Why You Should Dust Your Laptop…On the Inside

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

If you are like us and the other Unplggd contributors keeping the outside of our tech clean is a necessity.If you have had your laptop computer for more than 2 years, it is safe to assume that it has gathered some serious dust. Dust in the interior of a laptop can make fans loud and your laptop hot. Check below the jump for our suggestions on keeping your laptop in tip top form.

Dust, kitty hair, and other gunk seems to be magnetically (actually is) attracted to electronics. The semiconductors and movement of air through your computer imbues a slight charge to your computer making it stick to the critical components inside. Dust is also a very effective insulator causing your computer to become hot and potentially overheat. Depending upon where you live and if you have fuzzy creatures, you might need to clean the interior of your computer with alarming frequency. Combating this problem is not nearly as simple on laptops as with their desktop cousins. We have assembled our check list and method to cleaning the dust out of our laptop on an annual basis.

  1. Shut Down: Yes this is self explanatory, but shut down your laptop and potentially back it up just for good measure.

  2. Remove the Battery: Taking the battery out not only protects your computer from accidental shorts, it also gives you a chance to inspect it for damage.

  3. Remove Main Cover: Depending upon your computer, this may be very easy or exceedingly difficult. We suggest consulting websites like ifixit to get instructions on computer disassembling. While taking apart your computer, make sure to either ground yourself with a static strap or touch a grounded piece of bare metal. We usually use a faucet since pipes and fixtures are almost always grounded.

  4. Blow Dust: Once your computer parts are exposed, blow all dust away with canned air or a camera blower. Make sure dust does not settle or become lodged into any sensitive spaces. Further, do not spin your fan with the compressed air; doing so might result in a damaged fan rendering your cooling apparatus useless.
  5. Reassemble: Put your computer back together and enjoy a cleaner, cooler, and quieter running laptop.