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Clean the inside of a computer

Clean the inside of a computer

Even the most meticulous homeowners probably skip some things in their cleaning routine – bike chains and the iron, for example, are often overlooked. Unless you’re really tech-savvy, you might not have cleaned a computer inside at all. There are really good reasons to clean a computer inside, however, not least because it can help prolong the life of your gadget. If you have a desktop computer, you probably keep it out of sight – but that won’t stop dust getting to it, unfortunately. Let’s take a look at how to clean a computer inside, with a step-by-step guide.

How often to clean a computer inside?

Just like any other element of your home, your computer will be susceptible to household pollutants. If you have a furry friend who sheds a lot of hair, this may mean you have to clean your computer inside more often that those without fur-babies. Furthermore, smoking around your PC will mean that a more frequent cleaning will be beneficial to your machine, every 3-6 months is a good benchmark.

Even if it might seem appealing to hide your PC under a desk on the floor, it will be more susceptible to dust and carpet fibres here. If you can, putting it on the desk or a shelf will help keep it dust-free for longer. If you follow this advice, a yearly clean is usually enough. However, if your home gets dusty quickly, you might want to do a bi-annual clean instead.

How to clean a computer inside – step by step

If it’s time to clean your desktop PC, follow these steps for a safe way to clean your tech. If you feel in any way uncertain about doing this, then computing shops or IT departments can usually help with this. With the right equipment, this is something that even a technophobe can do, though!

You will need:

  • A screwdriver
  • Compressed air – often sold as ‘dust remover’


  1. Unplug your PC from the power source, and unplug any USB or HDMI connections.
  2. Put the PC on a table so it is stable.
  3. Unscrew the back cover of your PC.
  4. Staying a good few centimetres away from the components themselves, clean the PC using the compressed air in short, sharp blasts.
  5. To keep your PC fan safe, place a clean finger on one of the blades to keep it steady whilst you use the compressed air. Blasts of air that are too strong may damage the fan, so hold it still if you can. Here’s a more detailed article on how to clean the PC fan.

Note: If your PC has a dust filter, this is a good opportunity to clean it.

Things to avoid – cleaning a computer inside

Whilst the steps for cleaning your PC inside are relatively simple, there are also a few things to avoid to ensure that you don’t cause damage to your PC.

  • Don’t use a vacuum cleaner. Although it might be tempting to vacuum up all that dust, this can damage the delicate components of your PC.
  • Don’t blow inside the computer. It might seem tempting to save on the compressed air, but blowing dust away from your PC is risky, because micro-particles of moisture get blown into the PC.
  • Check your warranty. Make sure that the elements you clean don’t involve you voiding your warranty. Elements such as the PSU will often need to be spared by your cleaning, because taking them apart will usually void your warranty.

For heaps more articles on how to clean objects around the house, check out our cleaning section. And while you’re there, don’t forget to sign up to Ask Team Clean for exclusive offers and discounts on your favourite products!