Clean Your Keyboard & Mouse
First make sure your computer is off so there's no power to it and you don't accidentally type out and send an e-mail to your ex asking them to come back. Then try one of many methods to clean your keyboard, including putties, cotton swabs and Dremels, erasers, knives, adhesive, compressed air, upside down and shaking, vacuum, and even a mascara brush or dishwasher! While our mice may no longer have rollerballs in them to collect insane amounts of dustballs, make sure your laser is clear of dust as the lens area tends to get a bit crammed. Dust on the underside can affect the smooth sliding performance of the mouse as well. Wipe down all the surfaces to keep it as germ free as possible too.
Clean Your Monitor
Use a soft cloth and be careful not to scratch your monitor with abrasive cleaning supplies. Don't press too hard and damage the screen. Also if you're using a liquid cleaner, avoid streaks and don't use too much or the liquid will drip down into the monitor beneath the bezel and potentially ruin your screen. Cotton swabs are a good way to get dirt and grime out from the tight creases where the screen and bezel meet. Don't forget to clear out any fan vent spaces around the monitor casing as well.
Clean The Insides Out
Make sure you've disconnected power to your PC and then open her up and use a compressed air can to get all of the dust out. Be careful not to get all the blowback right into your face as a lot of dust will likely come flying out. Make sure to check and clear out any dust bunnies hanging out in fans (your CPU, power supply, video card and more likely have fans) and get all the nooks and crannies cleared out. The cleaner your PC the better it can breath and let the heat out to operate properly. Try not to touch or break anything in there while you're at it, many parts are small and irreplaceable.
Remove Unused Programs
Along the way you've probably installed or downloaded tons of programs that you may not use anymore. Uninstalling unneeded programs not only clears up hard drive space but may make your computer run faster, especially if it launches at startup. Do you really need that trial photo editing program or game anyway? Besides, so many applications are available online and for free, who needs to buy software!
Clear Your Temp Folders, Files & Cache
Chances are you've got oodles of wasted space taken up by temp files that just never got cleaned out for any number of reasons (unexpected shutdowns, crashes, general programming inefficiencies, etc.). Go clear your browser cache, temp folders, and other unneeded files to give your PC a nice needed colonic.
Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Now do all of this on a regular basis to keep everything running smoothly. Not only do you maximize the lifespan of your expensive computer but you also have a system that works better and faster for you, saving your time and sanity. So stay on top of your scheduled maintenance and happy cleaning!
MORE COMPUTER CLEANING ON APARTMENT THERAPY
• How-To Handbook: Quick & Easy Computer Clean Up
• Why a Clean Computer is More Than Cosmetic
• The Best Ways To Clean Your Computer & TV
• How Chinese Take-Out Will Help You Clean Your Computer
• Using a DSLR Air Blower to Clean Your Computer Monitor
• Two Toiletries To Clean Your Computers With