The laptop is an extremely practical companion for work, for watching films on the go or surfing the Internet. Intensive use makes the keyboard and touchpad greasy, and crumbs collect between the keys and the screen. In addition to the surfaces, the interior is also a real magnet for dirt. The compact design of the notebook also makes it difficult to see and access the technical components, so that dust and dirt can settle unhindered in the fan and cooling fins. This causes the laptop to get too hot, lose performance, and become slower and more unstable over time.
In this article, I will talk about how you can clean your laptop thoroughly without using any compressed air. Fingerprints on the screen, crumbs between the keyboard, and a dusty fan: if that reminds you of your laptop, it is high time to clean it up. Cleaning a laptop requires a lot more sensitivity than is the case with a desktop PC. Remember that a laptop is an electronic device, which is why you should be careful with liquids. When cleaning the laptop, always disconnect it from a permanent power supply via the socket. Be extremely careful.
Thoroughly Remove Dust from Your PC
When you remove the dust from the components, the cooling systems regain their actual performance. There are two types of dust, large flakes lying around and fine-grained dust. The dust flakes can be removed with a hand blower or with a vacuum cleaner. Remember to go slow, the air pressure should not cause the fans to move a lot or you will risk of damage.
Removing Large Dust Particles
Turn off your computer so that you don’t damage the fan. Take your computer off the power before you open the housing and use the vacuum cleaner to remove dirt from the inside. This prevents you from accidentally causing a short circuit, which can happen quickly with the vacuum cleaner or sweaty hands. Be sure to keep all screws away to avoid accidentally sucking them up.
Make sure to use a brush attachment for vacuuming. This simplifies the dust removal. The pipe makes it harder to get rid of the dust without driving directly along the surface. This is dangerous because the vacuum cleaner could damage sensitive parts.
Turn your vacuum cleaner on low. Make sure the fan does not spin. Just hold it in place with a wire so that it does not start rotating. Remove the dust from the corners of the bottom of the case.
Tackling the Fine-Grained Dust
When you have removed the coarse dust with the vacuum cleaner, the fine work can begin. To get rid of the fine-grained dust, you should remove the individual components and hard drive cages. The most effective way to remove dust from the circuit boards is with a brush. Ideally, you should get yourself new brushes with soft bristles. When working with this tool, patience and sensitivity are required. Be careful not to accidentally damage smaller components.
Getting Rid of Dust That is Stuck On
A new toothbrush (medium or hard hardness) is well suited for particularly intensive, stubborn dirt on fans and cooling fins. If you do not have one on hand, a brush with hard bristles will also do a good job. Remove the covers and remove the fan so that you can really get to everything. There are a number of case fans that you can use to detach the blades from the drive. If this is the case, soak the dirty wings in warm water with a little washing-up liquid. The deposits can then be removed more easily mechanically. Do not forget to dry everything before installation!
Clean the Processor Cooler
To access the processor cooler, it is best to remove the cooling block. Sometimes you have no choice but to pull out the motherboard. As a result, cleaning takes a little more time (and nerves). You can even reach the hidden dust behind the mainboard.
You should only take the graphics card cooler apart if you know exactly what you are doing and no longer have an active warranty on the PC. Some manufacturers may void the warranty otherwise.
Older graphics cards are equipped with thermal pads. If you remove the cooler, there is a risk of damage. In the worst case, the heat transfer from the video memory chip to the cooler no longer works. There are simply designed heat sinks, including the Radeon HD 5750. With the Geforce GTX 480, the radiator cleaning even works without tools.
Renew Thermal Paste
If you remove the cooler from the processor or from the graphics card, go ahead and replace the old thermal paste with a new, high-quality thermal interface. To do this, first remove the residues of the old paste. Only then you can apply the new heat transfer agent. Don’t apply too much. Otherwise it may leak out of the gaps from the contact pressure of the cooler.
Tidy Up Cable Chaos
Power and data cables are often arranged chaotically. They are connected from the mainboard and the power supply to the individual components in your PC. Sometimes these cables cover the heat sinks, fans suck them in, or they block air circulation. The cable chaos can be brought under control with cable ties. Make sure that your cables are neatly laid out and secure them. They should not be in the way or obstruct air circulation.
Mount the Dust Filter
If you want to keep the cleaning effort easy in the future, there is a simple option: Equip your fans with dust protection filters. They are mounted directly in front of the fans and prevent dust from getting into them. However, you should clean or wash them regularly so that they work reliably.
Depending on the amount of dust, it makes sense to clean your computer every three to six months to ensure that your laptop continues to work efficiently. Getting rid of dust will also help overheating issues on your computer. Remember that if you are a power user, or if you are into gaming , those laptops overheat a lot quicker since they operate a lot more intensely.
Cleaning dust from your laptop without compressed air itself is uncomplicated and low-risk, even for beginners: as long as you switch off the PC before the cleaning action and take off the power and only run the vacuum cleaner on a low level you should be just fine!