How to Disinfect a Laptop

How to disinfect a laptop

In this article, you’re going to learn how to disinfect a laptop with no fuss and also the best way to clean laptop screen and keyboard, among other topics. Our laptops are devices we use every day and, in many cases, several hours per day. They work almost like extensions of ourselves and most of us cannot do without them.

Because of such intensive usage, they tend to accumulate a log of dust, grime, crumbs, hair, and germs. A computer can quickly become a breeding ground of nastiness, depending on the type of usage, the care you take, and how much you handle it.

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Those who have the habit of eating at the same time when working on the computer, watching a movie or a youtube video, also contribute to faster degradation of its cleanliness, requiring more frequent cleaning.

We also transfer a lot of germs and bacteria to our laptops, from touching almost everything and then putting our hands on the keyboard, the touchpad and the whole laptop.

Despite being invisible, once those germs and bacteria are allowed to grow and build upon your computer, they can infect you and get your health at risk. That’s why you should sanitize your computer to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease.

How to disinfect your laptop? The process is often simple and straightforward and doesn’t require any special equipment.

How to clean a computer screen

A computer screen is an important piece of hardware and the output device on which every visual information is presented.

Over time it gets a lot of dust, dirt, thousands of fingerprint smudges and all of that contributes to a major degradation of the image quality, causing premature eye strain. Also, it is important to keep it clean to prevent the spreading of germs and bacteria that accumulates  when we touch it, cough or sneeze.

So, what to use to clean laptop touch screen?

For starters, it’s a lot easier to see smudges and dirt on a black screen, so turning off your display makes the process of cleaning it a lot easier as you have a better perception of what you’re doing.

The best solution to clean laptop screen is to use a soft microfibre towel moistened with soapy water. Distilled water is preferred as it won’t leave any stains or residues once it evaporates.

Microfibre is extremely soft and won’t damage or scratch the sensitive screen surface. A very mild soap will help to remove fingerprint smudge and other more resilient debris.

Instead of a mild soapy water solution, another great solution to clean computer screen is obtained by mixing 50% white vinegar and 50% distilled water. That will safely have the job done too.

Don’t apply to much pressure and use wide sweeping motions from top to bottom and from side to side. Be careful not to over-moisten the microfibre cloth to prevent water from running down the screen and collect in the edges and under the bezels.

Now that you have learned how to clean computer screen and what are the correct methods, let us leave some important pieces of advice on products you must avoid.

What Shouldn’t I Do?

When you start to clean a computer monitor there are some key procedures you should avoid. Using an incorrect method may induce permanent damage to your monitor and even getting it irreparable!

Never spray any kind of fluid directly to the screen. It will drain down to the edges and enter the bezels. If this happens, there are chances of staining the edges of your display on the inner side. And that will be permanent damage.

Don’t use regular cleaning rags, paper towels or old t-shirts. LCDs are very delicate and can easily get scratched. Only soft, clean microfibre cloths are secure for this type of usage.

Never use any type of abrasive household cleaners or any type of chemicals and products containing alcohol or ammonia. Polishing compounds should also be highly avoided. Those products can damage anti-reflective coatings of screens, cause clouding, staining and leaving an uneven finish, spoiling your LCD permanently. Also, use an appropriate neutral solution to clean laptop screen.

Do not apply any excessive pressure while cleaning. Pressing too hard on the screen could damage the pixels within. Also, let it dry completely before closing the lid.

Clean keyboard on laptop

Several studies have shown that keyboards had a superior concentration of harmful bacteria than a toilet seat. This is, by far, the most filthy component of your computer.

If you examine your keyboard and it has not been clean in a while, you might notice the fact that it has become covered with crumbs, hair, grease, and all kinds of dust and stains, especially if you pay close attention to the spaces between and under your keycaps.

Not only it is hazardous for your health, it is also harmful to your computer as some of the debris under your keyboard keys can actually make their way through the computer’s motherboard. The underside of the keyboard is not completely sealed on most laptops and the mainboard is what’s seating right behind.

What is the best way to clean keyboard on laptop

Clean keyboard with compressed air

Start by shutting down your computer. If you have one at your disposal, clean keyboard with compressed air can. Using this simple method you can blow much of the dust and debris out without much effort and in a short time.

Just insert the straw-like plastic hose that most air cans feature under the keycaps and start blasting. This is a great method to clean laptop keyboard without removing keys.

The mentioned method will blow most of the dirt under the keys but won’t eliminate all of it. Also, bear in mind it’s best to do it outdoors or on a balcony, as the debris will be blown out of the keyboard in a cloud of dust. You may also wear a protective mask while doing the process.

Clean the keyboard by removing the keys

If your keyboard is seriously grimy, you can take more severe action. Most mechanical keyboards have removable keycaps. If you have the time and skill, removing the keycaps to thoroughly clean the keyboard is the best and most effective method.

There is no need for special tools used to clean keyboard, just use a small screwdriver, place the tool under a corner of a key, and gently pry it off. If you’re unsure on how to do it, do a quick web search to learn the procedure in your particular model, so that you avoid damaging your keyboard.

With the keys removed, you now have total access to the area underneath, where most of the debris is staying. Thoroughly blow out this area with a compressed air can, if you have one. If not you can gently vacuum it, with your vacuum cleaner at its lower speed.

You should also use a dry brush or a dry microfibre rag to remove some of the most persistent dust. Never spill any type of liquid to your keyboard except if it is isopropyl alcohol. This can also be used to better sanitize the area underneath the keys as it will evaporate in a blink of an eye.

How to clean keyboard keycaps

After removing all the caps, you can wash them individually with water and soap while scrubbing with a brush to get rid of dirt and stains and finish by wiping each key with alcohol. This is how to disinfect a computer keyboard and have it 100% sanitized.

Let the keycaps dry completely before reassembling to avoid spilling water to the keyboard and damaging it. Each key should snap back on with just a small amount of pressure.

Now that you know how to disinfect keyboards, let us move to the next step.

How to clean computer case

Now that you have both your computer screen and the keyboard pristine clean, the last process is to clean the laptop chassis and the mouse-pad to have it all sanitized and looking brand new.

Unlike the keyboard and the screen, the case is a less sensible area, which doesn’t mean you should be less careful. Therefore, be sure to avoid harsh chemicals or rough clothes.

Again, with the computer shutdown, take a clean microfibre cloth slightly moistened in a neutral solution of water and soap and clean all of the plastic or metal surfaces of the computer shell. Don’t forget to wipe down the touchpad using small circular motions to remove any dust residue and fingerprint smudge.

Don’t spray any fluids directly to your computer in danger of water getting into the internal components or inside the keyboard, damaging the electronic circuitry.

To carry out the sanitizing process you can use isopropyl alcohol if you’re looking to do complete disinfection. Pay special attention to the palm rests area. Do not briskly rub the surfaces as the alcohol may damage the painted areas, especially if it is painted plastic. Just apply it gently and let it dry, it’s enough to get it disinfected.

Best way to clean computer fans and vents

Excessive dust can also clog up the fans and vents inside your laptop, getting it to overheat and causing further damage.

Not everyone is comfortable opening a laptop for accessing its internals. You can clean laptop fan without disassembly it by using a compressed air can.

Clean a laptop fan is easy. Just point the can of compressed air at the cooling vents and apply several short bursts from different angles. Take some care when spraying the fans, don’t spray too hard or too close to prevent the fans from over spinning while you’re blowing the air, which can cause damage.

Wrap Up

Keeping your computer clean and free of bacteria is not only satisfying but also a good practice, for your own health and to grant your hardware longevity. Nowadays as we’re dealing with threats like the novel Coronavirus it’s even more important to get a correct sanitizing of the objects you are in touch with every day.

This article teaches you how to disinfect a laptop, also addressing the principles on how to disinfect computer keyboards, get it all properly sanitized and how to clean a computer screen, its case, and its fans.

If you did a good job, now your laptop is clean from head to toe, looking brand new and free from germs.

Also, check out other of our great resources, like How to properly clean a smartphone

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