Isopropyl alcohol is an ideal way to clean your laptop, particularly its keyboard and exterior surfaces. There are also disinfectant wipes designed to safely wipe screens – make sure to ring out each wipe well so moisture doesn’t enter your laptop from these sources!
Needed supplies are: distilled or bottled water, isopropyl alcohol, compressed air can and lint-free cloth.
Table of Contents
1. Isopropyl alcohol
Isopropyl alcohol, more commonly referred to as rubbing alcohol, is one of the best solutions you can have on hand for cleaning and disinfecting your laptop. It’s an inexpensive, effective cleaning and disinfecting agent that kills many germs including E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria as well as viruses like COVID-19 virus. Furthermore, its safe for use on electronics while it removes grease, lint and debris from keyboards and touchscreens.
Rub rubbing alcohol gently and non-abrasively on a microfiber cloth for an effective yet non-abrasive cleaning solution that’s much safer for your computer than Windex, vinegar, glass cleaner or other cleaning products marketed as screen cleaners. When cleaning with paper towels they leave behind lint that can scratch the screen surface – avoid these as much as possible for optimal results!
Before beginning, ensure your laptop is completely shut off and unplugged from power sources. Apply a small amount of alcohol onto a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth and wring out thoroughly until only slightly damp – then gently wipe over its case, keyboard and touchpad without exerting too much force.
If your laptop features an LCD screen, it is crucial not to spray any cleaning solution directly onto it – as doing so could damage its display. Instead, apply the solution onto a clean microfiber cloth before carefully wiping from top to bottom, taking extra care not to miss any spots or smudges along the way. Be especially wary not to scrub too vigorously as this could cause pixel burnout.
isopropyl alcohol can also help you clean your laptop keyboard, though this process will require more work than you anticipate. First, apply a small amount to an cotton swab and use that to sanitize each key; be sure to get into all cracks and crevices. Alternatively, bleach-free disinfecting wipes provide quick cleanup solutions – simply be sure that you wring them out well so moisture doesn’t seep into open ports on the laptop; allow to air dry afterwards before using again.
Isopropyl alcohol is an effective way to clean a laptop, although you could also opt for purified or distilled water as another solution. Just be wary not to use tap water which may leave mineral spots. Never spray any liquid directly on the screen. Instead, wet a lint-free cloth with your cleaning solution and gently wipe from top to bottom across its entire area.
Paper towels or facial tissues should not be used for this task as they can scratch an LCD screen and damage its protective coating. Scrubbing the LCD screen may damage its protective layer as well. Glass cleaners offer a good alternative to isopropyl alcohol but don’t kill germs as effectively compared with disinfectants with higher concentrations of alcohol and microfiber cloths.
Before beginning to clean, ensure the computer is off and remove both AC adapter and battery (if applicable). Doing this will help avoid water from seeping into internal components that could compromise your device and lead to irreparable damage.
Most laptops feature LED or LCD displays that require special chemical formulations to protect from scratches and other damage. When cleaning with regular window cleaner or highly concentrated alcohol, you risk irreparable harm to the LCD layer – instead use only specially formulated cleaners which have been certified safe for touchscreen LCDs.
If your screen is heavily soiled, start by creating a 1:1 solution of water and alcohol on a lint-free cloth. If necessary, apply some solution directly onto a cotton ball or pointed swab and dab gently over its surface using circular movements from side to side and from front to back – being patient is key; otherwise you risk overscrubbing too hard and risking pixel burnout. When this task has been accomplished, continue wiping down other parts of your laptop using another lint-free cloth – also important when wiping exterior areas such as keys, touchpads etc.
3. Compressed air
Compressed air can help remove dust from keyboards and surfaces while at the same time blowing out moisture that has collected in cracks and crevices of your laptop. Before beginning to use compressed air for this task, make sure that both the computer is turned off and unplugged from its power source, and that you are in an area with minimal static charge – otherwise this may damage it irreparably! For further assurance against damage to your machine, bring it in for in-depth cleaning at an authorized repair shop.
Before turning off your computer and wiping down its exterior surface with a cloth, be sure to unplug and disconnect both batteries (for models with removable batteries). After turning it off, use only a lint-free cloth – any harsh fabrics such as paper towels or facial tissues could scratch up its case and ruin its screen!
Pre-moistened alcohol wipes can also be a useful way to clean the keys and other surfaces on your keyboard, just be sure they’re labeled for safe use with your specific laptop model. They’re available at most electronics shops or online.
Once the exterior of your laptop has been cleaned, use a can of compressed air to use all of its cracks and crevices – such as ports, vents and keyboard – as a vacuum to eliminate moisture build-up inside. Blow in short bursts so as to not over-saturate areas or cause moisture ingress into your computer.
Utilizing a small brush will enable you to reach into any tight corners more easily, and using a lint-free cloth for dry up can quickly eliminate any spots left behind.
Rather than risk the liquids contained within a can of compressed air causing damage, you can purchase inexpensive electronic-friendly gloves from Elgood. These specially-designed cotton-lined gloves were made for electronics use and feature moistenable corners which can be moistened with rubbing alcohol for cleaning difficult-to-reach spots. Alternatively, for those without the budget for such investments there’s always cotton swabs soaked with alcohol for tough tasks!
4. Lint-free cloth
You need a lint-free cloth for use on your laptop and other electronics. Avoid paper towels, toilet paper and old rags which leave behind lint that could potentially scratch its surfaces and screen; invest instead in microfiber cloth designed specifically for electronic use – these can be found both offline and online retailers.
Use of a soft microfiber cloth is one of the easiest and simplest ways to keep your laptop clean. Begin by turning off and unplugging it before utilizing this technique on the keyboard, touchpad, screen, case and case of your laptop – gentle pressure is recommended but avoid scrubbing as this could result in pixel burnout.
To effectively eliminate stubborn dirt or stains from your keyboard, a mixture of water and soap should do the trick. Soak a lint-free cloth in this mixture, wring it out, and use it to wipe down its surface before wiping down its cracks and crevices with caution – otherwise this can damage internal components in your laptop!
If you own a touchscreen laptop, be sure to visit its manufacturer’s website to ascertain which cleaners are appropriate. Certain brands like Hewlett-Packard don’t recommend disinfecting wipes but others suggest mixing 70/30 isopropyl alcohol/water for cleaning keyboards and nonporous surfaces.
Compressed air can also help remove dust and particles from inside of your laptop, as regular use will help improve its speed over time. Be sure to perform this task before storing away for the day; ensure it’s unplugged and in “sleep mode”.
Laptops are designed to be handled frequently and cleaned regularly, which makes them more sensitive than other types of computers to liquids and cleaning chemicals. When it comes to cleaning them, it’s best to follow manufacturer recommendations, but in general isopropyl alcohol should suffice if your laptop is less than two years old.