Cleaning your computer can sometimes improve its performance in addition to making it look better. One example would be cleaning the dust that builds up around the fans designed to move hot air out of your computer’s case. Cleaning up some of this dust can improve air circulation inside your computer and help cool components such as the processor and the hard drives. This can help prolong the life of these components, or at the very least prevent overheating related lockups and crashes.

To clean the dust that builds up on your case, you should use a can of compressed air, which can be purchased at any office supply store. Compressed air is also good for blowing out food and other buildup from the inside of your keyboard. Just turn it over and give it a few bursts of air.

Cleaning your computer monitor can help reduce eye strain. The correct way to clean your monitor depends on the type of monitor you have. Regardless of what type of monitor you have, you should never spray cleaning liquid directly onto it. Instead, you should first spray the cleaning solution onto a soft cloth and use the cloth to wipe the screen surface. CRT monitors require less care when they are cleaned. You can clean a CRT monitor the same way you clean your TV, using a soft cloth that has been moistened with water or glass cleaner.

LCD monitors (flat panels) and laptop screens require more care because they are softer and more susceptible to scratches. Use a soft dry cotton cloth to remove fingerprints and smudges from the screen. If this does not completely remove the dirt and splotches, use a small amount of isopropyl alcohol on a cleaning cloth that has been dampened with water. You should not use paper towels on an LCD screen as they can scratch the screen. You should also not use ammonia-based cleaners, or strong cleaners which can cause the surface to yellow and become brittle. Special LCD cleaning cloths are also available at office supply stores. The best cleaning method is to stroke the cloth across the display in one direction, moving from the top of the display to the bottom. Make sure not to press too hard on the LCD screen, as this can damage some of the pixels.

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