Did you know dust and dirt can cause your gaming PC to slow down? You see, if dust builds up and starts to cake up your components, it can cause your gaming PC to heat up quickly. This slows down its process and affects its overall performance. This is why it is important to regularly clean your gaming PC. It does not only improve the lifespan of your unit but also improves its performance.
Here is a guide on how to clean a gaming PC:
1 – Set up the cleaning area.
Make sure to find an area where you can clean your gaming PC. There shouldn’t be anything that can cause friction that can damage your main components. Also, note you will need to set up an area where you can blow the dust without any worries. Find a table where you can set up your gaming PC without setting it on the ground.
2 – Shut down your gaming PC and disconnect all cables.
Shut down your unit and plug it off. Also, switch off the power supply at the back of your unit. Carefully disconnect all the cables on the back of your unit, which includes the following:
- Monitor cable
- Keyboard cable
- Speaker cables
- Ethernet cables
- USB cables
- Power supply cable
3 – Remove the side panel of your gaming PC’s case.
Place your gaming PC on your table. Take note that the connectors on the back of your unit are lying closest to the surface. Make sure that you are removing the right side of the panel. Remove any screws that hold the panel in its place. Modern cases, though, have thumbscrews that can be removed without any tools. Once you have undone the screws, set them aside in a safe place so you don’t lose them.
4 – Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the dust.
Depending on how long it has been since your unit has been cleaned, you may be greeted with inner components filled with dust. If it’s worse, the components inside your unit might be covered in a fine layer of gray dust. Use a vacuum to clean the dust from each component and crevice to clean this. Be careful when vacuuming the components as you move across the interior. Remember that each component is fragile, and one wrong move can render them useless.
5 – Use compressed air to blow dust from crevices.
Get a can of compressed air and use it to blow out the dust from hard-to-reach areas inside your unit. You can then use the vacuum again to reduce the amount of dust that scatters around. Another thing to take note of is to not blow your compressed air on your fans. Blowing can make your unit fans spin faster than they designed to, which can damage them in the process.
6 – Remove each component for individual cleaning.
Most of the time, vacuuming and dusting off the components inside your gaming PC is sufficient. However, if it doesn’t, you will need to remove each component from your motherboard to clean them individually. When removing the components, make sure to place them on an anti-static surface. Below are tips on how to clean each component:
- CPU Cooler – Remove your CPU cooler to clean out the cracks in the heat sink. You also need to thoroughly brush the dust out of its fans. Heat sinks attachment differs depending on your CPU model, so make sure to double-check the manuals before removing them. And if you remove the CPU cooler, you will also need to apply a new thermal paste to the CPU before attaching it back to its original place.
- Graphics Card – Remove the graphics card by disconnecting all the cables attached to it, and then remove all of the screws that secure it in place. Once done, you can then release the tab underneath and carefully pull it out. Set the graphics card on a steady surface and use a soft brush to remove any dust particles.
- Hard Drive – Remove any optical drives in your CPU by opening both sides of the case and unscrewing all the screws on each side that keep it in place.
7 – Make sure to clean all the grates on your case.
Once you are done with the components, the next thing you need to clean is your CPU’s case. If your case has grates it in for airflow, you will also need to clean those areas. You can do so by using a can of compressed air to blow out the dust from the inside of the case. You can then remove any outside dust by using a feather duster.
After everything is cleaned, reinstall all the components and set the CPU aside.
8 – Clean all the other hardware.
Once your CPU is okay, the next thing you need to pay attention to is to clean all the other hardware, which includes your keyboard, monitor, and mouse. Here are tips on how to clean each of these items:
- Keyboard – Get your keyboard and use a vacuum by running its tip over the keys. You can press the keys so you can reach all the crevices. Another tip for cleaning your keyboard is by holding it upside down. Run your hand over the keys and shake them to make the debris fall out.
- Mouse – To clean the mouse, use a cloth with a bit of rubbing alcohol and gently scrub its buttons. To clean the crevices between the buttons, you can use a toothpick to pick out any dirt. For its lens, blow the dust and dirt by using compressed air. Remove any remaining dust or dirt by running a cotton swab dipped in alcohol around the lens.
- Monitor – To clean your monitor, use a microfiber cloth to wipe your monitor. Remember not to use any paper towels, facial tissue, or toilet paper when cleaning your monitor. Their surfaces are rough and can damage your monitor. Another tip is to never spray the cleaning solution directly on the screen so it won’t seep inside and damage the monitor.
After each hardware is clean, you can reconnect them to your CPU. Switch on your gaming PC and check if everything is working as it should. If you clean your gaming PC properly, you might even experience an improvement in its performance.