How to Clean the Inside of a Computer Case

dirty-computer-insideComputers have moving parts such as fans on their CPU’s, Power Supplies, Video Cards and in some cases, on the case itself. Each fan is important for the smooth operation of the computer because they keep the system cool. Should Dust, Cigarette Smoke (which forms a paste when in contact with dust) or Pet Hair clog up one of these fans and prevent it from spinning, can cause those parts of the computer to overheat and become damaged.

In light of this, cleaning a computer is something that should be done every 6 months to a year. In this article, we’ll show you how.
There is a bit more to cleaning a computer than opening up the case and blowing on it with your mouth. You will need something a little more powerful such as compressed air. There are two methods of compressed air available; one is to purchase a can of compressed air which is designed for cleaning hardware and is available at most large electronic stores. However, this method is only effective if the dust isn’t caked on. The other method is to use a compressor (the type used to pump up car tires) which is much more powerful but can damage a computer if not done correctly.

We personally recommend using a compressor if you take a few safety steps which we will mention shortly. To begin cleaning the computer, you will need a Phillips head screwdriver (+) and a pencil or pen. The screwdriver is to open the computer case and the pencil or pen is to stick into the fans to prevent them from spinning up to insane speeds by the compressed air which can damage their tiny brushes.

It is best if you do this outside to prevent the dust form going all over the room. First shut it down and unplug it from any power source.

Open the case by using a Phillips head screwdriver to unscrew the screws on the back of the computer and slide the panel towards the back of the computer. Typically, if you are looking at the front of the computer, you will want to open the left panel because this provides the best access. Some brand name computers such as Dell, Compaq or HP may have hidden screws and clips elsewhere which will need to be found and released before you can open the computer.

clean-computer-insideTo begin, we will clean the CPU fan. If you are using a compressor, first give it a test spray of air because sometimes they can collect moisture and spray water onto your computer which is something we definitely don’t want. After, place the pen or pencil in between the fans blades to prevent it from spinning and blast the dust away from the fans blades.

Next, you will need to get the dust out from the computers CPU heatsink just below the CPU fan. A good blast from a low angle facing towards the back of the case should get most of the dust out from in between the aluminum grills.

This entry was posted in Computer Maintenance, HardWare, How To, Laptop Health and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How to Clean the Inside of a Computer Case

  1. pritam says:


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