The importance of cleaning your computers (and how to do it properly)

The importance of cleaning your computers (and how to do it properly)

Your computers are one of the most important tools you need to run your business. You can use them to communicate with employees, advertise your products and services to customers, create and store your files, and research about industry trends, among other things. This is why you always need to keep them in tip-top shape.

One way to do this is by regularly having your computers cleaned. The process is easy enough to do yourself if you're the type who likes to tinker with electronic gadgets.

Why is keeping your computers clean important?

Here are a few reasons why you should always keep your computers tidy:

  • Over time, dust builds up inside your computers and clogs the fan, resulting in overheating.
  • When computers overheat, they perform more slowly. This lag makes both the machines and their users accomplish less work, resulting in reduced productivity.
  • Computers can harbor germs, viruses, and bacteria that can make users sick.
  • Regular cleaning extends the lifespan of your computers.

What does cleaning your computers entail?

If you're doing this yourself, here's what you need to do:

1. Gather your cleaning materials

You’ll need:

  • Water
  • Rubbing alcohol, or glass cleaner
  • Computer screen cleaning wipes
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Compressed air dusters
  • Cotton swabs
  • Toothpicks
  • Screwdriver
  • Paintbrush

2. Turn off everything

Shut down your computers and unplug them from the outlet. This reduces the risk of electric shocks while cleaning.

3. Clean the components one by one

Various parts of your computer setup need to be cleaned regularly, including:

The computer tower

The computer tower collects dust that can gradually diminish the machine’s performance.

Place the computer tower on top of a drop cloth, or move it to a small room or area which you don't mind getting dirty. Wear a mask if you're sensitive to dust. Next, remove the casing with a screwdriver. After gaining access to the internal components, use short bursts of compressed air to remove accumulated dust.

The monitor

Use cleaning wipes to remove smudges or spots on the monitor’s surface. Alternatively, you can use a microfiber cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol or plain water. Never directly pour any liquid onto the monitor to avoid damaging its internal components.

Related article: Top tips for extending your laptop’s life span

The keyboard

According to a study by Swinburne University of Technology, dirty keyboards are loaded with bacteria. This is not surprising, given that dust, dirt, food scraps, and other debris can get stuck and accumulate in the spaces between the keys. These particles can also make their way inside the keyboard.

To clean your keyboard, flip it upside down and gently tap it to remove debris. Next, use a paintbrush to sweep off the remaining bits. Finally, use cotton swabs and compressed air to remove stuck particles between the keys.

Keep your keyboard germ-free by wiping its surface with a microfiber cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol once per week.

The mouse

Start by disconnecting your mouse from the computer and removing its battery if there is one. Next, wipe the outside of the mouse with a soft cloth and remove grime and dirt from the crevices with a toothpick. Finally, clean the sensor and other components of the mouse with a cotton swab lightly dipped in rubbing alcohol. Do not use excessive force on the swab as this can damage the mouse’s sensor.

If your mouse has a trackball, gradually spin the trackball while you wipe it with a moist cotton swab.

After cleaning all of your computers’ peripherals, make sure that they are completely dry before plugging them back in. Remember to clean your computers once every six months to ensure their optimal performance.

Aside from regularly cleaning your computers, it’s also important to ensure that your IT system is clean of malware and other cyberthreats. Safebit Solutions can help by monitoring your devices 24/7/365 and handling all issues before they significantly affect your business. To learn more about how we can help your company, get in touch with us today.

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