How to Clean Dust From a Laptop

by Jonae Fredericks

A laptop that sees a lot of use can easily become overrun with foreign matter, smudges and dust. Cleaning the dust from your laptop is a relatively simple process, but using the proper chemical and other tools is crucial. Everyday isopropyl alcohol is inexpensive and a better choice than expensive store-bought cleaners. Investing in a bottle of isopropyl alcohol and a can of compressed air will keep your laptop looking like new and save your money.

Mix isopropyl alcohol and water in an empty baby-food jar. Fill the jar half-full with the isopropyl alcohol, then fill the remainder with water. This mixture will serve as your cleaning solution for your laptop. Secure the lid on the jar until you are ready to remove the dust from your laptop.

Turn off your computer and unplug it from the wall outlet. Whenever you will be cleaning and dusting your laptop (or any electronic device, for that matter), it must be turned off to protect both you and the machine's precious internal components.

Pour a small amount of the isopropyl cleaning solution on a soft, lint-free cloth to remove dust from your laptop screen. This method of removing dust will also clean any smudges or fingerprints on the screen. Remember that the screen is a very delicate part of a laptop, so be sure to wipe it gently with the cloth.

Spray the entire keyboard area with a can of compressed air, followed by a cotton swab to clean out any dust that has accumulated between the keys. Continue the pattern of spraying the compressed air and wiping with a cotton swab until all of the dust particles are removed. Follow up with a quick wipe with a soft cloth, damped with a small amount of the prepared cleaning solution.

Wipe dust from the outside cover with a soft cloth that has been slightly dampened with the prepared solution. Remove dust from small USB ports, serial ports, jacks and card readers with a dry cotton swab. Follow up with the compressed air to remove any remaining dust.

Clean out the dust from your laptop's CD/DVD drive by opening it and giving it a quick spray with the compressed air. The laptop fan can be freed of dust by also spraying it with the compressed air. When doing so, hold the fan still with a cotton swab to prevent it from over-spinning. If the fan spins to fast, you can damage it.


  • check Dusting off your computer with a soft cloth after every use will help stop dust particles from settling in between the keys. Spraying the overall exterior of your laptop biweekly will also keep it looking as good as new. Compressed air can be found in most stores that sell computers, in the computer-maintenance and accessory aisles.


  • close Never spray any form of liquid directly onto your laptop or screen. Doing so will burn out the components. Do not use ordinary glass cleaner on your laptop. Glass cleaners contain ammonia, which can damage your laptop.

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About the Author

Jonae Fredericks started writing in 2007. She also has a background as a licensed cosmetologist and certified skin-care specialist. Jonae Fredericks is a certified paraeducator, presently working in the public education system.

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