Guide | PC Cleaning Mistakes You Should Stop Doing

Cleaning your PC is one of the best things you could do to return the favor to your machine. It is a basic task externally speaking, yet not exactly the case if applied to the internal components.It is still easy, but with risks involved if done haphazardly.

After all, a lot of us needs to be reminded that a clean PC is not just about the external appearance. On this guide, we are going to tell you exactly what you should stop doing when it comes to cleaning your internal components.

Cleaning while the PC is still plugged in

This one should be an obvious prerequisite but I’ve seen cases where someone simply did not unplug their PC, hoping that shutting it down is enough for cleaning and or maintenance.

For the love of your components, please unplug your PC and remove the CMOS battery if you are willing to reset the UEFI/BIOS settings. You may even push the power button to make sure the power supply is totally drained. Doing so will mitigate potential electrical damage to your system.

Using normal brushes

Normal brushes which is usually made out of nylon are alright with external and non electrical components such as cases and fans but they are no-no for internal components – especially graphics cards and motherboards where electro-static discharge could mean the very life and death of a component. Using a normal brush while cleaning an internal component is a common mistake I usually see and it has to stop.

Anti-static brushes are the way to go to protect your system from harm. These brushes are cheap, could be found on most hardware stores yet indispensable when cleaning PCBs and other components.

Playing with the fan blades

Cooling fans could generate enough electrical discharge to fry components due to its induction motor. This is applicable to all fans found within your system so don’t play with them while cleaning the PC.

The best practice here is to remove any fan cables plugged onto your system. Putting tape on the blade to keep them in place is also another option.

Forgetting to ground yourself

Don’t forget to ground yourself with an anti-static wrist wrap before cleaning your PC, especially if you’re going to remove the components prior to cleaning. This is to ensure that you wont be a source of static electricity – which is the most common culprit of dead components.

If you don’t have an anti-static wrist wrap, try grounding yourself to your PC via the case or the PSU by touching it for a few seconds. It is that simple, yet also THAT important.

Cleaning your PC is not really that hard if you think about it, yet it is easy to mess up with the mistakes and practices listed above. Now that you know what to avoid the next time you clean your PC, you’ll have more time to think about what to upgrade next – as opposed to what you should replace.

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Leo Bien Durana is the Owner and Chief Editor of TechPorn. A competitive PC gamer with a robust technical background. He usually breaks a lot of stuff though.