How Often should you clean a computer?

So how often should you clean a computer on the inside? There really isn’t a time frame that is best for cleaning a computer but there can be a schedule to follow and regularly do a monthly maintenance. This can be the guide to show how often a computer should be cleaned.*

It could help prevent the computer from having a build-up of dust or lint. Having a set schedule will bring to light the aspect of being consistent and really hammer down on giving a computer the longevity of a few years maybe even more. Let me show you how we do this beginning with ways I approach cleaning my computer!

A general rule to follow would be cleaning your computer monthly. However, we lack the time or will to follow through with cleaning the computer that consistently. Over time I have learned it is almost best to not clean it monthly and instead do different kinds of cleanings to really take care of your computer. Let me show you some ways I found can help keep your computer clean.

Here is a perfect example of a small table I created for you. This is to get better idea on how to follow a set schedule to keep your computer clean.

How Often Computer Cleaning Chart

January Air Dry
February No cleaning
March Air Dry, Lightly Wash
April No cleaning
May Air Dry
June Deep Clean as Needed
July Air Dry, Lightly Wash
August No cleaning
September Cleaning the Essentials by getting the dust build up out of smaller areas like your GPU Fans
October No Cleaning
November Air Dry, Lightly Wash
December Look to spot clean where needed, Optimize cords for better air flow, deep clean if needed

This is a chart designed for a whole year. It shows to clean approximately every 2 months focusing on certain cleaning types. 

This is important because there are certain times where taking apart a computer will not be needed to get rid of dust in addition to this there will be a definite time slot where taking apart a computer will be necessary for getting rid of dust every month. 

So knowing which things to focus on will be a huge advantage and save tons of time when it comes to keeping a computer clean. This also shows cleaning a computer a little more each month depending on the dirtiness value.

It is now noted that there is a vague idea of when to clean which was approximately every 2 months, what are the different kinds of cleaning methods mean? Let’s take a deeper look and have more knowledge on how to clean a computer!

How to Clean The Computer

Cleaning a computer often is crucial to its longevity. It definitely increases the lifespan by a few years. There are however a few tricks that will help everyone in not only clean a computer but also save some time. Here are a few ways to approach cleaning a computer:

  1. Deep Clean
  2. Quick Clean
  3. Air Dry
  4. The Essentials
  5. Lightly Wash 

These are a few ways that can really clean a computer. So let’s dive into each one to better understand each approach to cleaning a computer.

How Often Should You Deep Clean The Computer

how often you should be deep cleaning your computer

This sounds pretty obvious but the first way to clean a computer is by deep cleaning it. This includes:

  • Opening up the case and cleaning the inside
  • Cleaning certain parts such as graphics card, heat sink, power supply while the computer is OFF
  • Air drying by using dust off to get the dust out of important areas like the graphics card fans
  • Lightly Washing the dust by using a damp paper towel 
  • Taking apart the computer to get into the small crevices that you couldn’t normally get too
  • Finally, organizing your cords to help promote air flow to reduce heat on the inside of the computer

All of the above will really give the computer the best cleaning service anyone could ask for. Just remember, most of these techniques should only be used when a computer is OFF and UNPLUGGED. Things could get nasty if not! So that is Deep Cleaning the computer, let’s see the next type of way to can clean a computer.

How Often Should You Quick Clean The Computer

The next type of cleaning method is a Quick Clean. This will be similar to Air Drying which I will talk about shortly. Quick Cleans include:

  • A quick once over with damp paper towel to get the dust
  • Getting the dust off the outside of the case
  • Using dust off to get the fans clean and dust free to reduce heat and strain
  • Finally using dust off to get your power supply free of dust

The main difference between a Quick Clean and Air Dry is mainly the quick once over with a damp towel to get rid of any excess of dust that might be left over. The problem with Air Dry is just pushing all the dust around. However, there is a solution to this problem which leads me to my next point!

How Often Should you Air Dry a Computer

lightly air drying the inside of your computer to clean it

This method is more focused around a quick dusting of a computer. Without a doubt a computer can get VERY dusty over a short period of time and it’s easy to let it get it go and push down the list things to get done. So here’s how to approach Air Drying on a computer!

  • Focus on dusting the entirety of the inside of computer case
  • Follow up with moving the computer from your original location quickly after dusting
  • Repeat process once or twice

This is a simple way to clean the computer and it will definitely get rid of A LOT of dust. I do this monthly as it is the easiest form of cleaning on my computer. Taking a simple approach can lead to quick results if done consistently. But also keeping a focus can be lucrative as well in this type of method.

How Often Should the Essentials be Cleaned?

This method is kind of an add-on to Air Drying and Quick Cleaning but it’s also keeping a tighter focus on all computer parts. This includes:

  • Graphics card
  • Motherboard
  • Heatsink
  • Power supply
  • Cords 
  • Fans 

For this reason the case is just left out. Why? Well, again just as stated above, keeping a tighter focus on the computer parts. Again, why is this step necessary? To clarify this extra step, it will help reduce the heat buildup in a computer and reduce the amount of strain when it is being used. 

The pro to this method is having the resourcefulness to do this every other month (while also keeping tabs on what parts need to be updated) accompanied by Air Drying to keep the dust build-up from over taking a computer. Remember, Dust is the enemy! There is however a way to deal with dust build up and make sure that it’s not just being pushed around.

Lightly Wash the Computer

lightly washing your computer to clean it

Finally the last method of cleaning your computer is Lightly Washing it. No I don’t mean putting it in the washer! It encompasses:

  • Taking a damp paper towel and wiping the inside and outside of the case
  • Lightly wiping down computer parts
  • Cleaning computer cords
  • Brush over computer fans
  • Then following it all up with dusting the computer using dust off

This will make sure the focus will be on the areas with A LOT of dust. Sometimes it is better to wipe down an area before actually dusting it as again, and not just shoving dust around instead of getting rid of it. It is the same way as cleaning a really dusty desk. Instead of just trying to wipe off the dust, use a damp paper towel to make the dust cling to the paper towel. This way the dust won’t get everywhere! Then follow that up with a quick dusting using dust off. 

Cleaning the Computer too Often

It can be bad when cleaning a computer too often. It can lead to something going wrong from a plug-in breaking to going bad. Having too much of anything is never a good thing, unless its money! But again, the focus should be on mitigating the amount of time spent actually taking apart the computer just to put it back together. Just make sure to stick to a schedule and stay consistent with routine cleanings for any computer!