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How to Clean Dust From a Computer Tower/Case

Safety First!

Computer dust is a PC killer! There are many consequences of letting dust build up in a computer tower such as overheating, slow performance and overworked parts. This is why I wrote this article to show you how to clean computer dust.

Though a dusty computer might take a while to clean, in the end, it will be well worth the time. If constantly cleaned (about every two months), your PC should not resort back to its previous filthy state.

Before entering a computer tower to engage in any activity you should ALWAYS discharge the static electricity that builds up on your body, by touching a grounded electrical appliance or by touching anything metallic and then grounding that object. An electrostatic wristband can also be bought from most local computer stores.

Just follow the instructions that come with it. Touching the outside of your tower with it plugged in (three prong plug) but not turned on, will cause the static electricity from your body will travel through the case and out to ground through the ground prong in the plug.

Next, remove all power cords and cables from the back of the case and also switch off the power from your tower. Find a place where you are sure there is no or very limited static electricity or buy an antistatic mat. Now, to open the case. Most cases have screws or clips at the back. If not, carefully inspect your case to find a way in. If still unsuccessful refer to the manual that came with your computer.

Inside the case

Inside the case

The Case

To begin computer dust cleaning you will need a can of compressed air, a lint-free cloth, and some dry q tips. Firstly locate all the fans in your case and using q tips, gently clean the dust off these fans.

DO NOT ALLOW THE FAN BLADES TO SPIN FREELY hold them with a finger or stick a q tip between the blades as they might create a backward voltage which can damage your computer! After properly cleaning the blades, using the can of compressed air (read the instruction on the can) spray off any excess dust. Be sure to spray the dust to the outside of the case. Spray compressed air throughout the tower wherever dust is seen or suspected. Do not hold the compressed air can upside down as this may cause liquid to spray out which would damage PC components!

dusty processor

dusty processor

Power supply that needs cleaning

Power supply that needs cleaning

Most Dusty Main Components

Now search your computer for the processor's heat sink. Pay extra special attention to this area. It is not only the heart of your PC, it also greatly affects the temperature of computer operation. If this temperatures is too high it will decrease the processor's performance. With as little touching as possible, make sure to the best of your ability that this aspect of your computer is clean. This will greatly improve the reliability and lifetime of your processor so take your time.

Spray all areas, it is recommended that you use the extension that comes with most compressed air cans to concentrate air for hard to reach places or to remove stubborn dust particles. Try to touch as little components as possible.

Be sure to send lots of air through the power supply unit since this is another place that accumulates the most dust in the computer case. Spray from inside and outside the tower. You really don't want this part of your computer dirty because if destroyed, the rest of the computer will most of the time go with it! It is also not recommended to use any cleaning agents inside of the case unless instructed otherwise by a professional to use a special cleaning agent made for computers.

mouse undone

mouse undone

Ball Mouse

Computer maintenance also involves the dusting of your mouse.

To clean a ball mouse, turn your mouse upside down and twist the plate that surrounds the mouse ball.

Take out the ball and wash it in some soapy water and then dry it.

Where you removed the ball from, there will be movable bars (most of the time 3 bars). Dust might be rolled up on these bars. It is best to remove dust using tweezers or toothpicks even your fingernails if you have any!

Be gentle as these bars are not the strongest and might slip out of position, trust me I know! If any dust falls into the mouse structure simply turn right side up and tap it on a firm surface.

When finished replace the ball and lock back the plate.

Cleaning the mouse mat often will decrease the amount of dust gathered inside of the mouse.

Clean your mouse and it's mat twice a month.

Computer Monitor Cleaning

The two types of monitors are CRT and LCD and LED.

CRT - Cathode Ray Tube.

LCD - Liquid Crystal Display.

LED - Light Emitting Diode.


To clean a CRT you will need a lint-free cloth or soft paper towels and some of you normal window cleaner. DO NOT spray on window cleaner directly on to the CRT! The window cleaner will run down into the groves at the bottom of your screen.

Instead, spray a little of the window cleaner onto the lint-free cloth or tissue and wipe the screen.

A CRT may be recognized if it has a long back as opposed to the short back of an LCD.


Cleaning an LCD/LED is a much more delicate task.

Do not use any chemicals while cleaning an LCD/LED. Simply use a lint-free cloth and very gently 'buff' your screen. If after this and your screen is still dirty add a little water to the lint-free cloth and pass it over the screen GENTLY.

Computer case after cleaning

Computer case after cleaning

Slow Down Dust Gathering

You can now clean the outside of your case including the parts unscrewed, using compressed air and a cloth. The cables that were removed from the case should also be disinfected. Lightly dampen a cloth with diluted cleaning solution and gently but firmly pull cables through the cloth or pull the cloth over the cables. Too tight a grip may damage cables!

Now your case could be set up and cables plugged in (cables should NOT contain traces of water).

To keep your computer cleaning frequency to a minimum you should keep the room in which the computer is stored as dust free or as clean as possible. Also avoid placing the case on the ground as it can suck in dust very easily via fans, thus creating a dirty PC much quicker than if supported above the ground. About three inches above the ground is satisfactory height. There are also dust covers that can be bought for computer towers and monitors. You can view your computer's temperatures using real-time free software such as SpeedFan. If your CPU temperature is constantly above 60 degrees after performing computer dust cleaning you have a serious overheating problem. Consider buying a new processor fan/heatsink or reapplying thermal paste.


Joy56 on April 17, 2011:

some really good advice thanks a lot

easyguyevo (author) from Barbados on December 15, 2010:

Thanks for the comment and **Have a Merry Christmas**

hotheadtech from New Jersey on December 15, 2010:

Really cool post. These tips are super important!

Lloyd Christmas on October 26, 2010:

Great tips.

easyguyevo (author) from Barbados on September 04, 2010:

Glad to help

easyguyevo (author) from Barbados on August 24, 2010:

Well that happens, glad to fill you in!

Gymfroggy from United Kingdom on August 24, 2010:

I have been using PC's for over a decade now and there are some tips in here I still didn't know. Thanks for the great Hub easyguyevo!

easyguyevo (author) from Barbados on August 23, 2010:

Yea, I mentioned that.

karmaloop on August 23, 2010:

Clean your room/house. A dusty room will lead to a dusty computer.

easyguyevo (author) from Barbados on August 20, 2010:

Cool, thanks for the comment.

TroyM on August 20, 2010:

GOod tips. I use an air spray can cleaner, pretty cheap if you buy 3, from Officemax, think it was.

easyguyevo (author) from Barbados on August 20, 2010:

Thanks nbbatt from bear, de, 19701 on August 20, 2010:

I ever see same topic before. it is better, simple and practical. thanks a lot.

easyguyevo (author) from Barbados on August 19, 2010:

Thanks for the comment gunobati

gunobati from Bangladesh on August 19, 2010:

Thanks, I think its useful for all

easyguyevo (author) from Barbados on July 28, 2010:

Thanks for the comment mathslover. I am happy to have helped.

mathslover from Barbados on July 28, 2010:

Thanks for sharing this hub, it was just what i needed for my pc.

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