How to remove dust from your computer cabinet

Dust is a huge problem when it comes to keeping your computer’s temperature under control. You may have invested a large amount in building your PC by opting for the ultimate in high-end PCs, but if you don’t routinely maintain it, the chances of your PC’s performance degrading over time increases increasingly.

Dust buildup in a computer cabinet is a contributing factor to poor thermal performance. It can access the CPU cooler, GPU fans, and I/O inside. This leads to thermal inefficiency, which leads to more heat generation. Therefore, it is necessary to clean your computer every two or three weeks.

A clean, dust-free computer means more life. You definitely wouldn’t want your precious gear to succumb to something like dust, would you? To help you figure out the cleaning part, we have listed some tips and tricks that you can use.

Detailed procedure on how to thoroughly clean your computer locker


Before starting the procedure, make sure you have these things on hand:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (does not contain gel-based sterilizers).
  • blower.
  • can of compressed air.
  • Soft bristle cleaning brush.
  • Matching screw driver.
  • Microfiber cleaning cloths and ear buds.

Keeping everything ready before the procedure will ensure effective and thorough cleaning. This can be hugely beneficial, especially for people who are unfamiliar with this process. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the procedure itself:

1) Remove screws and wires

Remove both side panels to get as much dust out (Image via u/gerechterzorn/Reddit)
Remove both side panels to get as much dust out (Image via u/gerechterzorn/Reddit)

You don’t have to completely disassemble your computer to remove dust. Simply removing the side panel by unscrewing it and removing the cables attached to the back of your cabinet will suffice.

Make sure to keep the screws secure so you don’t lose them later. Since most screws used in cabinets nowadays are fairly small, they can get lost quite easily. We also recommend disconnecting the fans from the motherboard if you have overclocked your CPU and/or are using an external CPU cooler.

2) Move to an open area and blow air into the cabinet

To avoid making a mess in your personal surroundings, try moving the closet outside your home, perhaps onto your balcony or terrace. This way, any flying dust will not make your room dirty.

Once you are in an outdoor environment, start your blower and blow the air in a repeating pattern – in an up and down motion. After a few minutes, most of the dust accumulated on the main surfaces should be reduced.

3) Clean delicate surfaces

Once you’ve blown out a good portion of the dust, you’ll notice that some of the internal surfaces like the cooler fans, inside the GPU, and the motherboard still have some dirt on them. To achieve this, use a can of compressed air with a long nozzle. This way, you can deeply clean each component by spraying air into every nook and cranny of the parts.

Due to moisture and other substances, some dust can cause residue to build up over time. This is especially noticeable on the inner surfaces of the fans. Using isopropyl alcohol and ear buds, carefully wipe off the sticky substance.

4) Areas you may have missed

A dusty PC is something you can’t beat. Chances are, no matter how much cleaning you end up with, you’ll always miss a spot or two. However, the most common areas that people tend to overlook are behind the GPU, between RAM modules and around capacitors.

Using a soft brush, gently brush the surrounding areas. Remove the GPU and blow the compressed air after loosening the dirt with the brush. Static buildup rarely becomes a concern when things are done this way.

5) Job termination

Acrylic panels attract a lot of scratches (Image via Sportskeeda)
Acrylic panels attract a lot of scratches (Image via Sportskeeda)

Modern PC cabinets usually have a lot of shiny parts. In fact, the transparent side panels of some of the cheaper cabinets are made of acrylic. So, the chances of getting micro scratches due to dust are very high.

We highly recommend using a good quality microfiber cloth to clean it as it removes dirt and does not grind on the surface. You can also use the same microfiber cloth to wipe down the other exterior of your cabinet after spraying it with some isopropyl alcohol.

Noticeable: Do not use a microfiber cloth to clean the insides as it may lead to a buildup of static electricity. Static electricity can damage your components.

Routine maintenance is the way to go

Making sure you have a routine maintenance system in place helps manage clutter, keeps your computer’s thermal performance efficient, and helps promote overall hygiene.

The better longevity of your products translates into more savings and reduced e-waste. Small steps like these are huge in the scheme of bigger things. In the meantime, please continue to enjoy your products.

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