How to Create Your PC Cleaning Shopping List - dummies

How to Create Your PC Cleaning Shopping List

By Dan Gookin

The things you need in order to clean your computer are probably items you already have around the home or office. If not, they are things that can be purchased at any office supply store and they are relatively inexpensive. Here’s a list of the things you will need to keep your PC bright and shiny:

Air can: You can find cans of compressed air used for cleaning at any office supply or computer store. The air can contains pressurized gas that you can use to blow dust and crud out of the keyboard, mouse, console, and other places tiny and filthy.


Cleaning fluids: You don’t need anything fancy to clean your computer. Formula 409 or Fantastic work just fine to clean the case. Soapy water works. Avoid alcohol and ammonia.

Sponge or paper towels: For wiping down surfaces, nothing beats the standard kitchen sponge, a paper towel, or even a nice software dishcloth. Don’t use those moist towelette types of cleaners because they contain alcohol, which can damage certain parts of the computer.

Tweezers: Nothing beats a good pair of tweezers for retrieving specific pieces of junk from a keyboard or for pinching hair out of an optical mouse sensor.

Vacuum: Serious PC users may buy a tiny, portable vacuum to help clean their computers. You don’t have to go that far, as long as your household vacuum sports accessories, such as a drapery cleaner, which is great for sucking the crud out of a keyboard.


Wipes for the LCD monitor: Cleaning a computer monitor requires special care. If you can, take the time to find some wipes designed specifically to clean the delicate surface of an LCD monitor. Generic wipes are available, and some pricey brand names. Just don’t use alcohol- or ammonia-based wipes.

Cleaning a PC isn’t something you’re going to do all the time. You can do it every so often, like when you attach something new to the console and notice how disgusting the situation is behind the computer desk. Or, do an inside-the-case cleaning job when you add new hardware. But — and this is for all you moms out there — don’t obsess over cleaning your PC.

  • Air cans don’t contain “air.” They contain pressurized gas. You shouldn’t inhale the gas.

  • Air cans tend to blow stuff around. Vacuums get rid of it outright.

  • Avoid using strong chemicals when cleaning your PC. These chemicals include ammonia, alcohol, bleach, and acids, such as vinegar.

  • You can still drink alcohol while you use your computer. But you would be wise not to compose and send email while intoxicated.

  • USB-powered vacuum cleaners are very popular with the laptop set.