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.

Ensuring your PC stays clean is crucial for its longevity and performance. While tidying up the exterior may seem straightforward, maintaining the internal components requires more caution. Here’s a guide on what not to do when cleaning your PC’s insides:

Don’t Clean While Plugged In

Always unplug your PC before cleaning. Simply shutting it down isn’t enough to ensure safety. Make sure to drain any residual power from the system by pressing the power button and put it on hold for at least 5 seconds to minimize the risk of electrical damage.

Avoid Normal Brushes

While nylon brushes are fine for external parts like cases and fans, they’re a no-go for internal components like graphics cards and motherboards. Electrostatic discharge can wreak havoc on sensitive parts. Invest in anti-static brushes, readily available at hardware stores, to safeguard your system during PCB and component cleaning.

PC Cleaning Mistakes You Should Stop Doing 2

Hands Off the Fan Blades

The fan blades, crucial for cooling, can generate enough electrical discharge to damage components. Refrain from handling them while cleaning your PC. Disconnect any fan cables attached to your system and consider using tape to secure the blades in place during maintenance. Lodging-in a qtip should also work.

Remember to Ground Yourself

Static electricity poses a significant risk to delicate PC components. Before handling or removing any parts for cleaning, ensure that you’re grounded. Wear an anti-static wrist wrap to prevent static discharge. If unavailable, touch the PC case or PSU to ground yourself before proceeding with the cleaning process.

Mind the Thermal Paste

When cleaning components like the CPU or GPU, take care not to disturb the thermal paste. If you’re removing the heatsink for cleaning or maintenance, ensure you have replacement thermal paste on hand. Improper application or upsetting the thermal paste can lead to overheating issues.

Use Compressed Air Wisely (If you do)

Compressed air is a handy tool for removing dust and debris from hard-to-reach places within your PC. However, avoid using it excessively or at high pressure, as this can potentially damage delicate components or cause static buildup. Use short bursts of air and hold fans in place to prevent them from spinning uncontrollably.

Organize Cables

Take the opportunity while cleaning to tidy up cable management inside your PC. Neatly organize cables and secure them away from fans and other moving parts. This not only improves airflow but also reduces the risk of accidental damage or interference with components. It will also makes future cleaning session a whole lot easier.

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Schedule Regular Maintenance

Establish a schedule for routine PC maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Regular cleaning, along with software updates and hardware checks, can help prevent problems before they arise and prolong the lifespan of your PC.

Consider Professional Cleaning

If you’re uncomfortable or uncertain about cleaning your PC yourself, consider taking it to a professional technician or service center for thorough cleaning and maintenance. They have the expertise and specialized tools to clean your PC safely and effectively, plus, you have shop and or service warranty in tow. What is not to like aside from the possible cost?

By incorporating these tips into your PC cleaning routine, you can ensure that your system remains in top condition for years to come. Cleaning your PC is not really that hard if you think about it, yet it is easy to mess up. 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 if things went south.

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