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Is your laptop a filthy mess? Here’s how to clean it the right way

Is your laptop a filthy mess? Here’s how to clean it the right way
Jan Sommer | Dreamstime.com

Like any tool we use on a daily basis, our laptops can quickly accumulate grime, dust, and oils from our skin. Upon reading this you are probably realizing just how overdue your MacBook may be for a cleaning. Notice any dirt or grime on your keyboard? Or that circle of oil on your trackpad? It's time for a cleaning!

Now cleaning your laptop may seem like a daunting task but don't let that hinder you. After all, having a freshly cleaned device may help you fall in love with your five-year-old MacBook all over again. It is also useful to know how to properly clean laptops if you buy or sell used computers since the previous owners don't always leave their laptops in the best condition.

Ready to begin? Keep reading below for our tips and tricks for making your laptop look as good as new.

Step one: Gather your supplies

You don't need any fancy, overpriced cleaners to give your laptop a well-deserved makeover. In fact, you may already have the necessary tools at your home. We recommend using simple supplies like cotton swabs, rubbing alcohol, microfiber cloths, and pressurized air.

Step two: Start from the inside

While it may be tempting to start with the keyboard or screen, cleaning experts insist on starting with the inside of your laptop. You can use a can of compressed air (like the one below) to clean out any crumbs, dust, or pet hair that may have become lodged inside your laptop.


Begin by taking the can of compressed air and blowing quick bursts of air into the keyboard, USB ports, and vents. Avoid long sprays, as the air can cause moisture to accumulate inside your device, which may cause damage to the fans.

As long as you do not see any dust bunnies in the vents of your laptop, there shouldn't be a need to open up your device. If you are a smoker or you have pets, you may want to clean the inside of your laptop more often since you are more likely to see a much quicker build-up of smoke, hair, and dust. If you're worried that your laptop reeks of cigarette smoke or other foul odors, you can use kitty litter to rid your device of those unwanted smells.

Just seal your laptop in a bag with a cup of kitty litter for 24-48 hours. Most kitty litter formulas have active charcoal as one of their main ingredients and the charcoal acts as an odor eliminator. If you're feeling brave, you can also take your computer apart and clean off the board with isopropyl alcohol, as this may also help neutralize any unwanted smells.

Step three: Tackle the outside

Once you have successfully rid the inside of your laptop of dust and other particles, it is time to clean the outside of your device. The first rule of thumb to follow when cleaning any electronic device is to avoid spraying any sort of chemical directly onto the surface.

Instead, spray rubbing alcohol onto a microfiber cloth, wring any excess solution from the cloth, and then use the cloth to wipe the exterior of your laptop. We recommend this cleaning kit. You can also use cotton swabs moistened with rubbing alcohol to clean around the keys of your keyboard.

If there are any spots on your laptop that are hard to remove, cleaning experts suggest using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser; however, these should be used sparingly because they are very abrasive and may remove the natural finish of your device. You should also avoid using any household cleaners containing ammonia or alkaline. This means no Windex on the laptop screen despite how tempting that may be!

And there you have it folks, just follow these simple steps and you can rekindle the love for your old laptop in no time! If you don't have the necessary cleaning tools at home be sure to check out the Electronic Cleaning Kit in Komando Shop. Happy cleaning!

Sluggish Mac? This free app speeds things up. 

Now that you have made your MacBook look brand new, it's time for your Mac to run like new too! 

Tap or click here to learn more about this free app that can make your Macbook run faster!

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