You wash your hands for 20 secs, use sanitizer after touching things in public spaces, and clean your laptop…never? Turns out, illness-inducing germs are partying on your PC. Cold and flu season is in full swing, and viruses can stay active on hard surfaces for a few days, turning your most-handled tech into a superspreader event (even if you’re the only one tapping the keyboard). Beat bacteria at its own game and clean your comp the right way (teensy too much liquid = laptop killer) with tips from Joe Silverman, founder of New York Computer Help.
1. Turn off your laptop and remove the charger to avoid power surges. Let it cool for three to five minutes.
2. If you have a can of compressed air (available at Staples, hardware stores, Amazon), spray that between keys to blast away mold-causing crumbs.
3. Put a super tiny amount of isopropyl alcohol on a microfiber cloth. (Got none? Water works!)
4. Wipe your keyboard carefully, avoiding the power button and open vents, like the fan, speakers, and USB ports. Ditto for your trackpad—just a drop will do.
5. To squeegee your screen, dab a little water on a very soft microfiber cloth, and wipe. Do not use Windex—it’s too harsh.
6. Repeat once a week to once a month, depending on frequency of use. —Lindsay Geller