All computers require cleaning, and laptops require more cleaning than desktops. That’s because you end up handling a laptop more than you do a normal computer. 

Here’s how to clean your laptop case, screen, and keyboard.


For maintaining your laptop case you will need a household sponge, dishwashing detergent, water, lint-free cloth, and cotton swabs. Gather them together and follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the laptop.
  2. Unplug the laptop.

Remember electrical current and liquid really don’t mix.

  1. Mix the cleaning liquid.

One part dishwashing detergent with five parts water.

  1. Soak the sponge in the cleaning liquid.
  2. Wring out the sponge until it’s dry.
  3. Gently wipe down the laptop’s case.

The laptop case is the outside. We’ll get to the keyboard and screen later. You can use the sponge and swabs to clean the touch pad though.

  1. Use the swab to get the nooks and crannies.

You can use the standard Q-tip, but medical swabs are better made and wrapped a little tighter. Medical swabs can be found at any pharmacy.

Do not insert the swab into any ports, jacks, or holes on the laptop.

  1. Finish the job by wiping the case again with the lint-free cloth.

Use the cloth to sop up any excess moisture.

  • Never spill any liquid inside the laptop!
  • Isopropyl, or “rubbing,” alcohol makes a good cleaning liquid. Do not use it to clean the monitor.
  • Avoid using any detergent that contains strong chemicals, such as ammonia or bleach.


When you feel like cleaning the laptop screen, you have three options:

Use a lint-free cloth to dry-clean the screen. All laptops use LCD monitors. These monitors are very fussy about liquids. A lint-free cloth gets the dust off and removes finger smudges.

Use a damp sponge to wipe the screen. Use only water to make the sponge damp. Wring out all the moisture from the sponge before you wipe the screen. Rub gently, lovingly.

Get an LCD monitor cleaning kit. By getting a cleaning kit, perhaps the best option, you receive a lint-free cloth as well as a package containing a damp towelette moistened with the official LCD monitor-cleaning solution.

Turn off and unplug the laptop, before cleaning the monitor. After the screen is clean, let it dry before you close the lid or use the laptop again.

  • Never use alcohol or ammonia cleaners on an LCD screen. They can damage the LCD display so that the image becomes unreadable. Further, if you have a Tablet PC, the screen’s ability to detect input is greatly diminished by the use of harsh chemicals.


To clean the key caps, turn off the laptop and then use a pencil eraser to rub off the crud and buildup. Afterward, use the vacuum again to clean out any eraser stubble between the keys.


Some people use canned compressed air to clean a keyboard. While the air may clear away the debris, it may also blow it deeper into the laptop. After the gunk is inside, there’s no way to clean it out.

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