Since the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic started, businesses around the globe have shifted to a work from home (WFH) setup. For a lot of employees and small- to medium-sized business (SMB) owners such as yourself, major adjustments had to be made. Some of these adjustments include how to collaborate with staff and employees, and how to ensure productivity is maintained even in a WFH setting.
However, one thing you and your employees should also keep in mind is PC maintenance. Without regular maintenance, PCs can overheat and eventually crash, preventing you and your team from accomplishing important tasks.
Heat and moisture
Without regular PC maintenance, dust and dirt can clog up cooling fans and vents, preventing cool air from circulating properly and thereby causing overheating. Moisture, on the other hand, can corrode metal contacts and wires inside your PC. Both dirt and moisture can cause your device to eventually crash, preventing you and your team from accomplishing important tasks. These are the reasons why PCs should be cleaned regularly.
Cleaning your PC
The first and most important step before cleaning or doing any maintenance work on your PC is to turn it off and unplug it. Doing so will help prevent injuries caused by electric shocks. In addition, avoid directly applying cleaning liquid to any of the internal components. The ideal method is to lightly spray a piece of lint-free cloth with cleaning liquid and use the cloth to wipe the PC.
To clean your mouse, you will need:
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Cotton swabs
- A clean, lint-free cloth
- Unplug the mouse from the PC. This will help prevent the mouse from shorting if you accidentally spill any liquid on it. Doing this will also eliminate the risk of shocks. If you're using a wireless mouse, remove the battery before proceeding.
- Wipe the whole mouse using a clean, lint-free cloth to remove dust and grime from the exterior.
- Use a toothpick to remove any remaining grime stuck in the crevices of the mouse's body. Do the same for the underside of the mouse.
- Apply some isopropyl alcohol on a cotton swab and gently wipe the mouse’s sensor. Be careful not to apply too much force, as this can damage the sensor.
- Check the user manual of the mouse to see how to open it. Once you’ve opened the mouse, apply isopropyl alcohol on a fresh cotton swab and gently wipe the inside of the mouse. Reassemble the mouse once you're done.
When dust, grime, and other particles gather between the keys of your keyboard, typing can turn into a chore. Keys that don't respond or get stuck can affect your employees’ productivity.
Here’s what you’ll need to keep your keyboard nice and clean:
- Microfiber cloth
- Cotton swabs or soft toothbrush
- Compressed air (optional)
- Wipe the keyboard using a slightly damp microfiber cloth.
- Use a damp cotton swab or a dry, soft toothbrush to remove grime from hard-to-reach places.
- To get rid of dust and food particles from your keyboard, turn it upside down and gently shake or tap it to dislodge any debris. If you have a can of compressed air, you can use that as well.
The monitor case can be cleaned using lint-free or microfiber cloth. Just avoid pushing dirt into the vents. Check the monitor’s user manual to see what you can use to clean the screen. Many monitor screens can be cleaned with standard glass cleaner.
#4 PC case
Using a few drops of mild cleaning solution on a lint-free cloth, gently wipe the case. Focus on clearing the ventilation ports of any obstructions such as dust or grime. A great alternative is using compressed air to clean the case. Just make sure you're not blowing the dust into the PC.
#5 Inside your PC
Before cleaning the internal part of your PC, it's important to unplug it first. You should also make sure you're grounded to avoid damaging the inner components with static electricity. Using a grounding wrist strap is the best way to do this, but if you and your employees don't have any, you can touch household items such as a lamp, water pipe, or other electrical devices that are grounded.
Compressed air cans are the best option for cleaning the internal components of a PC because they can effectively loosen dust, dirt, and any particles that may have collected inside. If you don't have compressed air cans, a good alternative is using a soft paint or blush brush and a portable vacuum cleaner. The brush can safely dislodge any debris, and you can use the vacuum to gather them all up. Make sure the vacuum has a plastic tip to prevent static electricity damage.
Bonus tip: The hard drive
Windows 10 comes with diagnostic tools that can help monitor the overall health of a hard drive. On the Task Bar click on File Explorer > This PC > Devices and Drives. You should see a list of all your available drives.
Right-click on the main drive or Drive C: and choose Properties.
Under the Properties option, you'll see tabs such as General, Tools, Hardware, Sharing, and more. Click on the Tools tab and you'll find the options to defragment your hard drive or check it for errors. The defragmentation tool will optimize your PC's drives and make them run more efficiently. The error checking tool can help identify system errors and any physical damage to your drives.
These PC maintenance tips should be done at least once a month to ensure optimum performance. But if you find the task too daunting, you can have a managed IT services provider (MSP) such as Complete Document Solutions do it for you. Our expertly trained technicians will make sure your team's PCs are all in perfect condition. If you want to know more about what an MSP can do for you, download our free eBook today.