Computer Cleaning—CPU and Tower
As always, before cleaning up your computer please review the computer cleaning safety tips.
Clean CPU and Tower
Regular computer cleaning is recommended to prevent overheating and glitches caused by dust inside your CPU. In addition to shorting out electronics, dust can act as an insulating blanket and prevent heat sinks and other componants from cooling off. A few minutes of careful cleaning will remove the computer killing dust from your CPU's fans, heat sinks, electronics and case, allowing the heat to dissipate and cool air to flow unimpeded throughout your system.
For a dust and grime-free cpu and tower we need some computer cleaning supplies:
- Anti-static wrist strap or anti-static mat
- Soft, lint-free cloth
- Canned, compressed air
- Mild detergent solution or spray
- Q-tips, preferably foam
- Computer vacuum (optional)
- CD Drive cleaner disk
How to clean your computer CPU in ten simple steps
STEP 1: Shut down the CPU and remove the power cord from the electrical outlet.
STEP 3: Place your computer tower on a stable platform above the floor. A floor's static charge may damage the computer, even a wood or vinyl floor. It is best to do the cleaning outside the building, or in a maintenance shop due to the air-borne dust created.
STEP 4: Clean the outside of the computer case by lightly dampening a cloth with a mild soap solution and wiping off the dust. Use a computer vacuum, if available to remove dust from the fans, air intake and exhaust areas at the rear of the computer.
STEP 5: Open the computer case, using a screwdriver if required. If it is unclear how to open it, carefully inspect the rear of the case for screws that may need to be removed. Or, as is the case of some recent Dell computers there are large buttons on the top and bottom of the case that must be depressed before the side of the case swings open (see right). Typically, the left or right side of the case will come off, it will swing open like a hinge, or the main case will lift off its base in a single piece. Consult your owners manual.
STEP 7: Put on an antistatic wrist strap and attach it to an electrical ground, like a metal plumbing fixture or the metal frame of equipment you are servicing (see photo). This will ensure you do not damage sensitive electronics due to static discharge from your body. Alternatively, use an anti-static mat.
STEP 8: Clean the computer inside as well as around fan air intakes and exhaust (see photo) by holding canned air or compressed air at a distance of at least two inches away and blowing away the dust. Clean fan blades, motherboard and other areas. If using canned air, use short puffs. Attack clumps of dirt from different angles to loosen. Take care not to touch anything inside of the case. Do not turn the can of air upside down as this may cause liquid to come out.
STEP 9: Replace the computer case cover.
STEP 10: Clean cables and power cords while they are disconnected. Lightly dampen a cloth with mild soap solution and gently pull the cables and cords through the cloth. Too tight a grip may damage the cables. Dry the cables and power cords with a dry cloth.
STEP 11: For a dusty or harsh computer environment using ShopShield™ computer dust covers are recommended. The innovative ShopShield is a breathable membrane that totally encases your computer or monitor to filter out dust and dirt, but at the same time allow clean, cool air to pass through. It's an economical way to allow you to keep your computer protected in dusty conditions even while it is running.
Other things to consider:
- Cleaning your computer room regularly is important. Make sure all equipment is covered first and try to minimize air-borne dust.
- Janitors and other staff may not be aware of how easily they can damage your equipment and should not be responsible for computer maintenance. A professional cleaning service should be used if you are unable to do it yourself.
- Your computer room environment should be kept cool and relatively dry.
- Start a regular computer maintenance program.
Cleaning your computer is essential to keep your data safe and extend the life of your equipment:
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