Remember to Clean Your Computer

Remember to Clean Your Computer

Yessur Yessur, your computer isn’t just a bundle of joy for your computer games, your movies, Internet browsing, 9gag-ing, Facebook-ing (are there such a terms?) and so on so forth. A computer is not without maintenance!

When was the last time you clean your computer? I didn’t clean mine for quite a bit, so I’d like to remind all to CLEAN your computer if you haven’t done it lately.

If your computer isn’t ON that often then the dust accumulation wouldn’t affect you that much. And if you’re using branded computers from brands like say Dell, HP, and various others, I don’t think it’s that much of a problem either.

In my experience, computer users with the fastest rate of dust accumulation would be users such as myself.

The only time I power-down my computer is when I’m doing some upgrade or maintenance, even if I did it once a month it still totals to less than 2 hours (estimated) of down time. And as if being ON nearly 24/7 wasn’t enough, my casings are generally wind-tunnels. My computers often have no less than 3 fans on the casing itself, not counting other fans within the casing.

How bad can the dust accumulation be?

Here’s one example.

Remember to Clean Your Computer

This is the Cooler Master Hyper TX3 heatsink, as you can see the dust accumulation was at such a state that it blocks the airflow almost completely. In such cases, you’ll see a rise in temperature of your processor. My X6 1100T now idles at 41c after cleaning. 🙂

Here’s another example.

Remember to Clean Your Computer

Those are filter fabric placed at the front of my Cooler Master Centurion 590 (product page, for those interested). The accumulation is yet again contributed by the fan.

How To Go About?

Firstly, you need to have some guts to open the casing. It’s not a pleasant sight but someone’s got to do it. After spending your (or someone else’s) hard earned money on this lovely baby, shouldn’t someone (you) make effort to clean it? 😀

Now opening the casing isn’t difficult, you just need to remove the screws that hold the casing panels. In some casings, the panels are cleverly held in place even without using of screws. Just don’t use brute force unless you’re certain.

With the casing removed, you’ll just have to apply some ‘dust logic’ to know where to clean. Dust accumulation are always on upward facing surfaces, dust has weight and they’ll need a place to rest. Dust are also accumulated where air is flowing, in you will find more dust on surfaces near the airflow.

*While graphic card face downwards, the fan is pushing air towards the heatsink, so the heatsink still accumulate dust despite facing downwards.

They key places to look for dust are …….
1. processor heatsink (a.k.a. cooler)
2. graphic card – check the heatsink, and also the surface on the back of the card.
3. hard disk bay – depending on your casing configuration, many people have a fan placed at the front bottom of the casing. Then they also have hard disks placed at that area so that the air-flow cools the hard disk as it enters the casing. You’ll see quite a lot of dust on top of the hard disks.
4. All other surfaces, eg the bottom panel of the casing, the surface of the PSU, the surface of optical drives, and even the cables.

What To Use?

I recommend using a paint brush. Any paint brush will do, they cost less than RM 5 and they can be acquired anywhere.

Here’s what my brush looks like.

Remember to Clean Your Computer

Do I recommend or approve vacuum cleaner as a cleaning tool? No, the fast moving particles have been known to generate static. I’m no expert in this but I personally will stick to brush as you are able to apply force to clean the stubborn collection. Vacuum cleaners can’t do that.

I took precaution to use the vacuum cleaner only when my system is powered down. I would just brush the dust off every other area first and use the vacuum cleaner like the final clean-up tool but even so, I don’t use it every time I do cleaning.

Water? The only component that I actually run water through are my heatsinks. There are dust particles collected on the fins and they’re often hard to reach, so a good spray of high-pressure water and leave it to dry would suffice.

Alway Remember to Clean

HAVE FUN CLEANING! Remember, it’s not fun to have the system power down right in the middle of a good fragging time. 😀

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  1. I can change the head of my vacuum cleaner to a brush. So not only do I get the effects of the brush, I get suction too.

    Would that suffice? Or is that overkill? 🙁

  2. Actually, I would recommend getting better brushes, well, I used to be in the hardware(not PC hardware) wholesale line, these are the worst brushes, the “fur” tend to have a quick fall-off rate. Get those with white “fur”, lasts a lot longer and they are stiffer hence easier to dust off with 1 action =)

  3. Although, instead of a vacuum cleaner, I used compressed air(thru a compressor) to blow from a distance, although, yeah, I have to realise that a vacuum cleaner is much more accessible to normal beings than compressed air.

  4. TBH, as Grexer said, use the the white brush.. it will contribute a lot compared to the black brush… those are low graded ones where after few swipes it will stuck in the equipment itself (like stuck and locked with the screws.. and you will be doomed)…

    For more delicate equipments like Dot matrix printer, i would recommend white ones as black ones… will tend to drop, and stucked @ printheads or worse the Belt rings and causes more troubles…

    for the heatsnks *mine is N620 CM* after few swipes i just use my lovely air duster to spray it hard while opening the windows pointing the cooler out of the window, and it’s all sparkling clean~

    other places wise.. i don’t really bother >.<

    with more dusts = less heat dissipated = more power generated *fan motor turning higher* = more noise…

    when spin hard = sudden high amount of heat coming out = your aircond doing extra works depending on the aircond = more electric bills…

    by cleaning your PC, you are making your Room lesser dusts = more healthy to stay~

    overall you are making yourself happy, your bills happy, your PC spinning leeser = higher lifespan = everything is better except a little water and time wasted 😀

    best is to install "filters" on front fans , top fans and side fans and that will reduce a lot of dusts going in.. just make sure you clean the filters like weekly basis.. or if lazy = monthly basis 😀

  5. You must be careful the wear a face mask and surgical gloves when cleaning dust from PCs. The dust harbors large numbers of organisms including some pathological ones that can cause respiratory infections including pneumonia.

    If PC cases were designed properly there would not be an internal dust problem at all. Cases should have positive air pressure. This technique was used 30 years ago to keep dust out of disk drive systems.

  6. Hi Gold Fries, I do PC cleaning regularly, like twice a month, I use ear buds to slowly clean each parts. However, I recently know that there is a thing call compressed air can. My question is, why didn’t you invest something like that since u use ur PC a lot and from all your review, you invest quite a lot in hardwares…

    Thanks for all those awesome reviews anyway 🙂

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