Dear Swansea Computer Repairs ,

I’ve heard from  multiple people that it’s a bad idea to clean out the inside of my PC with a vacuum cleaner… but why? I’d like to get to the bottom of things before I accidentally destroy my computer.

Sincerely, Dusty in Dunvant


Dear Dusty,

It is a bad idea to clean the inside of your computer with a vacuum cleaner because vacuuming creates a large static build up that could discharge into the sensitive electronics inside your computer case.

There are specialised vacuum cleaners designed for cleaning out computers and electronic equipment, but given the amount of use a single user would get from such a purchase it’s unlikely this would be an economic option. What we’d recommend, is taking your computer case into a well ventilated area (outside on a sunny day or in your garage is a great place), grounding the case to protect against static discharge and using compressed air to clean the dust off.

If you’re using an air compressor (as opposed to just a can of compressed air from the computer store) make sure to start a good 600mm (24” in real money) or so away from the case and work your way in closer. You want to use just enough air pressure to blast the dust off the surfaces and out of the case without overdoing it and pushing dust into even more difficult to remove places. If you are using a compressed air machine, and not a can, it is probably best to leave the computer in a warm dry location for a few hours. The air from a compressor will contain small trace amounts of water, allow it time to evaporate from the motherboard and other electronics. This borders on paranoid caution, mind you, but better safe than sorry.

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