How to clean your notebook properly

We are going to ask you a question and be honest. When was the last time you cleaned your notebook?

If it’s been a while a study published in 2018 may have you reaching for the bleach. Degree of Bacterial Contamination of Mobile Phone and Computer Keyboard Surfaces and Efficacy of Disinfection with Chlorhexidine Digluconate and Triclosan to Its Reduction sampled 25 keyboards and found 96 percent contained bacteria of some sort. Granted, these keyboards were sampled from a University of Veterinary Medicine and a pharmacy but keyboards are known to be germ magnets.

Now take that keyboard, attach it to a heat source and pack it into a dark bag every day and you can see how a dirty notebook could become more than just an eyesore.

This morning, the folks at ASUS South Africa sent over a guide about how to clean your notebook which we reckon is valuable advice that we ought to share with you. Not only for the reasons above, but to keep your notebook in top shape and looking brand new should you decide to sell it on one day.

First things first, water and soap are not a good idea for your notebook. These can damage components – or destroy the notebook entirely – if they get in the wrong place.

You are going to need a few things that you may not have just laying around the house. Most of the items can be found as part of a computer cleaning kit but if you want an itemised list that follows below.

  • Microfiber cloths (we recommend three),
  • Rubbing alcohol (75% isopropyl alcohol),
  • Soft brush,
  • Cotton swabs,
  • Toothpicks,
  • Compressed air (this can be found at camera and computer stores),

Dust first

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure the notebook is switched off. Then start by dusting off the notebook as much as possible. Using a microfiber cloth, gently wipe down all of your surfaces starting with the display and then working down to the keyboard and touchpad. Use the brush to get between the ventilation grills.

Yes the compressed air to blow out dust from the vents but avoid putting the air directly onto fans. The speed with which the air pushes the fans can damage them so avoid direct blows.

You can also shake your notebook out to try remove some debris from the keyboard, but a bit of compressed air run over it a few times while propped up at an angle should do the trick.

Once you have removed as much dust as possible it’s time to get a fresh cloth and apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol. Remember, it’s easier to add more than it is to take away too much so be conservative. You want the cloth to feel damp, but not soaked.

For the display, use a circular motion and gently rub the display. If you have bits of grime that aren’t coming off, keep rubbing with a circular motion. Don’t be tempted to scrub, this could damage your display.

Once the screen is clean, go over it with a dry cloth.

Use a similar technique to clean your keyboard and touchpad. Depending on the state of your notebook, you may need to run over the exterior more than once.


Once you’ve got the bulk of the grime off start closely examining every centimetre of your notebook. Use the toothpicks to clean up grime and dirt build up from creases where parts meet. You can also check that there isn’t dirt build up around the ports that you use. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol can help you clean these ports rather easily.

Should you feel confident enough to open the back panel of your notebook, the rear of that panel can always use a cleaning but if you want to clean a bit deeper, you may want to book your machine for a specialised cleaning.

Not only will a clean make your notebook look better, if you manage to dislodged dust from the in-take and exhaust vents, your notebook will likely run cooler as well.

[Image – CC BY SA 2.0 Craig Chew-Moulding]


About Author


Related News