Clean a computer keyboard and screen
1 of 2
Photo 1: Blow away dirt
Use compressed air to remove dirt
and lint from the keys and the keyboard
2 of 2
Photo 2: Swab the keys
Clean greasy dirt off the computer
keys with cotton swabs and a solution
of alcohol and water.
Computers seem to be a magnet
for dust, lint and sticky fingers,
but unlike with household
appliances, you can't just douse them
with all-purpose cleaner and scrub them
clean. However, you can get them
sparkling in just a few minutes with the
right products and techniques.
The first step is to turn off the computer
and disconnect the power. If you're
cleaning a laptop, take out the battery.
Moisten part of a soft, lint-free cloth (not
a paper towel) with water and gently
wipe the screen, first with the damp part,
then with the dry part. After you're finished
with the screen, wipe the keys and
the housing down. Some manufacturers
also offer or recommend special wipes or
cleaning solutions, but check first at the
manufacturer's Web site or the place you
bought the computer before using any
product that's not specifically recommended
for your type of computer.
Next, clean the keyboard (Photo 1). Tip
the keyboard up and shake out the
crumbs, then blow out the keys with a can
of compressed gases (about $5 at office
supply or hardware stores). The compressed gases aren't just air, so keep the
cans away from children.
Use a 50/50 solution of isopropyl alcohol
and water to clean tough spots. Dip a
cotton swab in the solution, then pat off
the excess water on a paper towel so it
doesn't drip between the keys. Wipe the
surface and edges of the keys, changing
swabs frequently (Photo 2).
Some types of desktop computers with
wired keyboards have keys that can be
pried off one at a time (gently) with a letter
opener. But don't do this with laptops
or wireless keyboards. Always check with
the manufacturer first, because if you do
this with the wrong keyboard you could
destroy it. And then snap a photo before
you start so you know where the keys go.