Ok, this is a sensitive subject, and some may be offended, but it needs to be said… People… PLEASE CLEAN YOUR LAPTOP!!!
I work in IT. I have seen some doozies. I've received laptops with stuck on food, crumbs, and a ton of dust embedded in the keys, the hinges, and the fan opening. Back in the day when computers were still beige, I received some that were yellow and sticky from gook and cigarette smoke. Whenever I get a laptop to fix one of the first things I do it clean it. This should not be my job, it should be yours!
It only takes a few minutes a week to clean your laptop and make it nice and shiny again. Doing so can prevent operating problems. Although you cannot see much space, laptops do have nooks and crannies around the keyboards, and other areas of the computer where foreign objects can invade the space and cause problems. Dust and crumbs can settle into the laptop and cause the fan to slow down and overheat. The more dust that collects inside your computer, the hotter it will get. This may cause the fan to fail and the computer to die. Crumbs and dust can also cause other parts of the system board to malfunction. The best bet is to keep your laptop free of dust and crumbs. Oh… and don’t spill liquids on it! Not to mention that a dirty laptop is just nasty!
Here Are Some Tips To Keep Your Laptop in Great Shape:
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Don't Eat Over Your Laptop or Keyboard
I get it, we are all busy, and sometimes we have to eat while working. But, at least try to keep your food away from your keyboard. Eating over your laptop can cause crumbs to fall on it, which can get wedged between the keys causing keys to malfunction and stick. Those crumbs can also make their way deeper in the machine and cause more serious problems.
Use a Keyboard Protector
I have posted before about the keyboard protector on my Dell XPS 13. I also use one on my MacBook Pro. Having a silicone keyboard protector not only makes typing much quieter, it keeps my fingernails from scratching the keys and protects the keyboard from crumbs and debris.
They are available for many different popular PC and Mac laptops.
Clean The Cooties
If you had a black light that showed germs on your desk and laptop, you would probably be surprised at the number of ickies found on your laptop. Did you know that your computer may be 20,000 times dirtier than your toilet seat?? That is gross!!
For starters, blast the dust and crumbs in your keyboard. Use a can of compressed air at least once a month to blow out all the nasties.
Wipe off your laptop once a week. I use Clorox disinfecting wipes on all surfaces other than the screen. Trust me… it’s safe.
Wipe Your Screen
Most newer laptop screens are now touch enabled. This means the screens are constantly covered in fingerprints. Wipe the screen using a soft cloth (preferably microfiber) moistened with a little water, or a product specifically made to clean screens. Many laptops and monitors come with a cloth in the box. Or, you can use the same cloth that you use to clean your glasses.
Or, even better, you can opt to invest a few bucks a laptop cleaning kit. These will come with wipes specially formulated to safely clean your laptop surfaces.
Don't Smother Your Laptop
Although laptops are made to be used on your lap, you have to be careful with this. Some laptops have vents for the fan on the side or bottom of the unit. It should be fine for use on your lap as long as you are not wearing super loose clothing. The same goes for using the laptop in the bed. Be careful using it on top of blankets. If the vents get smothered for too long, the laptop can get hot and overheat. You can usually tell if your laptop is having problems with overheating. It will be hot to the touch. And you may hear the fan running much harder and longer than usual.
PLEASE do not wait months and let endless amounts of crumbs, dust, dirt, and pet hair settle into your laptop then bring it to me, or your other friendly IT person for service.
Now… off you go to clean your laptop!