Like every appliance, if you look after you PC, the longer it will last. And believe it or not, computers can get incredibly dirty – so you really should clean yours every now and then.

This is a very quick run down on how to clean your PC inside and out. But first you need the following equipment:

  • A dry cloth (a microfibre duster is ideal)
  • A soft, damp cloth (NOT wet)
  • Compressed air blower
  • A Philips screwdriver
  • A soft paintbrush (optional)
  • A vacuum cleaner (optional)

Cleaning keyboard and case

For laptops and desktop PCs, most of the grime will be just dust. Wipe the case gently with your damp cloth and allow to dry. Do not try and scratch dirt or grime with a sharp object – instead you will have to scrub patiently with your cloth.

When it comes to cleaning your keyboard, you must first get rid of us much collected junk as possible. Pick it up, turn upside down, and give it a really good shake to dislodge crumbs, dust and other muck that collects between the keys. Use a paintbrush to gently brush any more debris from under the keys, then give the whole thing a good wipe with your damp cloth.

DO NOT use bleach or any other industrial cleaner as you could damage the metal/plastic finish of your computer.

Cleaning your screen

Start by giving the screen a quick wipe with your dry cloth to remove most of the dust. Then repeat the process with your damp cloth, paying particular attention to fingerprints and other grime that collects on the glass.

Don’t forget to clean the rear of your desktop monitor/iMac too. A lot of dust collects behind the screen, so you may need to use your vacuum cleaner to collect it all.

Cleaning internals

PC users should also clean the inside of their computers periodically. The fans used to cool the processor and graphics chips also suck dust into the case where it becomes trapped.

Unplug the computer and use your screwdriver to undo the retaining screws on the cover. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck collected dust out of the case. DO NOT blow the dust with your mouth – the water vapour in your breath could damage the delicate internal components. Instead, use a can of compressed air to blow stubborn dust out of the way.

Make sure you replace the case before plugging the computer back in.

Cleaning the hard drive

With the physical machine cleaned up, it’s time to turn your attentions to the software installed on your computer. First, complete a full system scan using Panda Dome to check for malware and viruses that may have infected your computer.

Next run the Panda Cleanup module to help optimise the performance of your computer. This suite of tools will help to get rid of the junk that taking up space on your hard drive automatically – temporary files, old browser cache files and unwanted cookies. It will even defragment the hard drive, to free up space and make your computer run faster.

You should also use the Boot Manager and Registry Cleaner tools bundled in Panda Cleanup to get rid of the trash you can’t usually see. Boot Manager will show you the programs and services that launch every time you start your computer; switch off the ones you don’t need and the computer will start-up much faster. The Registry Cleaner will help to optimise your Windows operating system, helping to avoid the errors that cause your computer to crash or hang.

Now is a good time to start

Cleaning your computer may take a few hours, but the time is well spent. Not only will the machine look better, but it will also run better too.

To learn more about Panda Cleanup and how to speed up your PC, download a free trial today.