Tech Talk Thursday: Tips for a Healthy PC – Part 1: Hardware Maintenance

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life it can be easy for us to forget that as good as our computers are to us, we should (every once in a while) try to return the favor. Even if you are not the most tech-literate individual, it’s a good idea to know and practice good PC hygiene.  Over the next three months, our Tech Talk Thursday posts will share some easy to follow tips for keeping your computer clean. Up first: hardware maintenance!

Hardware Maintenance:

Clean Dust and Debris


First make sure to power off and unplug your keyboard. The same goes for cleaning of any part of the computer. Clean your keyboard by using a letter opener or similar household item to pry up the keys. Use a hairdryer (cool setting) or compressed air to force out dust or crumbs. Use q-tips and alcohol or hand sanitizer to remove sticky solutions which may have fallen through the cracks. We’re all guilty of drinking a soda while surfing YouTube.


Power off and unplug your monitor. Use anti-static wipes (found online or in any office supply store) to wipe monitor. Or use a microfiber cloth that has been dampened with a 50/50 solution of distilled water and white vinegar. DO NOT use alcohol or ammonia based solutions on an LCD screen- it will shorten its lifespan! This rule also applies to your home television, if it is LCD.


Unplug your mouse. Wipe it down with disinfectant wipes, but make sure they are not overly damp so that liquid does not seep into cracks. Wipe off any excess moisture. Use a q-tip dampened with alcohol for any tiny areas where you notice debris.

CPU and Motherboard:

I generally advise against opening up the tower on your personal computer. If you choose to do this, do it at your own risk and with great caution. To remove dust and debris from the inside of your computer, take a hair dryer on the lowest setting (cool setting) and gently try to push dust out in a sweeping motion. Be careful using a higher setting or compressed air as you may dislodge parts. If you have a small vacuum you can also try that, but again be wary of sucking up or dislodging any key components.


Stay tuned for part two next month: Software Maintenance!

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