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How to get your computer ten times cleaner in just five minutes.
- Minute 1: Turn off the computer and unplug electrical cords. (For a laptop, remove the battery.) Pour a little rubbing alcohol into a bowl, dip in a foam swab (foam won’t leave lint behind like a cotton swab can), and then very carefully run the swab over all speaker holes, cord inputs, vents and any other openings on the monitor; follow up with a dry swab. Barely dampen an eyeglass cloth (or any other soft, lint-free cloth) with water and give the rest of the exterior a once-over. (For stains, add a drop of dish soap to a fresh cloth and rub; use the damp cloth to wipe clean.)
- Minute 2: Wipe the screen from top to bottom with the barely damp cloth. Even if you don’t see crumbs, turn the keyboard upside down over a wastebasket and give it a few gentle shakes—particles may be hiding under the keys. Keep the keyboard upside down, hold a can of compressed air upright with your other hand, and shoot a few bursts in and around the gaps between the keys. This will whisk away dust. (A small paintbrush also does a decent job.)
- Minutes 3 and 4: With a new alcohol-dipped swab, trace the outside of each key. Then swipe the tops of the keys gently with a fresh cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol; there’s no need to press down.