Computer Cleaning enhances the performance of your peripherals

- Part 2 -

Click here to go to PART 1 - Learn how to keep
the inside and outside of your cheap computer clean

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Computer cleaning also includes your peripherals. You should try to clean your peripherals as often as required.

Cleaning your peripherals - Items that you will need:

  • Compressed Air - A very versatile computer cleaning item. This will release air to blow away dust and debris from your monitor vents, keyboard, mouse, etc. Click here to view compressed air products.

  • Vacuum Cleaner - This cleaning tool will be handy to remove dirt, dust and other particles from your mouse, keyboard, etc.
    Do not use shop vacs since they are too large and produce excessive suction.

    Click here to read my Static Electricity Guide and here to view some cheap computer vacuums.

  • Soft (lint-free) Cloth - To clean your monitor screen, mouse ball, the outside of your peripherals, etc. Click here to view some cheap computer cleaning cloths

  • Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl) - Alcohol is the only solvent that I would recommend since others might not work well with the plastic that makes up your peripherals. It should also be used to clean your floppy drive heads.
    Isopropyl Alcohol is a high quality rubbing alcohol that can be found in most drug stores.

  • Clean Water - To help to clean the exterior of your peripherals.

  • Screen Cleaning Cloths - To clean your monitor. Click here to view screen cleaning cloths. icon

  • Lint-free cotton swabs (tips) - Used to clean areas of your peripherals such as your keyboard, floppy drive heads etc.

  • Tweezers - To help to clean the inside of your mouse.

  • Phillips Screwdriver

  • CD/DVD Drive Cleaning Kit. Click here to look at a CD/DVD Laser Lens Cleaning Kit.

Computer Cleaning includes your Monitor

Always disconnect the monitor from your computer and unplug it from the electrical outlet before performing computer cleaning.

LCD Monitor:
Do not use a glass cleaner to clean your LCD screen. Purchase screen cleaning cloths.

If you apply too much pressure while cleaning your LCD monitor, you could damage the internal components of the panel.

CRT Monitor:
Clean the screen as necessary (wiping downward) using water or a computer screen cleaner. Do not spray liquid directly on your screen. Use a moistened soft cloth and gently wipe the entire screen.

Wipe the monitor case with a damp lint-free cloth.

Use compressed air to blow in the vents of the monitor to remove any accumulated dust and to prevent your monitor from overheating.

You must never attempt to open your computer monitor's case since some of the components accumulate hazardous electrical charges.

Computer Cleaning must also include your Keyboard and Mouse


Always unplug your keyboard before cleaning.

This peripheral will need to be cleaned more often than any other computer part.

A dirty keyboard could result in your keyboard not functioning properly. Your computer cleaning should include the regular cleaning of your keyboard. To help to keep your keyboard clean, do not eat or drink at your keyboard.

Use your vacuum cleaner to suck out particles in your keyboard and then use compressed air to remove remaining particles from between the keys.

Use a cotton swab slightly moistened with alcohol to clean the top of each of the keys and in between the spaces. If you have spills such as coffee, you might have to remove the keys to be able to clean them properly.

Do not spray liquid directly on your keyboard when cleaning.

While using your computer, if liquid gets spilled on your keyboard, disconnect and turn it upside down. Use a soft (lint-free) cloth moistened with water to clean it as much as possible. Leave it upside down to dry overnight.

You should make sure that your keyboard is completely dry before re-connecting it to your computer.

A dirty mouse can be dificult to move around and can become erratic in its movement. If you are using a rollerball mouse and your mouse cursor begins to move erratically and/or is responding slowly, it might need to be cleaned. You should clean your mouse regularly.

Turn the mouse upside down and remove the cover by rotating the ring on the bottom of the mouse and turning it in the direction of the arrows. Take out the ball. A damp lint-free cloth (using alcohol) should be used to wipe the mouse ball and you should ensure that it is completely dry.

You can use compressed air to blow out the inside of the mouse. You must keep the compressed air upright to avoid liquid coming out of the can and possibly causing some damage.

Remove lint with a pair of tweezers or use a lint-free moistened cotton swab dampened with water or alcohol to remove all the dirt, dust and lint from the rollers inside the mouse.

If you are using an optical mouse, use a pair of tweezers to remove dirt from the infrared sensor eyehole.

You can wipe the outside of your mouse with a damp, soapy cloth.

Regular maintenance will extend the life of your mouse.

Computer Cleaning includes your Mouse Pad

Mouse Pad:
Clean your mouse pad with a brush (or damp cloth) so as to improve mouse movement. Keep dust, hair, etc. off your mouse pad.

Computer Cleaning also includes your External Drives

External Drives/Optical Drives:

Dust can collect on your floppy, tape and CD-ROM drives and affect their read/write heads. This could affect their performance and result in read errors.

Defective drives can be cleaned with the aid of a laser lens cleaning kit. Click here to look at a CD/DVD Laser Lens Cleaning Kit. icon

Floppy Drive:
Use compressed air to blow out dust and particles from inside the floppy drive.

Use a moistened (with alcohol) lint-free swab to clean your floppy drive head.

Optical Media:
Dirty media CDs/DVDs) can result in disk read errors. You can purchase a commercial media cleaning kit or perform your own 'home-brew' cleaning with a dampened soft 'lint-free' cloth to remove dust, dirt, grime and fingerprints.

You should clean the media by wiping from the center towards the outer edges. Never wipe media along the tracks, similar to cleaning an audio vinyl.
Click here to view a CD/DVD Media Cleaning Kit.

Tape Drive:
To remain in working condition, tape drives require frequent cleaning. You should buy a tape head cleaner and set up a maintenance cleaning schedule to prolong the life of the head. Dust will build up on your tape drive if you do not keep it clean.

Routinely cleaning your tape drive ensures that your data is written accurately in order for it to be properly restored.

Keep your tapes (standing upright) in their original boxes until you need to use them. An opened tape box will expose the tape to dust, sunlight and moisture and could, therefore, affect its quality and performance.

Computer cleaning should include your printer

You might need to clean the inside of your printer to ensure that it keeps running smoothly. Because of the various types of printers that are now available, along with the different steps in the cleaning of printers, I recommend that you use the instructions that came with your printer manual to help you clean it.

You can clean the outside of your printer with a lint-free cloth moistened with water so as to give it a clean appearance.

Final Thoughts...

Computer cleaning is critical to the life and performance of your computer and its peripherals. Keep it clean and save money! You should set up a schedule for doing it.

If you want to have a computer that performs well and has prolonged life, you will have to keep your computer clean. If you don't do it will certainly suffer the resulting consequences!

Click here to go to Part 1 - Learn how to keep the
inside and outside of your cheap computer clean

Click here to go to Part 1 - Cheap
Computer Maintenance Tips

Click here to go to Part 2 - Other Cheap
Computer Maintenance Tips

Click here to learn how to keep your
hard drive running smoothly

Click here if you would like to learn to
Build Your Own Cheap Computer using Cheap Computer Parts

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Cleaning your Computer Peripherals
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