Building a PC is only half the battle. The real work starts when you have to maintain your PC on a regular basis to ensure it lasts you a long time. It may seem like a lot of work, but taking the time to perform regular maintenance is something every PC builder should do – otherwise, your PC could potentially overheat due to blocked airflow or lead to a multitude of other problems.
Assemble your tools
There’s more than one way to clean a PC but there are only a few tools you’ll need to get the job done. And no matter how many different cleaning methods you try, you’ll probably find yourself returning to these items on a regular basis. Be sure to stock up on them and always have them handy.
- compressed air can
- microfiber cloth
- rubbing alcohol
Prepare your PC
Before you start to clean your PC, turn it off and unplug everything. You should also find a secure area outside (not indoors) where you can blow dust and not worry about making a mess. Once you have your PC in a safe spot, you can start cleaning all the dirt that’s slowly causing damage to your PC’s hardware.
Start on the inside
Remove all the panels and dust filters and wipe down the inside of the case with a microfiber cloth. This may seem counterintuitive if you have compressed air but it’s the only way to guarantee you don’t blow debris somewhere it shouldn’t go. Once you give everything a good wipe, blow compressed air on the motherboard, graphics card, memory, storage drives, and anything else connected to your PC.
The devil is in the details
The inside of your PC will look a lot cleaner after a quick wipe down and spray of air, but there’s always dust particles hiding in tough to reach spaces. This is where you dampen a Q-tip with rubbing alcohol and swipe away in all the areas you can’t reach with your hands. Pay close attention to sections like the GPU fan and expansion slots which are prone to attracting dust.
Finish the outside
After making sure the inside of the PC is spotless, give the dust filters a blast of air until they look like new and connect them to your case again. Next, put all the side panels back on and wipe them down with a microfiber cloth to avoid making any scratches. You should avoid using cleaning solutions because they can damage the case paint, so keep that in mind if you need to remove any stubborn stains you can’t clean with water.
Don’t forget to clean your PC on a regular basis
Now that your PC is like new, you can admire it (or show it off) while you play video games. How often you need to clean your PC will depend on the environment it’s stored in but you should aim for at least a once-a-month touch up. And if you do take the time to do this, you’ll never have to worry about your PC turning into a mushroom field.