Laptops get used everywhere from coffee shops to the bedroom, and no matter how hard you try to keep them clean, they still get dirty. Cleaning your laptop at least once a year--or more often if you travel with it frequently--will keep it running in top shape. Infrequent cleaning can lead to overheating and permanent damage to your computer.
Remove the battery before any cleaning procedure, even if you aren't planning to touch any of the electrical components. Unplugging the power cord and removing the battery will ensure that you can safely clean your laptop.
Wipe the exterior of your laptop with a damp cloth. ComputerHope.com recommends using water to moisten the cloth; however, when a substance is stuck to the case, you can also use a little rubbing alcohol.
Keyboard and Touchpad
Clean the keyboard and touchpad using a damp cloth. Laptop keyboards are much more fragile than desktop keyboards, and they should be treated with care when you clean them. Gently wipe the cloth over the keys to remove excess debris. Some laptop keyboards can also be removed and flushed with compressed air to get rid of debris. Consult the manual to find out whether your keyboard is removable and how to take it out.
When you spill something on your laptop, also use a damp cloth to wipe it up. If liquid spills into the keyboard, immediately shut down the laptop and set it so that the keyboard is facing downward. This will help the liquid drain out of the keyboard tray.
Cleaning Case Openings
Remove dirt with a dust cloth or a cotton swab. You can also remove dust using compressed air. Blow the compressed air away from the inside of the computer to prevent it from getting trapped in the case. When using compressed air be careful not to damage the fan. Holding the fan in place with a toothpick can help prevent damage caused by overblowing.