Annual Computer Dust Cleanout

Summer is here and its time to shave off the fuzzy grey dust which has accumulated on my computer over the past year.

What to use

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Screw driver (if needed to open the case)
  • Compressed air / Air brush

Oldschool vacuum cleaner and a can of compressed air.


Cleaning up the exterior is pretty straight forward. Using the vacuum cleaner with a soft brush tip to gently brush off the dust will clean things up in no time.

The soft brush will flick dust off the surface and prevent scratches from occurring.

Occasionally check to see that dust hasn't clogged up your brush so you're not just smearing dust over other parts of the computer.

Don't forget to clean the back of the case where the cables connect into. If your case sucks in cool air from underneath the case, be sure to check underneath and the dust filters also.



After opening up the case, remember to clean the inside of the case as well as dust also sticks to the inside wall.

Although it is easier to see dust when the case is laying side down on the floor, the can will spit out a bit of fluid if not held upright.

Stand your case upright and prepare the can of compressed air.

The dust will just peel right off whatever you're spraying and into the air, so be sure to use the vacuum cleaner on the opposite side to suck up as much dust as it can.

Compressed air is much more useful for difficult objects such as heatsinks or fans where vacuum cleaner nozzles or toothpicks wont reach. Use quick hard sprays of air from the center of the heatsink push the dust chunks out from the resting place.

Also remember to clean your power supply unit as dust will also clog up the fans in there and cause overheating.

Another place to clean is underneath the video card where the heatsink/fan may reside. Its easy to forget this as its underneath and you can't really see it.

Refer to the picture of the heatsink on how it'll look like if you only used the vacuum cleaner to remove the dust. With the compressed air, just imagine it without dust. Much more quicker and effective than a cotton tip bud or toothpick!

Sorry forgot to take an "after" picture.

My dad's computer which hasn't been cleaned in over 5 years.

*update 16/01/2011*

I managed to recover some photos from a dying memory card which had some photos.

IMG_5233 IMG_5236 IMG_5237 IMG_5239 IMG_5240


Prior to the clean, core temperatures were averaging about 54° C.


Mission success!

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