuum and special attachments

How to Tackle the Task:

  • Unplug keyboard from computer.
  • Shake out any loose dust, crumbs and “who-knows,” as I call them.
  • Spray in between keys with compressed air, using short bursts and keeping can upright.
  • Using your vacuum and special attachment(s), get any remaining dirt loosened with the compressed air can.
  • Wipe down the keyboard with a soft cloth dampened with plain water. Use your pre-treated computer wipes and wipe down the keyboard. Then, dry with clean towel or cloth.
  • Use a Q-tip or cotton ball to clean between and around the keys.

Should you spill coffee or soda in your keyboard, unplug immediately, turn upside down and allow to dry on a towel. HTCA has a good suggestion for severely injured keyboards due to drink spills.

Remember to keep your office space clean and free of dust and other allergens. You’ll feel more awake and clear-headed while at work if you take some time each week to clean your work station. And if your company doesn’t have a cleaner or cleaning service yet, Sparkle is always here to help!