Your laptop can get really dirty, really fast. Here’s how to give your laptop the deep—and safe—cleaning it deserves.

Whether for work, gaming or for a mix of both, laptops and notebooks usually receive consistent and heavy use. Like other devices used every day, your laptop will quickly become dirty and grimy if you don’t give it regular cleanings. The laptop casing and vents collect dirt and dust, the keyboard and trackpad accumulate crumbs from food and oils from your skin and the screen can become smudged and dusty.

You can find all of the tools you need to keep every laptop in the family clean and in good condition at If your laptop is due for a good scrubbing, then here’s a quick guide on how to do it right.

Step-By-Step Laptop Cleaning Tips

Step-By-Step Laptop Cleaning Tips


Gather your cleaning supplies

Cleaning a laptop requires just a few simple tools that are easy to find, many of which you probably have around the house already. You can also pick up any additional laptop and computer cleaning products from Walmart Canada. Here’s what you’ll want to have on-hand before starting:

The best lint-free cloths are microfiber, as they do not leave behind any lint. It’s also best to use 90% or higher rubbing alcohol to avoid risking damage to your laptop’s internal components. As far as the sponge goes, use a melamine sponge if your laptop is extremely grimy, otherwise a standard sponge is fine.


Clean the inside of the laptop

Although you can if you want, you don’t necessarily need to take your laptop apart in order to clean the inside. Just grab a compressed air can and blow it into the vents and ports along your laptop’s casing.

Dirt, dust, debris and pet hair can build up in these vents and ports over time, coating your laptop’s internal components and potentially causing it to overheat. If you feel your laptop getting excessively hot, cleaning out the internals can make a huge difference.

It’s a good idea to give the can of compressed air a quick burst away from the laptop before starting. This expels any condensation that may have built up while it was sitting idle. Then, a few quick sprays of compressed air into each port and vent on your laptop will get the dust and debris out.

Always hold the can upright and follow the instructions on the can or label. Never use compressed air at an angle or upside down.

Person pointing a can of compressed air at the interior of a laptop


Clean the laptop casing

The laptop casing consists of the lid, the bottom panel and the bezel around your laptop’s screen and keyboard.

The easiest and most effective way to clean the casing is with a microfiber cloth. Dip the cloth in a soapy mixture of dish detergent (just a few drops) and a cup of water. Thoroughly wring out the cloth until it’s mostly dry and wipe down all surfaces, applying light pressure to get out any tough marks.

If you encounter some built-up dirt and debris that refuses to come off, then you can try a melamine sponge such as a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. Again, make sure to wring out the sponge so it’s mostly dry before you start cleaning. Word of caution, though: these sponges are mildly abrasive. Scrub very gently so you don’t damage the casing.

Finally, you can use a combination of Q-Tips and toothpicks to clean all of your laptop’s nooks and crannies. Just make sure they are completely dry and don’t use them in the sensitive ports with connectors, like USB and headphone ports, etc.

Person using a q-tip to clean the interior of a laptop


Wipe down the screen

A dirty screen can dramatically lower the clarity of your laptop’s display, but that’s nothing a thorough wipe down can’t fix. Use a dry cloth to wipe away dirt and fingerprints, starting from the top and working your way down. Note that you should not use household cleaners, like Windex, on your display, as these can damage LCD screens.

For greater cleaning efficiency, invest in a proper screen cleaning kit. These kits contain formulas that are specially designed for laptop screens and clean without leaving streaks. They usually come with a lint-free cloth as well.


Clean the keyboard

While it may be tempting to use compressed air to blow out crumbs or dust around your keys, this can push debris even deeper. A better solution is to use a small computer vacuum with a gentle suction. Run the vacuum between each of your laptop’s keys, around the trackpad and around any additional buttons.

To disinfect the keyboard and buttons, simply dip your cloth into some isopropyl rubbing alcohol, press it into a paper towel to remove any excess and rub the keys gently. The rubbing alcohol should also remove any oily finger residue. Since rubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, there should be little risk of damaging your laptop’s internal components.

Hand using blue microfibre cloth to clean laptop keyboard


Eliminate any odours

Does your laptop have a funky smell even after you’ve given it a thorough cleaning? Years of dropped crumbs and spilled liquids can certainly give a laptop an unpleasant odour. The trick to getting rid of lingering smells is charcoal, nature’s deodorizer. You can find charcoal in some types of kitty litter and in diaper pail deodorizers.

Step one is to take either a cup of kitty litter or a few packets of diaper pail deodorizer and seal them entirely, then store your laptop inside a storage tote. Next, put both inside a closable bin for 24 to 48 hours. The longer you’re able to leave the laptop in the bin with the deodorizer, the better chance you’ll have of getting out the smell.

Bonus Tips

Bonus Tips

How to clean your laptop on the go

Clean your laptop on the go

You’re not always going to have the time or opportunity to sit down and give your laptop a deep cleaning. Whether you’re in a hurry or on-the-go, it can be helpful to have a small, portable kit with specialized tools for quick cleaning.

Pre-moistened electronic wipes are a good option for giving your laptop casing and keyboard a quick wipe when needed. Be careful, however, not to use these wipes on the screen. To quickly clean dust and small smudges off the screen, a gentle wipe with a dry cloth will suffice. For convenience, add an all-in-one mini screen cleaner to your on-the-go laptop cleaning kit.

Tips to help keep your laptop clean

Keeping your laptop clean

After all of the work you put into getting your laptop clean, you want to make sure it stays that way for as long as possible. With a few simple habit changes and proper protective gear, you can keep your laptop clean for years to come. Here are some tips:

  • Try not to eat or drink directly over your keyboard. It’s tempting to snack while working, streaming TV shows and movies, or playing games, but keep your laptop at a distance if you do.
  • Use a keyboard protector to keep crumbs and spills from gunking up the keys.
  • Carry your laptop in a proper carrying case or specialized laptop backpack to keep it secure and clean.
  • Use hand sanitizer before using your laptop, especially after meals and snacks. This will keep the oils from your skin from building up on the keys and trackpad.

Person in blue shirt placing laptop inside black shoulder bag

While it’s inevitable that laptops will become dirty, getting them clean again is easy once you know what tools you need and how to use them. You’ll love the look and feel of your freshly cleaned laptop.

On the other hand, if no amount of cleaning will get your laptop looking fresh again and you’ve decided it’s time to buy a new one, then you’ll find all of your back-to-school essentials and fantastic back-to-school deals on electronics at Walmart Canada. We’ll make sure that you and your family are all geared up for work, school and play.

Legal: This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.