Technology Cleaning Instructions
The TFT or LCD screen is one of the most expensive component of your notebook or desktop computer and they're very sensitive to dust, fingerprints or even when you cough or sneeze without covering the mouth and nose. Unlike the standard CRT monitors with Glass screens, you are not advised to clean an LCD Monitor by wiping it with a piece of dry lint-free cloth since the sensitive display is likely to gets cratches from dust particles.
So how do you clean an LCD monitor screen without buying any of those expensive LCD Monitor Cleaner solutions or Monitor Wipes available in the market ? We look at some proper methods and precautions before you clean the monitor [should apply to HDTVs, projection TVs and Plasma TVs as well].
Think of LCD Displays just like the soft and delicate skin of your newborn baby - Be very gentle and never put even the slightest pressure on the computer screen with your hand.
Second, you need to find a piece of soft cloth - old cotton handkerchiefs lying in your mom's wardrobe should be fine but don't try tissue papers, toilet rolls or even shower towels as the fabric will scratch your screen permanently [like sandpaper or utensil scrubbers].
Either turn the monitor off or set the background to black and hide all the desktop icons and minimize the open windows. This will easily help you identify the dirty areas of the monitor.
To prepare the solution for cleaning LCD monitors, you will need deionized or distilled water and vinegar or iso-propyl alcohol - Don't use tap water or mineral water as they could leave white marks on the screen because of the dissolved salts.
Dilute the vinegar or IPA with distilled water [1:1] and spray this liquid on the cloth. Never ever spray liquid directly onto the LCD screen. Moisten the cloth with this home made LCD cleaner and gently move the wet cloth in just one direction - from top to bottom.
Word of Caution: Be sure that the LCD screen is dry before closing it or using the computer. Do not use any solutions that contain Acetone, ethyl alcohol, toluene, ethyl acid, ammonia, or methyl chloride. Never touch the LCD screen with your fingers as this can cause the pixels to burn out.
Why? Keeps the appearance of the computer looking new. During cleaning, if ventilation locations are found, these can be cleaned helping the case keep a steady airflow to the computer, keeping components cool and in good working condition.
Procedure: The plastic case that houses the PC components can be cleaned with a lint-free cloth that has been slightly dampened with water. For stubborn stains, add a little household detergent to the cloth. It is recommended that you never use a solvent cleaner on plastics.
Make sure all vents and air holes are hair and lint free by rubbing a cloth over the holes and vents. It is also helpful to take a vacuum around each of the hole, vents, and crevices on the computer. It is safe to use a standard vacuum when cleaning the outside vents of a computer; however, if you need to clean the inside of the computer, use a portable battery powered vacuum to prevent static electricity.
Why? A dirty CD-ROM drive or other disc drives can cause read errors when reading discs. These read errors could cause software installation issues or issues while running the program.
Procedure: To clean the CD-ROM drive we recommend purchasing a CD-ROM cleaner from your local retailer such as a local Radio Shack. Using a CD-ROM cleaner should sufficiently clean the CD-ROM laser from dust, dirt, and hair.
In addition to cleaning the drive with a special disc designed to clean drives users can also use a cloth dampened with water to clean the tray that ejects from the drive. Make sure however that after the tray has been cleaned that it completely dry before putting the tray back into the drive.
The below steps are for cleaning a standard desktop keyboard. See the cleaning a laptop keyboard page for steps if you have a laptop.
Dust, dirt, and bacteria
The computer keyboard is often the most germ infected items in your home or office, often it will contain more bacteria than your toilet seat. Cleaning it can help remove any dangerous bacteria. Dirt, dust and hair can also build up causing the keyboard to not function properly.
Procedure: Before cleaning the keyboard first turn off the computer or if you're using a USB keyboard unplug it. Not unplugging the keyboard can result in causing other computer problems as you may press keys that cause the computer to perform a task you don't want it to do.
Many people clean the keyboard by turning it upside down and shaking. A more effective method is to use compressed air. Compressed air is pressurized air contained in a can with a very long nozzle. aim the air between the keys and blow away all of the dust and debris that has gathered there. A vacuum cleaner can also be used, but make sure the keyboard doesn't have loose "pop off" keys that could possibly be sucked up by the vacuum.
If you wish to clean the keyboard more extensively you'll need to remove the keys from the keyboard.
After the dust, dirt, and hair has been removed. Spray a disinfectant onto a cloth or use disinfectant cloths and rub each of the keys on the keyboard. As mentioned in our general cleaning tips, never spray any liquid onto the keyboard.
Substance spilt into the keyboard
If the keyboard has anything spilt into it (e.g. pop, cola, Pepsi, Coke, beer, wine, coffee, milk, etc.), not taking the proper steps can cause the keyboard to be destroyed.
Procedure: Below are a few recommendations to help prevent a keyboard from becoming bad once a substance has been spilt within it.
If anything is spilt onto the keyboard turn the computer off immediately or at the very least disconnect it from the computer. Once done quickly flip the keyboard over helping to prevent the substance from penetrating circuits. While the keyboard is upside down, shake the keyboard over a surface that can be cleaned later. While still upside down, use a cloth to help clean out what can be reached. After cleaned to the best of your ability leave the keyboard upside down for at least one night allowing it to dry. Once dry, continue cleaning the keyboard with any remaining substance.
If after cleaning the keyboard you have keys that stick remove the keys and clean below the keys and the bottom portion of the key.
Finally, if the keyboard still works but remains dirty or sticky before discarding the keyboard as a last resort try washing the keyboard in the dishwasher.
If after doing all the above steps the keyboard does not function properly or at all it's recommended you buy a new keyboard.
Laser Mouse Cleaning
Things You'll Need:
- Soft cloth
- Isopropyl alcohol or window cleaner
Unplug the laser mouse from the computer. Turn off the computer first if the mouse connects anywhere other than a USB port. Dampen a cloth with isopropyl alcohol or window cleaner. Wipe the bottom of the Apple laser mouse, focusing on the lens, LED light and rubber pads on the bottom. Wipe over the top of the Apple laser mouse. Allow the mouse to dry before plugging it back in.