Computers accumulate a lot of dust and dirt over time from being placed in open environments. Your PC should be dusted off at least twice a year, or as often as needed. Cleaning help to extend its lifespan by reducing wear-and-tear on all the sensitive internal components.
Basic tools you need
- A various size of philips-head screwdrivers
- Compressed air
- Alcohol wipes (make sure it is not dripping wet)
- Microfibre cloth / paper towel
- Thermal compound (if your CPU have been a few years)
Things to know before getting started
- Make sure your hands are clean and dry before touching any components
- Turn off your PC and unplug it completely
- Never touch any electrical contacts under any circumstance
- Take your PC to outdoor on dry and static-free floor/table before you start dusting
- Cover your nose and mouth as dust can be harmful to breath in
- Keep your screws safe in a container and keep track of which screws need to be removed so you can put them back properly
- Do not use compressed air spraying too long or turn it upside down on the components
Start off with filters and fans
Most PCs have dust filter over intake zones to make cleaning easier. The most common places for these filters to be on the front, on the top, and underneath. Some chassis system can be easily removing the dust filter, or you may need to remove the case panels first to access them.
After you have removed your dust filters, you can start cleaning the filter. In most cases, the dust filters are plastic and can be washed with water or wiped with damp towel if needed. Make sure they are fully dry before putting them back into the PC.
You may use compressed air to clean both filters and fans. But do not wash the fans with water. If you have places that hard to clean with compressed air, you may fold the alcohol wipes and gently clean up.
Cleaning the interior of the PC and hardware
Now move on to the rest of the interior. You can use compressed air and microfiber cloth to dust out other part in your PC like CPU fan, DIMM slots, and hard drive bays. For the power supply, you may try to dust out, if necessary, with compressed air but never attempt to unscrew and open for cleaning. The same process for the interior of the chassis and cables.
Apply new thermal paste
Once the CPU is cleaned, remove the CPU fan/cooler and gently wipe off the old thermal compound with dry paper towel and alcohol wipe on both cooler and CPU. When it is dry and clean, ready for new thermal paste. Apply a small amount to the middle of the CPU (about a pea size) and put the cooler back to the CPU.
If you want to upgrade, it’s time to install some new accessories into your PC, such as a new sound card.
Cleaning the glass surface
Lastly for the cleaning glass surface, just use a clean, damp microfiber cloth to wipe the dust. Please do not use any other cleaning chemical or product on your glass panel as it may damage the coatings.
After the above steps, hopefully your PC is now clean and looking brand new. Regular cleaning and dust out your PC can protect the system from overheating and damage to internal parts.
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