A few weeks ago I started a series on spring-cleaning your computer, even though it’s summer.  This week, let’s take a look at your computer itself, and your monitor(s).

One of the worst things that can get into your computer chassis is dust – it acts like insulation inside the box, and traps all of the heat generated by the CPU.  It also clogs the fan which is trying its best to keep things cool.  If you have pets or happen to be a smoker, keeping the chassis clean is even more important.

You’ll need a can of compressed air to do this.  Remove the cover from the side of your desktop case and get rid of as much dust as you can.  Make sure you blow air on the fans – the one on the outside of your box, as well as the fan on your graphics card.  You may be stirring up a lot of dust, so having a vacuum or dust buster handy is good, to make sure the dust doesn’t resettle back into your computer box.

Next, get a small bottle of mechanical oil lubricant – it can be 3-in-1 oil or something like WD-40.  Put a drop at the center of the fans on the back, to keep them moving smoothly.

It’s easy to get junk on your monitors, whether it’s dust, fingerprints, or something else that gets it dirty.  Use the can of compressed air to get rid of the dust that will blow away.  Next, you’ll want to use a dust-free cloth to wipe the monitor, using a cleaning solution.  You have a couple of options when choosing a cleaner – you can use a product called Audiovox Surface, which comes with a microfiber cloth and a large 200ml bottle of the screen cleaner.  You can also make your own screen cleaner, putting 1 part distilled water and 1 part white vinegar into a misting bottle.  Just spray some on the cloth and wipe carefully.