DIY : Clean Your Laptop Inside Out
Most of us recognise the noise – the incessant whirring of an overworked laptop fan, struggling to keep a computer cool. You might put it down to old age, assuming that notebooks always get noisier and hotter until, eventually, they just stop working.
That doesn’t have to be the case though. When your laptop is starting to get on a bit, overheating and shutting down on its own, it might not be worn out – it might just be dirty.
However clean you keep the outside of your notebook, dust inevitably gets sucked into fans, crumbs fall into keyboards and fluff gets into vents.
Follow these tips to keep the inside and outside of your laptop clean and running faster and smoother.
Note : Before cleaning any laptop, we suggest the laptop first be turned off and unplugged.
To give your laptop a thorough cleaning, you will need:
– Compressed Air Can
– Rubbing alcohol
– Cotton swabs (Q-Tips)
– Dish soap (without bleach) or some other mild detergent
– Paper towels
– Flathead screwdriver
1. To clean the keyboard.
So your laptop keys stick for one reason or another. Perhaps you spilled a drink on it, or you just like to eat and surf the web at the same time. Your keys were basically snapped onto your keyboard at the factory and therefore can be unsnapped.
Grab onto a corner of a key and firmly lift up. You may be required to pry on more than one corner at a time to unsnap each key. If a key (especially larger ones) prove difficult, wiggle a flathead screwdriver underneath the key and rotate the blade in several places to “persuade” it to let go.
This process will take some time, be patient and don’t rush this part… that’s a sure way to break something important. Clean the keys one by one with the soap and cotton swabs.
Some of your larger keys may have one or several metal guide bars on their underside. These bars slide into slots on your keyboard, so make sure not to bend the bars or their slots on your computer.
Dip your cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol and begin to clean around each key post. Remember if any liquid made its way under your keys to remove the key carriers as well and soak them with the keys.
Once your keys are cleaned, wait for them to dry out and start popping them back in and you’re done!
2. Cleaning the insides of the laptop
When you can see dust and hair in or on the vents on the bottom and sides of the case, you can bet there is more inside the laptop. The only way to get it all out is to open the case. Don’t attempt to blow it out from the outside. This will only clog it up inside the case. All laptop cases will come apart fairly easily. There are several small screws that hold the case together.
There will probably be little rubber or plastic caps covering screws that hold the display on. Most all cases will be disassembled from the bottom. Make sure that the power cord and battery are removed before starting. Remove the hard drive and place in a secure place out of the way.
Note : DO NOT USE MAGNETIC SCREWDRIVERS OR CORDLESS TOOLS.
When the case is completely apart, you will see the ‘dust bunnies’ hiding near the case cooling fan and cpu cooling heat sink. Remove large pieces with a pair of tweezers. Compressed air in a can will work well to blow out the dust on and around the motherboard and keys.
Be sure to hold the case upright when using air in a can. If the can of air is tilted downward when spraying, the gas inside will become a liquid. This will damage the components inside the laptop. When reassembling the laptop, be sure to use the right screws in the right places. Some screws are longer than others, and need to be used where they were originally. Pay particular attention to any ribbon cables and their connectors.
The keyboard and mouse pad will use this. Make sure that the compression or wedge connectors are tight before proceeding to the next step. You don’t want to have to open the case again until it is time to clean it again. When you are finished, your laptop will be as good as new.
3. Fans And Vents
As for case fans, these can be removed and the blades wiped clean with cotton buds. It’s never a good idea to blow compressed air into them, because they may be forced to spin in the wrong direction, damaging them.
Before you close your machine up, take a good look down the sides of the case to locate the vents and passive heat sinks. Use your can of compressed air to carefully blow dust out of the case.
4. Cleaning the outsides of the laptop
Cleaning the exterior portion of the laptop case can help keep the laptop looking new. The exterior case of a laptop can be cleaned by using a damp cotton cloth that has been dampened with water.
It is not recommended that the exterior case of the laptop be cleaned with household cleaning solutions. However, if there is a substance on the laptop that cannot be cleaned with water, we suggest using rubbing alcohol.
5. Cleaning the LCD Screen
It’s very easy to get streaks on your screens from just a couple of finger swipes. LCD wipes or a soft dust-free cloth sprayed with your home-made solution of distilled water and white vinegar can clean that up in a jiffy.
First, use the canned air to get rid of the bigger bits of dust. Then rub the moistened cloth or wipe the screen in circular motions.
Disclaimer : Although these methods have been used to measurable success by various people, you should do so at your own risk. Make sure that the ports and other sensitive parts of your device are not exposed to the ingredients you use!