How Should I Clean My Filthy Laptop?

This is... not my computer. This is a clean computer.
This is... not my computer. This is a clean computer.
Photo: Getty

I consider myself a pretty clean and tidy person. You would not believe this to be true, however, if you looked at my laptop. It is disgusting. There’s that saying that goes something like, the floor is so clean you can eat off of it. Well, my laptop is so filthy it looks like I did eat off of it.


As I’m typing this, I’m noticing a little burnt orange-colored splatter beneath the MacBook Air logo. Likely a result of when I eat take-out ramen at my desk and try to delicately pour the noodles into the broth, creating a spill-splatter effect that I have undoubtedly repeated several times over the years.

I also recently moved in with my wonderful friends who have three (three) cats, the largest of which loves to sit in my lap while I’m working. I just pulled a long thin white hair from the ‘M’ key.

Also, if I hold my computer in the right light, there appears to be a thin film of fingerprint marks along the outskirts of my keyboard and screen. You know soil horizons—the layers of material beneath the earth’s surface, each varying in texture and color? That’s what my laptop looks like. To the naked eye, that might look vile, but upon scientific examination, it’s actually a beautiful narrative of my life experiences in the close vicinity of this Netflix and blog machine. Also, upon further scientific scrutiny, probably pretty vile.

So I’ve decided to remedy that. I’m going to clean my laptop. Cleaning expert and advice columnist Jolie Kerr wrote a very helpful article for Deadspin on best practices when it comes to cleaning your devices. Some simple alcohol wipes, microfiber cloth, and canned air seem to be the way to go.

But that advice is a few years old, and now I’m curious—how often do you clean your laptop? What do you use to do it? How do you get into those tricky little spots between the keys? Tell me your secrets.



I would just put it in the dishwasher. Gentle cycle of course.