Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tech Tip: Cleaning Your Keyboard and Mouse

Is your keyboard dirty and filled with crumbs?  Does your mouse feel sticky? Don't worry!  Here are a few easy and cost effective ways to solve these problems. First, gather the following items from an office supply store.
  • Rubbing alcohol wipes (preferable fast drying ones)
  • A compressed air can (or air can duster)
  • Lint-free paper towels
Once you are ready to clean, turn off your computer and unplug both the keyboard and the mouse.  To clean the keyboard, you will need the air duster.  There should be a small tube that connects to the end of the can. Connect the tube to the can, and in short bursts, spray in between the keys in a right-to-left motion through each row.  Make sure to spray in the corners of the rows where dirt builds up while dusting.  After you've finished dusting, rub the alcohol wipes around the keys on the top of the keyboard face. Rub the top of the keys also. This is where most of the bacteria are found.  Finally, wipe away any dirt on the keyboard face with the paper towels. To clean the mouse, use alcohol wipes to slowly rub both the top and sides of the mouse. Make sure to also wipe the scroll wheel.  Next turn the mouse over and rub around the center of the mouse.  Dirt in this area can cause the mouse to stick to the mouse pad or desk.  To finish the job, gently rub the optical laser with a paper towel.  Make sure to avoid pressing hard against the laser.  Pressing too hard can cause the laser to incorrectly read the mouse movements, making the mouse difficult to use or even operate. Once you are finished cleaning, plug the mouse and keyboard into your computer.  

By using these tips, you will see a great improvement in the operation of both your keyboard and mouse. Remember to tune in for next month's Tech Tip!