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How Often Should You Clean Your PC?

You might be wondering, do I have to clean my PC? And does it matter if I do or don’t? The answer is yes; it does matter if you don’t. Cleaning your PC is as essential as putting oil in your car or charging your phone when it’s flat. But why? The number one rule you must follow is to keep your PC cool. That is why you should keep your unit system three inches away from walls, books, shelves, other computers, or any obstructions.

Avoid keeping your system unit on the carpet, as it will heat up a lot faster than it would if it was on a brick or wooden surface. All of this ensures that fresh air can get in and the hot air inside can get out. So, what happens if you don’t clean your PC for a year? The build-up of dust from a year can cause overheating because it clogs up the filters and fans. The negative effects of your computer overheating include your computer crashing, a shorter life span for your PC, and potential data loss. The best way to avoid this happening is to keep your PC clean and well ventilated. But does cleaning your PC improve performance? Cleaning your PC is about maintaining a well-functioning computer and preventing overheating and damage. It will improve the airflow and keep your PC cool. But you won’t notice any improvements unless your hardware has been overheating and struggling to run.

Clean Your PC Regularly During The Year

Cleaning your PC correctly is very important. You don’t want to clean it with products that could cause water damage or get lint stuck inside your PC.

Here are five simple steps to clean your PC.

  1. Be safe – Turn everything off and unplug it from the wall. Also, wear a mask if you want to protect yourself from inhaling dust. To keep your PC safe from static damage, wear an anti-static wristband. If you don’t have one, you can touch the metal casing or the PSU housing before touching any components.
  2. Let it breathe – Take your PC somewhere that will let all the dust fly away, like an open doorway or a window.
  3. Dust it – With a microfiber cloth, dust off the exterior of your screen, keyboard, mouse, and system unit. Don’t use any wet sprays or household cleaning products as these can harm your PC’s casing and cause water damage.
  4. Keyboard – You want to clean out all the dust, hairs, oils and crumbs that have gotten into the grooves between your keys. Unplug your keyboard. Turn it over and dislodge everything stuck inside by shaking it. For the bits that refuse to come out, use compressed air and blast them out. If they still don’t budge, try blasting the keyboard from different angles to get them out. You can also use a vacuum to try and suck them out of the keyboard. For bodily oils, grease and food build-up, use a swab and isopropyl alcohol to break it down. Removing each key will make the cleaning process easier if you can. But make sure you don’t forget where the keys go.
  5. Clean Inside – Remove the system unit panels. Using a microfiber cloth and compressed air, clean the inside of the system unit. Remove the dust from the filter, vents, fans, and wiring. Put the panels back on, and your PC is good to go.

Cleaning Your PC For Performance

Maybe it’s been a few years since you’ve cleaned it. Maybe you never have, or maybe your computer is overheating, and this is your last attempt to save it.

Here is a more thorough step-by-step way to clean your PC.

  1. Follow steps 1 – 4 from the five simple steps to clean your PC.
  2. Take it apart – Remove the system unit panels. Carefully remove the PC components. This includes the top and bottom dust filter, cooling fans, motherboard, hard drives, etc. Some components can’t be safely removed and cleaned without jeopardising your warranty. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t know how to remove it and put it back in again, then don’t. For example, if you try to open the power supply to clean it, it could cause a severe electric shock. Put all the components onto a surface that is not conductive, like a wooden table. It is important when you take your PC apart that you remember how you did it so that you can put it back together again. One option is to film yourself doing it so you can reference the video later. Also, keep track of all your screws and expansion slot bracket covers, as these can easily go missing and are essential to putting your PC back together.
  3. Clean everything – Using your microfiber cloth and compressed air, thoroughly clean every component. Use a cotton swab and isopropyl alcohol to clean away any oil markings. But be sure to let it fully dry out before reassembling everything.
  4. Clean the case – Before putting everything back into the casing, clean out the casing by getting right into every crevice. If there are crevices you can’t reach, use a can of compressed air with a long straw and blast into the crevice. When you put it back together and turn it on, the PC’s fan should blow out what you have dislodged.
  5. Cables – Organise the cables inside your PC before you put it all back together. Make sure they aren’t tangled, causing a build-up of dust and that they support the airflow through your PC.
  6. When you have finished cleaning everything, put it all back together again.

How often should you clean your gaming PC?

It is important that you consistently clean your PC to maintain a low level of dust within the system. It would be best to give your PC a basic clean every 3 to 6 months, depending on your living conditions. For example, if you live in a very dusty house or have hairy pets like cats or dogs, you should regularly clean your PC. You should be giving your PC a thorough clean at least once a year. If you maintain this regular cleaning routine, you will keep your PC healthy for longer and allow it to function at peak performance throughout its life.

References

 

CNET.com

PCGamer.com

Norton