A lap­top is a trou­ble-free and pro­duc­tive device until its insides become clogged with dust. Small dry par­ti­cles pen­e­trate inside, regard­less of the clean­li­ness in the house. Dust is the cause of over­heat­ing of com­po­nents, reduced per­for­mance, and break­downs. With­out main­te­nance, a lap­top will not oper­ate qui­et­ly, con­fi­dent­ly, or safe­ly. We fig­ured out how to clean appli­ances at home, what tools and tools are need­ed, what to do if there is not enough expe­ri­ence.

Atten­tion! The edi­tors of the Photosklad.Expert dis­claim any respon­si­bil­i­ty for the pos­si­ble con­se­quences of clean­ing and dis­as­sem­bling the equip­ment. The mate­r­i­al con­tains the the­o­ret­i­cal part, which needs prop­er prac­ti­cal imple­men­ta­tion. The end result depends on the per­son.

If you are not con­fi­dent in your abil­i­ties and want to min­i­mize the risk, do clean­ing and main­te­nance by pro­fes­sion­als. Tips for choos­ing a ser­vice cen­ter — in the sec­ond part of the arti­cle.

Com­plex clean­ing requires skills, but basic main­te­nance can be per­formed with­out expe­ri­ence. Pho­to: vssmonitoring.com

Lap­top with­out main­te­nance: con­se­quences
Three ways to clean your lap­top from dust
Method one: basic clean­ing with­out expe­ri­ence
Method Two: Full Ser­vice
Method Three: Pro­fes­sion­al Clean­ing
Clean­ing vis­i­ble ele­ments: key­board, dis­play

Laptop without maintenance: consequences

Dust is an excel­lent con­duc­tor of elec­tric­i­ty. Dust par­ti­cles, stray­ing into lay­ers, cause:

  • Pow­er fail­ures: con­tact clo­sure on the moth­er­board, unex­pect­ed reboots and shut­downs of the lap­top.
  • Dry­ing of ther­mal paste and vio­la­tion of the heat dis­si­pa­tion sys­tem. This leads to dan­ger­ous over­heat­ing of com­po­nents, CPU throt­tling (a con­di­tion in which the tem­per­a­ture exceeds the val­ues ​​​​allowed by the man­u­fac­tur­er, per­for­mance decreas­es and the risk of CPU fail­ure increas­es).
  • Noise increase. Fans clogged with dust start to work at max­i­mum speed in order to some­how cool the lap­top. Buzzing, hum­ming is a typ­i­cal accom­pa­ni­ment of an unser­viced lap­top.
  • Slow­downs of pro­grams and games with peri­od­ic crash­es, emer­gency clos­ing of appli­ca­tions, BSOD (blue screens of death with an unex­pect­ed ter­mi­na­tion of the oper­at­ing sys­tem).
  • Dam­age and break­down of lap­top com­po­nents due to their oper­a­tion in extreme con­di­tions (fan blades spin at max­i­mum speed, proces­sor over­heats, etc.).

It’s easy to under­stand that it’s time to clean the lap­top. The need for ser­vice is sig­naled by:

  • increased fan noise lev­el — idle or under load;
  • lap­top mal­func­tions caused by over­heat­ing. You can check the tem­per­a­ture of the CPU and oth­er com­po­nents in the pro­grams AIDA 64, Spec­cy, Core Temp;
  • The lap­top bat­tery is drain­ing faster than usu­al. Some­times this hap­pens pre­cise­ly because of the oper­a­tion of the fans at max­i­mum speed.

Clean­ing every 8–12 months is nec­es­sary as a pre­ven­tive mea­sure, even if there are no symp­toms. In the case of over­heat­ing, even a good lap­top stand will not replace main­te­nance. The device will help reduce the tem­per­a­ture by 1–3 degrees, but will not solve the prob­lem. Treat­ing the symp­toms (over­heat­ing) is one thing, but treat­ing the “dis­ease” (dust buildup) is anoth­er.

Three ways to clean your laptop from dust

Main­te­nance of a PC (even a gam­ing one) is an easy oper­a­tion due to the avail­abil­i­ty of all com­po­nents. The lap­top is more com­pli­cat­ed, and get­ting to the innards is not easy. Users who are unable or afraid to dis­as­sem­ble the machine can car­ry out basic clean­ing with­out remov­ing the cov­er. More expe­ri­enced users should ser­vice the equip­ment com­plete­ly — with dis­as­sem­bly. The third option — trans­fer­ring the lap­top into the hands of the ser­vice cen­ter mas­ters — is rea­son­able when the equip­ment is still under war­ran­ty or too expen­sive for exper­i­ments. Let’s look at all three sce­nar­ios in detail.

Clean­ing is manda­to­ry, regard­less of the cost and man­u­fac­tura­bil­i­ty of the lap­top. Pho­to: smallbiztrends.com

Method one: basic cleaning without experience

The user is not required to know every­thing about the lap­top device. Not every­one is able to immerse them­selves in the intri­ca­cies of the design, take the risk. This is nor­mal, espe­cial­ly when you have an expen­sive device on hand. But the need for main­te­nance can­not be ignored.

Impor­tant: before start­ing any manip­u­la­tions, the lap­top must be dis­con­nect­ed from the pow­er sup­ply! Oth­er­wise, you may receive an elec­tric shock or dam­age the machine’s com­po­nents. Any elec­tron­ics can only be inter­act­ed with after it has been de-ener­gized.

Wip­ing the dis­play with paper tow­els will not get rid of the dust inside the lap­top. Pho­to: getblogo.com

The main place where dust accu­mu­lates is fans (cool­ing sys­tem). Dry par­ti­cles enter the hous­ing through the ven­ti­la­tion open­ings. Dust lay­ers can be removed with a com­pressed air cylin­der. Point the noz­zle at the vents and make a few short sprays inside. If you’re lucky, dust and dirt accu­mu­lat­ed in the case will come out.

Com­pressed air forms a pow­er­ful stream that can break the “boots” from the dust stale inside. Pho­to: lifewire.com/clean-laptop-fan-5176632

It is impor­tant to be care­ful when work­ing. Too strong a jet direct­ed at the fan will cause extreme rota­tion of the blades. This threat­ens to break them. It is bet­ter to act care­ful­ly, not to be zeal­ous. Short press on the cylin­der valve — pause — one more press. Try to direct the air flow not direct­ly into the fan, but next to it.

Advan­tages of the method:

  • quick­ly, with­out dis­as­sem­bling the case;
  • some of the dust will come out — it will be eas­i­er for the lap­top to work, the tem­per­a­ture will drop;
  • no tools (except for a bal­loon) and knowl­edge are need­ed;
  • fac­to­ry war­ran­ty will not be vio­lat­ed.


  • it will not be pos­si­ble to clean the lap­top of dust by 100%: com­pressed air will not reach all the “deposits” of crum­pled dust;
  • an effec­tive, good com­pressed air bot­tle costs more than a screw­driv­er and a brush with which you can car­ry out a thor­ough clean­ing;
  • there is a risk of dam­age to the fan blades if the jet is too pow­er­ful.

After clean­ing, eval­u­ate the result. If the tem­per­a­tures and fan speeds are reduced, the prob­lem­at­ic effects are gone — good. If not, the sec­ond or third method will help.

You can and should check the tem­per­a­ture of the com­po­nents and the speed of the fans. In AIDA 64 Extreme, this is con­ve­nient to do. Pho­to: Photosklad.Expert, Anton Bara­nov

Method Two: Full Service

Thor­ough dis­as­sem­bly of the lap­top and total clean­ing — con­fi­dence in 100% removal of dust and dirt from the case. There are only two weak­ness­es in the method — void­ing the war­ran­ty and big risks. A user with­out expe­ri­ence can tear off the cable, lose a cou­ple of screws, cre­ate con­di­tions for a short cir­cuit, and dam­age the com­po­nents of the moth­er­board.

The good news is that this can be avoid­ed if every­thing is done slow­ly, care­ful­ly and wise­ly. Knowl­edge is need­ed, but it is not exclu­sive. Get­ting them is a mat­ter of a cou­ple of days.

Access to the cool­ing sys­tem is a huge help for qual­i­ty ser­vice. Pho­to: notebookcheck.net

There should be a uni­ver­sal scheme for dis­as­sem­bling a lap­top, but there are a great many mod­els. Some are dis­as­sem­bled in ten sec­onds by unscrew­ing the screws on the rear pan­el, oth­ers require a long dis­as­sem­bly in the style of the design­er — with the key­board mod­ule dis­con­nect­ed. The most rea­son­able option is to find videos on the net­work for a spe­cif­ic lap­top mod­el and try to repeat the basic steps.

For new devices, man­u­fac­tur­ers often make detailed instruc­tions. They can be found on the offi­cial web­site.

Impor­tant Tips:

  • Before any (!) actions, dis­con­nect the equip­ment from the mains and remove the bat­tery if it is locat­ed out­side.
  • Do not press on the case with great force, do not screw in the screws with a fren­zy.
  • Do not keep liq­uids on hand that could spill on the lap­top dur­ing dis­as­sem­bly and clean­ing.
  • Pre­pare bags or con­tain­ers for stor­ing screws in advance.
  • Film the dis­as­sem­bly process on a video cam­era to avoid mis­takes dur­ing assem­bly.
  • Use your lap­top on a flat, sol­id sur­face. Do not attempt to open the case and clean the com­po­nents while hold­ing the machine in the air.
  • Make sure your actions will not void your war­ran­ty if it is impor­tant to you.
  • Dis­con­nect the bat­tery first after remov­ing the cov­er! To do this, you need to pull out the cable that con­nects the bat­tery and the board with a slight move­ment.
Dis­con­nect­ing the board is the most impor­tant step in any lap­top main­te­nance. Pho­to: insidemylaptop.com

When access to the moth­er­board is obtained, there are two clean­ing options. The first one is gen­tle. With com­pressed air from a cylin­der, expel dust from fan heatsinks, hard-to-reach areas, from the entire board as a whole. You need to work with an empha­sis on blow­ing air flows along with dust. To do this, point the bot­tle nose away from the board, out­side the case. On the fans them­selves, the air flow must be direct­ed at an angle, in small por­tions.

The sec­ond option is advanced. After a gen­er­al purge of the com­po­nents and the board, the fans must be unscrewed and removed. The blades should be cleaned (with air or brush­es), dust “boots” should be removed from the radi­a­tors. The fan bear­ing is lubri­cat­ed with machine or motor oil, uni­ver­sal sil­i­cone grease.

After remov­ing the fans, you need to check the oper­a­tion of their blades. If they stop imme­di­ate­ly after the start of rota­tion, it is bet­ter to replace the fan. Pho­to: gainr.in

Do not use vac­u­um clean­ers for clean­ing! Sta­t­ic elec­tric­i­ty can destroy elec­tron­ics. There are spe­cial­ized mod­els of vac­u­um clean­ers, but their cost starts from 18–20 thou­sand rubles.

After purg­ing and clean­ing, the lap­top should be left for a cou­ple of hours in a warm, dry place. This will allow the water vapor that is formed dur­ing the oper­a­tion of the cylin­der to evap­o­rate.

Purg­ing the board, chas­sis ports, and fans is an impor­tant part of main­te­nance. But over­heat­ing of the CPU is often caused by dry ther­mal paste. Its replace­ment will require the removal of the cool­ing sys­tem (CO). The pro­ce­dure is dan­ger­ous: any wrong action — and the ther­mo­tubes bend, the proces­sor and the video chip are chipped and no longer work. It is bet­ter to trust the replace­ment of ther­mal paste on a lap­top to a com­pe­tent spe­cial­ist.

Whether you’re will­ing to take a chance, are con­fi­dent, or want to prac­tice on an old lap­top, here are some prac­ti­cal tips:

  • Fol­low the instruc­tions from the man­u­fac­tur­er. The screws of the cool­ing sys­tem fas­ten­ers must be unscrewed, start­ing from the first one (with the num­ber 1), and tight­ened in the reverse order. Oth­er­wise, it is pos­si­ble to break the geom­e­try of the wafers to the proces­sor and video chip, wors­en the cool­ing or allow chip­ping of the crys­tals.
  • When remov­ing the cool­ing sys­tem, it is strict­ly for­bid­den to pull on the edges. You need to remove the CO with gen­tle move­ments, hold­ing on to the cen­tral part.
  • You can not apply cheap KPT‑8 instead of the old ther­mal paste: its prop­er­ties are insuf­fi­cient for nor­mal cool­ing. Among the test­ed pastes with good ther­mal con­duc­tiv­i­ty: Arc­tic Cool­ing MX‑4, Titan Nano Grease, Deep­cool Z9.

It is impor­tant to remem­ber what con­nects to what. A video record­ing of the dis­as­sem­bly process will help restore the chronol­o­gy of events and accu­rate­ly return every­thing to its place.

The des­ig­na­tions next to the screws are the abil­i­ty to do every­thing effi­cient­ly and cor­rect­ly. Pho­to: nasilemaktech.com

Advan­tages of the method:

  • it is easy to remove all dust and dirt, you can replace the ther­mal paste;
  • sav­ing mon­ey on main­te­nance;
  • improv­ing skills in work­ing with tech­nol­o­gy.


  • high risk of break­age due to incor­rect manip­u­la­tions;
  • does not apply to lap­tops with a valid war­ran­ty.

Method Three: Professional Cleaning

The first rule of main­te­nance of equip­ment is to sen­si­bly assess your strengths, skills and pos­si­ble con­se­quences. Open­ing war­ran­ty lap­tops is short-sight­ed. Own­ers of devices with­out a guar­an­tee choose for them­selves: try the first method, try the sec­ond and take risks or turn to pro­fes­sion­als.

You can use the tips from this arti­cle, watch videos and read instruc­tions, but a mas­ter with ten years of expe­ri­ence will still make it bet­ter and safer. And if the lap­top is good and very expen­sive for the own­er, the ser­vice is a log­i­cal way out. The main thing is not to run into hacks and deceivers. Signs of a good com­pa­ny:

  • a com­plete set of offi­cial doc­u­ments;
  • the cus­tomer is giv­en papers with a seal, the legal address of the orga­ni­za­tion, details, a list of work per­formed;
  • the cost is agreed in advance;
  • the ser­vice has tools for objec­tive con­trol of work (cam­eras, etc.);
  • the orga­ni­za­tion has a room equipped for the work of mas­ters, and not just exit couri­ers and flashy adver­tis­ing on the net.
A good ser­vice cen­ter has every­thing for prop­er lap­top main­te­nance. Pho­to: techmonkeyman.com

Advan­tages of the method:

  • ser­vice by tech­nol­o­gy — phased, safe, full;
  • replace­ment of ther­mal paste with a guar­an­tee of results.


  • the risk of run­ning into low-qual­i­ty crafts­men remains;
  • finan­cial loss­es.

Cleaning visible elements: keyboard, display

Dur­ing oper­a­tion, fin­ger­prints, dust, stains accu­mu­late on the screen. Clear­ing the dis­play is easy. There are sev­er­al ways:

  • Eco­nom­i­cal. Wet a soft, lint-free cot­ton cloth, squeeze out excess water, wipe the dis­play. With a clean, dry cloth of the same mate­r­i­al, go over the screen again. Do every­thing with­out pres­sure and unnec­es­sary ener­gy.
  • Pop­u­lar. Use a glass clean­er with­out ammo­nia. Any­one will do: from the domes­tic “Mr. Prop­per” to for­eign ana­logues. After apply­ing the com­po­si­tion, wipe the screen with a dry microfiber cloth.
  • Opti­mal. Buy a spe­cial set. It con­sists of a screen clean­er and a clean­ing cloth.
Microfiber and spe­cial­ized solu­tions keep the dis­play clean and bright for a long time. Pho­to: cleaning.lovetoknow.com

Inex­pen­sive mini-vac­u­um clean­ers are suit­able for clean­ing the key­board. They will quick­ly remove dust and dirt, hair, etc. A sta­tionery eras­er will help to remove plaque from the keys. In the most inac­ces­si­ble places on the key­board, in crevices and in the port area, use slight­ly damp cot­ton swabs soaked in alco­hol. Adher­ing dirt from the dis­play cov­er can be removed with rub­bing alco­hol.


There are no unique lap­tops that do not col­lect dust, do not over­heat and self-clean. To think that a great game mod­el for seri­ous mon­ey does not need main­te­nance is wrong. Regard­less of the build qual­i­ty and lev­el of inno­va­tion, a lap­top remains a com­plex machine. All com­po­nents are locat­ed com­pact­ly — in a small space, in a closed case. The qual­i­ty and time­li­ness of main­te­nance and clean­ing will deter­mine how long and how effec­tive­ly the equip­ment will serve its own­er.