When Should I Clean My Laptop (Internally)

September 5th, 2009 by | This article was viewed 14,075 times.

When Should I Clean My Laptop (Internally)

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Have you ever wondered how much dust could be stuck inside your laptop? Dusts collect and grow, and can be damaging when it completely blocked your laptop’s air ventilation. Dust is laptop cooling system’s worst enemy, but how would you know how much dust has been collected and when should you clean your laptop?

What can dust do?

First, let’s talk about how heat is dissipated from laptops. An effective heat dissipation system would be a fan blowing on a lot of copper plates called “Heat Sink”. If you increase the number of copper plates, you have a better cooling system.

However, there is a pitfall if you introduce too many copper plates. If a clump of dust is bigger than the ventilation hole (the distance between copper plates), then dust will stuck and accumulate. It is just a matter of time before a sponge of dust emerges and blocks the ventilation holes.


Dusts have clogged the air vents

When that happens, air blown out from the fan can never reach the heatsink. And your laptop overheats, as the temperature reaches its maximum threshold, your computer will shut itself down to avoid damaging the electronic components.

Dust collecting around the fan would also damage the fan, resulting in an extremely loud and inefficient laptop fan.

Symptoms of a Dirty Laptop

Laptop gets very hot earlier than expected

If last year your laptop wasn’t hot at all when you are using word processing software and now you can feel the heat while doing the same thing, there could be dust accumulating inside your laptop.

No Air coming out from the heatsink

Occasionally feel for released air coming out from the heatsink (usually located at the back) of your laptop. The air could be very little, but enough for your hands to feel it.

If you can’t feel anything coming out, chances are the air ventilation is blocked.

Testing Method

A very good method to check for dust is to test your laptop with your favourite 3D game that sucks up a lot of resources from the laptop. Then compare it with the performance when your laptop was still new.

Play the game for 30 minutes, if the game lags and your laptop gets extremely hot, it is time to clean your laptop. This is how I determine when to clean my laptop

Clean your laptop once a year

A rule of thumb I often use before was to clean my laptop once a year. I’m not talking about wiping the screen and keyboards. I am talking about disassembling the laptop and cleaning it from the inside.

Would Cooler Pads Help?

This is one of the most popular questions asked by anybody before disassembling their own laptop. Since disassembling your laptop comes with a little risk, seeking an alternative way could be a solution for some people.

The answer for the question is of course yes, it helps. It’s just that the downside is if your laptop rely on cooler pads to cooldown, it has lost its portability.

So here’s a suggestion, if you are afraid of risking your laptop due to the disassemble operations, get a cooler pad. Otherwise, disassemble the laptop yourself.

I have compiled some laptop disassembling guides at the Laptop Disassembly page. I am doing my best to expand the guide, so if you live in Sydney, don’t want to buy a cooler pad and want somebody to disassemble your laptop, I can volunteer to help.

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9 Responses to “When Should I Clean My Laptop (Internally)”

  1. ks Says:

    finally, something worth reading.

  2. used tires Says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that so many laptops get dirty, I mean if people just took a look at their own desktops, which by the way is alot easier to open in comparisons to a laptop, and just about anyone can do it! They would see that they accumulate alot of dust.

    Till then,


  3. Jamesie Says:

    wahahah~ how about nilai area ? got cleaning service from james ? XD

  4. James Says:

    Err I doubt so. Wait I go back Malaysia then I help you clean.

  5. Jayce Says:

    Hard to disassemble le. Better just leave the dust there. :P

  6. James Says:

    Well you have your own opinions over these matter. If you can live with dust “parasiting” in your laptop, then it is a choice you have chosen for yourself.

    Besides, not everybody loves disassembling things and reassembling them back right?

  7. Salon Clearwater Says:

    Clean your laptop internally once a year. Some are not familiar with disassembling things.

  8. varundbest Says:

    WOW! A wonderful post buddy! I am really thankful to you for this post. I just loved your blog and specially this post. You must keep this fantastic effort going on.

  9. mobile phone Says:

    The best way I find to keep these clean is to actually dust your house once in a while. I used to clean my computer way more than my house, and then I realized where the real problem was.

    Now, my laptop is rarely ever needing dusting, and the house is dusted once a month

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