Of interest: this brief article from Steve Bass of PC World, with tips for extending the life of your computer, which includes a link to his column "Top Tips for a Cleaner, Faster Computer."

De-Schmutz the Keyboard
My keyboard's always catching dust, bread crumbs, and unidentifiable schmutz. To get rid of all this stuff I take it outside and blast it with a can of air. I have an Avant Stellar keyboard and it has four screws on the bottom. I remove the screws, detach the keyboard from the case, and use the air can there, too. You might want to try this if you have the courage--and the handyman skills. I also use a tissue and rubbing alcohol to remove the grime that builds up on the keys.

For more ideas, read Stan Miastkowski's excellent step-by-step, "Keep a Clean Keyboard."

I've never done it, but some readers recommend that if you spill beer--or any other liquid--on your keyboard, try popping it into the dishwasher.

While I'm talking about keyboards, here's a good site to tuck away if you ever have trouble removing keys from your keyboard.

Clean the Display
For monitors, you can watch the Digital Duo's "Keep Your Screen Clean."

Me? I follow the advice I found on Lenovo's ThinkPad site:

  • To clean, gently wipe the LCD with a dry, lint-free soft cloth.
  • If a stain remains on the LCD, moisten the cloth with water or a 50-50 mixture of isopropyl alcohol and clean water.
  • Wipe the display with the moist cloth; do not let any liquid drip into the computer.
  • Let the LCD dry before closing the lid.

Additional advice from Steve: