As we spend more time at our desks or on our laptops, the computers that we interact with all day, every day, can get pretty dirty.
This is true for both the inside and outside of your laptop.
If you’re looking to clean your laptop, you may be tempted to blow the dust off it with your hair dryer.
Using a Hair Dryer to Clean Your Laptop Isn’t the Best Idea:
Using a hair dryer could dislodge the larger pieces of dust off your laptop, but you risk overheating your computer parts, even with the “cool setting.” Compressed air is your best tool, and other options work better than a hair dryer, like wipes for your screen and electronics.
What is the Best Way To Blow Clean a Laptop?
The gold standard of air-based laptop cleaning is a simple can of compressed air.
It’s not actually “air,” as such. It’s mostly nitrogen and other harmless gasses that react well to being put under pressure.
They’re on average under pressures around 40 to 70 pounds per square inch, and they’re made specifically to create a highly concentrated stream of air designed to remove dust from electronics.
Usually, these cans feature a long nozzle and trigger mechanism.
They’re not overly expensive, and they’re available at a lot of brick-and-mortar and online retailers. However, they don’t last very long, and some other options are more economically and environmentally friendly.
Should You Use Hot or Cold Air to Clean Your Laptop?
As mentioned above, the most common tool to use when cleaning your laptop or PC is compressed air.
It comes in a can and has a very concentrated spray due to a long nozzle. Since it is under pressure, it cools down rapidly when you depress the mechanism to release it.
The can may also feel extremely cold if you use it for a long time, so you may have to take breaks to allow the can to return to a comfortable temperature.
Make sure not to freeze your laptop with too much cold air.
No Matter What, Use Cold Air
All electronics are fairly delicate, and no matter what you spray at your laptop, you want to ensure it is on the coldest possible setting.
Keeping electronics cool is key to their performance, so don’t ever blow hot air at your laptop. It’s also suggested that you don’t keep a space heater too close to your laptop or plug in on the same outlet.
Can You Use a Hair Dryer to Clean Your Laptop?
It’s not recommended and not the best tool for the job.
If your laptop has a lot of dust or crumbs, it’ll likely come off with a microfiber cloth.
If they’re embedded deeply in the keyboard or other crevices, the hair dryer won’t do much.
Do Hair Dryers Blow Hard Enough To Remove Dirt and Lint in Laptops?
Hair dryers might get some dust and lint off your laptop’s surface, especially if you put on one of the attachments, such as the concentrator nozzle.
However, the dust you’re likely to get off your laptop’s external components with a hair dryer should just be wiped away.
Can A Hair Dryer Ruin Your Laptop?
Especially if they accidentally flip to the hot setting or heat up with prolonged use.
There is also a risk of static electricity building up from the hair dryer, which could damage the laptop’s components.
These risks are further increased if you’re cleaning the internal parts of your laptop. While most people might not think about doing spring cleaning on their motherboard, it can increase the lifespan of your laptop and is a great habit to get into.
So if it’s time for your twice-yearly laptop cleaning and you find yourself without compressed air, a hair dryer shouldn’t be your go-to. There are plenty of other options.
Compressed Air Unavailable?
With supply chain issues being what they are, there’s always a risk that certain items will face shortages.
If you want to clean your computer and can’t get your hands on a can of the good stuff, what options do you have besides your hair dryer?
Electric Can of Air
This little device looks a lot like a hair dryer, but it’s made to be safe for all of your laptop components.
This is a great alternative to buying cans of compressed air since it’s a one-time purchase. You’ll probably spend at least $50 on it, but over your lifetime and the lifetime of this device, you’ll save money when you compare it to buying the cans all that time.
These usually have various tips so that you can cater the air to specific parts of your computer. They need a power source, so they’re not as portable as a can of compressed air.
The power cords are usually quite generous, and these may be a great option in an office environment or if you have a lot of home electronics that you’ll want to dust off regularly.
However, they’ve also got other uses around the house, and many of them can blow up air mattresses and swim floats.
Rubber/Silicon Dust Blower
While you’re not going to get the same compression levels with a hand pump, you can use these handheld devices for much longer than a can of compressed air.
It won’t run out, and in some cases, they cost less than a single can of compressed air.
They feature a nozzle and squeezing the bladder forces air out at a higher pressure than normal. Release and repeat. These work well for the internal and external components of your computer.
Try not to touch the nozzle end, as you may transfer oils from your hands into your laptop components.
New, Clean Makeup Brushes
These are great for gently brushing away crumbs and dirt on your keyboard and in the joints of your computer.
They generally won’t do any damage to those external components. However, they’re not recommended for the internal parts since they could deposit fibers onto the inside.
A brushing motion can also generate static, damaging your computer’s components.
Again, these are only good for the outside.
They’re an excellent way to get dust and fingerprints off your screen. If you find that you’re dealing with a lot of fingerprints, you can use a spray-on screen cleaner.
Use a minimal amount of the spray, and apply it to the microfiber first before wiping your screen.
Err on the side of caution here so that you don’t end up with drips that could seep under your screen and work their way inside.
Things to Remember When Cleaning Your Laptop
It’s always best practice to power down your laptop and unplugs it before you start cleaning.
This helps eliminate some of the risks to your laptop and yourself, and if you’re cleaning your keyboard, it will just be a lot easier.
You won’t accidentally turn on some feature by depressing just the right sequence of keys.
If possible, use items geared towards cleaning laptops instead of DIY alternatives, especially on the internal components.
Outsource the Task
Most of us only take our laptops to a computer store when we experience some problem, but many local computer stores provide cleaning services.
Prices will vary, but it’s a good idea if you consider it analogous to changing your oil.
Regular cleanings will help your computer last much longer, and if you build a relationship with your local store, you can keep an eye on your laptop’s functioning as it starts to age.