How to Clean a Laptop

All computers get dirty over time. However, laptops tend to need cleaning more often because of how they are handled. Particularly if you frequently travel with your laptop, you probably want to clean it at least once a month. A buildup of dirt and grime, particularly on the screen and the keys, can impair your laptop’s functioning. Always make sure you shut down your laptop and disconnect it from any power source before you start cleaning it. If possible, you should also remove the battery.[1]
EditWiping the Screen
Clear surface dust with a microfiber cloth. Fold the cloth and rub it gently across the full width of your screen, back and forth. You may want to brace the screen with your other hand so it doesn’t move while you’re cleaning it.[2]
Don’t press hard into the screen or try to scratch off stubborn spots – you could damage your screen. Use only the lightest pressure to wipe off surface dust.

Use a damp sponge for dirt and grime. Wet a clean sponge, then squeeze it out until it is almost dry. Use purified or distilled water rather than tap water, which can leave mineral streaks on your screen. Wipe your screen gently, using light pressure – do not scrub.[3]
You can also use a pre-moistened cleaning wipe. Just make sure it doesn’t contain harsh cleansing agents such as ammonia or bleach, which may damage your screen.

Water can drip into your laptop and damage internal components, so make extra sure you’ve squeezed all excess liquid out.

For particularly stubborn spots, add just a drop of gentle dish soap to the water. If you have a touchscreen, consult your owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to determine what cleaning agents are safe for the finish.

Invest in a screen-cleaning kit for dirtier screens. You can buy screen-cleaning kits online or at any store that sells electronics. These kits include a cleaner specially designed for laptop screens and usually come with their own microfiber cloth. If you have a touchscreen, check to make sure the kit is listed as safe for touchscreens.[4]
Do not use regular glass cleaners, particularly those that contain ammonia, on any laptop screen. They can damage the screen.

Polish in a circular motion to remove streaks. After you’re done cleaning, take your microfiber cloth and gently rub your screen in a circular motion. This will eliminate any streaks or particles the sponge left behind.[5]
Start at a top corner and proceed in tight circles across the top of your screen, then back and forth until you get to the bottom.

EditCleaning the Keyboard
Shake the loose dust out of your keyboard. Get a good grip on the sides of your laptop and turn it upside down with the screen open. Shake the machine gently to dislodge crumbs and larger particles. You may also want to tilt it to one side, then another, to free debris stuck under keys.[6]
If you haven’t cleaned your laptop in a while, or if you regularly eat while using your laptop, shake it over a trashcan to avoid making more of a mess.

If you’ve already cleaned your screen, you may want to give it another wipe-down with your microfiber cloth after you do this. Dust from the keyboard may end up on the screen.

Vacuum loose dust and hair from the keyboard. If you have a small handheld vacuum, use the smallest attachment to vacuum the debris from your keyboard without harming your laptop. Move the attachment slowly across the keyboard, going over each row from the top of the keyboard to the bottom.[7]
You can also use a can of compressed air. However, if you do, tilt your keyboard at an angle so that you’re forcing the dust out of your keyboard. If you blow the compressed air directly into the keyboard, you’ll just blow the dust and debris further inside. This is especially true for MacBook keyboards, which are open to the inside of the machine.[8]

Use a pencil eraser to remove grime from the keycaps. If you look at the keys from an angle, you will be able to see where grime has built up on the keycaps from your fingers. Take your pencil eraser and gently rub to get rid of this build-up.[9]
After you use the pencil eraser, you may want to run the vacuum over the keys again, just to get rid of the stubble the eraser left behind.

Get between keys with a cotton swab. You may find that grime has built up between the keys as well. A cotton swab is small enough to clean these areas. If your keyboard is particularly grimy, dip the cotton swab in rubbing alcohol.[10]
Take care not to get the cotton swab too wet. Don’t press down too hard when you clean – you don’t want the alcohol dripping underneath the keys into your machine.

A cotton swab dipped in alcohol also works for cleaning the tops of the keys, particularly if you have sticky grime that the eraser couldn’t get.

Wipe down the keys with a slightly damp cloth. Use a microfiber cloth dampened with distilled water, or with a disinfecting mixture of equal parts water and rubbing alcohol. Thoroughly squeeze out all excess liquid before using the cloth on your keyboard. Rub lightly over the tops of the keys – do not press them in.[11]
After you’ve used a slightly damp cloth, wipe the keys again with a completely dry cloth to remove all moisture.

Remove keys only if you know how to put them back on. Taking off the keycaps may be the only way to remove all grime captured beneath the keys. This is likely true if you’ve never cleaned your laptop, or if you frequently eat while using your laptop. However, keycaps can be tricky to remove and replace, depending on the design of your machine.[12]
You may want to take a picture of your keyboard before you take the keys off, just so you have a reference for where to put them back on. Once all the keys are off, you may forget the order, especially for function keys.

EditShining the Case
Mix a gentle cleansing solution. Use purified or distilled water and a few drops of gentle dish soap. You can also use a mix of equal parts rubbing alcohol and purified or distilled water. Do not use regular household cleaners for your case, or any harsh chemicals such as bleach or ammonia.[13]
If you use rubbing alcohol, take care not to get any on your laptop’s screen. It can damage the anti-glare and scratch-resistant coatings on the screen.

Dip a sponge into your cleansing solution. Take a clean sponge and soak it in the cleansing solution, then wring it out until it is nearly completely dry. Make sure it no longer drips, even when you squeeze it. Rub the sponge gently over the outside surface of your laptop.[14]
You can use the same sponge and cleansing solution to clean your laptop’s touchpad.

Don’t clean inside ports or vents with the sponge – you risk getting moisture inside your laptop and damaging its components.

Use cotton swabs to clean the gunk out of crevices. If your laptop case has seams and crevices, they may collect dirt and grime. A cotton swab dipped in your cleansing solution can get into these small areas.[15]
As with the sponge, make sure the cotton swab is not too wet. Use light pressure to avoid squeezing moisture into the machine.

Dig out grime with a toothpick if necessary. If narrow crevices, ports, or vents are clogged up with dirt, use a toothpick to gently scrape the case and pull the grime out. Move the toothpick in an outward sweeping motion to avoid shoving grime further up into your machine.[16]
Be gentle with the toothpick to avoid scratching the surface of your case. Hold it at an angle, like you would hold a pencil, rather than bearing down with the point.

Blow debris from ports with compressed air. Angle a can of compressed air so that it is blowing into and out of the port or vent you want to clear. Turn your laptop and blow from multiple angles to make sure you’ve cleaned thoroughly.[17]
Never blow the compressed air directly into the port or vent. This will loosen the debris and send it deep inside your machine, where it could damage components.

Use rubbing alcohol for sticky residue. If you have particularly sticky or grimy spots on your case that can’t be removed with gentle cleaning, use a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol directly on the spot. Make sure the cotton ball isn’t too wet – you don’t want rubbing alcohol running into your machine.[18]
Use moderate pressure, rubbing repeatedly until the spot is gone.

If you previously had stickers on your laptop case, you may have more luck with an oil-based cleansing product, such as Goo Gone.

Polish the surface with a microfiber cloth. Once your case is clean, take your microfiber cloth and wipe the entire case, using a circular motion. This will remove any moisture as well as any streaks your cleaning may have left on the finish of your case.[19]
Once your laptop case is clean, you may notice spots of grime that you didn’t see before. Use a cotton swab or cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol to finish these last spots.

Use a hand sanitizer before touching your laptop to decrease the dirt and grime on the keyboard.[20]
Never spray cleaners directly onto any part of your computer. Spray a cloth or sponge first, then use that to gently clean your computer.[21]
Moisture and electronics do not mix. After cleaning your laptop, make sure every part of it is completely dry before plugging it into a power source or turning it on.[22]
EditThings You’ll Need
Handheld vacuum

Compressed air (optional)

Microfiber cloth

Clean sponge

Cotton swabs/cotton balls

Pencil eraser


Dish soap

Rubbing alcohol

Purified water

EditRelated wikiHows
Clean a Mouse Ball

Maintain Your Computer

Save a Laptop from Liquid Damage

Easily Fix a Keyboard on Windows Vista

EditSources and Citations
EditQuick Summary
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Today in History for 11th December 2018

Historical Events

1909 – Canadian Football exhibition game played in Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, Hamilton Tigers beat Ottawa Rough Riders, 11-6 before 15,000
1934 – 1935 All-Star Game is assigned to Cleveland
1940 – Russian general Georgy Zhukov warns of German assault
1948 – WMC TV channel 5 in Memphis, Tennessee (NBC) begins broadcasting
1961 – “Please, Mr. Postman” by Marvelettes released
1992 – Nor’easter storm hits NY, doing $ Billion worth of damage

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1676 – Johann Georg Weichenberger, Austrian composer, born in Graz, Austria (d. 1740)
1917 – Dámaso Pérez Prado, Cuban bandleader and musician, born in Matanzas, Cuba (d. 1989)
1919 – Marie Windsor [Emily Marie Bertelson], American actress (The Bounty Hunter, Double Deal), born in Marysvale, Utah (d. 2000)
1927 – John Buscema, American comics artist (d. 2002)
1966 – Gary Dourdan, American actor, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1996 – Hailee Steinfeld, American actress and singer (True Grit, Pitch Perfect), born in Los Angeles, California

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1840 – Emperor Kokaku of Japan (b. 1771)
1942 – Franz C. Schmelkes, Czech-born Chemist who discovered azochloramid (chlorazodin), a disinfectant, dies of a heart attack at 43
1955 – Franz Adolf Syberg, Danish composer, dies at 51
1968 – Nadine Riga, dies of cerebral hemorrhage at 59
2000 – David Lewis, American actor (b. 1916)
2008 – Bettie Page, American pinup model considered the ‘Queen of Pinups’ and the ‘Dark Angel’, dies at 85

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Throw a Football Farther

If you’re a quarterback or an aspiring quarterback, you’ll need to learn how to throw a ball far and accurately. To do so, you’ll need to perfect your basic throwing technique. Once you’ve mastered throwing the ball, you can do specific techniques, like a crow step, to throw the ball further and faster. Regardless of your natural talent, practicing with a partner and exercising the right muscles will help develop your skills and power quickly.

EditUsing the Right Technique
Hold the ball on the threads. Grip the ball with your dominant hand. Put your fingers in between the threads and hold the ball in a position that feels most comfortable for you. Ideally, you’ll want to place your fingers around the 2nd and 5th lace on the back end of the ball. Place your non-dominant hand on the other side of the ball until you’re ready to throw it.[1]
The majority of the ball’s weight should be on the front of your throw.

Leave a little bit of space between your hands and the ball.

Holding the ball at the threads or laces will help you throw a perfect spiral.[2]

Bend your knees slightly and plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Plant your feet firmly on the ground with your toes pointed in front of you and straighten your back. Hold the football in your hands and slightly bend your knees. The majority of your weight should be distributed on your back foot.[3]
Distributing your weight on the back foot allows you to spring off it, which could increase your throwing distance.

Do not hunch over in this position or it could affect your throw.

Push the ball into the throwing position with your lead hand. Use your lead hand to position the ball and bring it back in your dominant hand. Bend your dominant elbow and bring the ball above your shoulder so your arm is in an “L” position at a 90-degree angle.[4]
Don’t bring the ball down or out to the side when setting up your throw.

This step of the throw is called the reach.[5]

Step forward with your lead foot and pull down your lead arm. Your lead foot should be on the same side as your lead hand. Perform an open stride with your lead foot and point your toe in the direction of where you want to throw the ball. Push off with your back foot to gain momentum and power in your throw. As you do this, pull your lead arm down and to your side to add more range of motion to your body.[6]
Keep your lead arm tight against your body.

Your lead foot and chest should be pointed towards the target.

Throw the ball and twist your waist. Extend your arm fully and throw the ball as you rotate your waist into the throw. Your back leg should rotate slightly as you push off it to toss the ball. Keep your shoulder and arm straight so that the throw is accurate.[7]
Bring your lead elbow straight down, not off to the side.

Snap your wrist and follow through with the throw. Snap your wrist as you throw the ball so that your thumb is pointing downward and in front of you as the ball exits your hand. This will rotate the ball as it leaves your hand so that it forms a spiral and goes the maximum distance.[8]
The last finger that should make contact with the ball is your index finger. This will help you throw a spiral.

EditMaximizing Throwing Distance
Tilt back and lean into the pass. Lean slightly at the waist towards your throwing arm to increase the range of motion in the throw. This will cock the ball back, which will make it travel farther as you throw it.[9]
Most of the power from your throw is generated from the legs and hips, so getting a fuller range of motion will cause the ball to travel farther.

Increase your throwing trajectory to throw the ball farther. Slightly elevate your shoulders and aim the ball in a more upward trajectory to get a more distance. This is necessary for plays that require passes over , such as a Hail Mary pass. Remember to have full rotation and extension of your body as the ball leaves your hands.[10]
Throw the ball at a 45-degree angle.

Do not lean forward or tilt forward as this will actually decrease the distance of your throw.

Throw a perfect spiral to maximize your distance. Throwing a spiral will reduce drag on the ball and allows it to go much farther than a tumbling football. The rotation of the ball will also keep the tip of the ball up in the air, which will improve the trajectory for maximum distance.[11]
If you don’t put a spin on the ball as it leaves your hand, there’s a good chance it will tumble in the air.

Use a crow step to build more power in your throw. Step behind your front foot with your back foot so that your legs cross over. Then, step forward with your lead foot and throw the ball. This extra range of motion causes you to step deeper into the throw, which will make it travel a farther distance.[12]
If you are using a crow step, make sure you have enough clear distance in front of you to take 2-3 steps.

EditPerforming Passing Drills
Practice flicking your wrist to achieve a perfect spiral. Practice throwing without holding a ball to perfect the motion of your wrist when throwing a spiral. Throw the ball as you normally would, but concentrate on the downward flick motion of your wrist. Make sure your thumb is pointing down and your index finger is pointed towards your lead thigh as you follow through.[13]
Perform this drill 10-20 times before you warm up with an actual ball.

Use a medicine ball to work out your core. Hold a medicine ball at waist level and rotate your hips to both sides. Repeat this for 10-15 reps for 2-3 sets to strengthen your core, which will increase your throwing distance.[14]
You can also do other exercises like sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts, and push-ups to strengthen your core.

Practice from a stationary position to work on your arm technique. Stand away from your partner and don’t step or move your feet as you throw the ball. This will help you concentrate on your arm technique exclusively and will help build power in your core.[15]
Your lead elbow should be facing the target that you’re passing to.

Throw the ball 10-15 times in this position.

Throw the ball with your back foot in front of your lead foot. Standing in the opposite direction of your normal stance will force you to exaggerate the twisting motion of your midsection when throwing. This will help build your core strength and get you used to the rotation of your waist as you throw.[16]
Toss the ball 10-15 times in this position.

Throw passes while you’re on your knees. Start with your back knee on the ground and your lead leg bent at the knee with your foot planted flat on the ground. Exaggerate the twisting motion of your body as you throw the ball back and forth with your partner. This will work out your core and help you build a full range of motion as you throw.[17]
Switch knees after 10-15 passes and do 10-15 more passes on the other knee.

Practice throwing accurate 40-yard passes. Have a partner stand 40 yards away and throw the ball to them. Focus on accuracy and distance when throwing the ball. If you’re having trouble throwing a ball 40 yards, reduce the distance to 20 yards and try that instead.[18]
If you practice regularly, throwing a football far will come naturally to you.

Practice at least 1-2 hours, 5 days a week. The only way you’ll maximize your distance is to practice and drill nearly every day. College level players can spend up to 40 hours per week practicing. Work on your conditioning, throwing power, and footwork to become a well-rounded player.[19]

EditSources and Citations
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