IT Support 101: Safely clean and disinfect IT hardware

Updated: May 20

A wipe a day keeps the virus away. Not unless you know how to safely clean and disinfect your IT hardware!

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An essential component of IT support is maintenance, which also extends to the cleanliness of IT hardware. There is much information available in regards to this, and to our surprise, much of it borderline harmful. Even a damp cloth used on your IT hardware puts your device at risk of water exposure, water that short-circuits electronic components. In light of that, we have written this simple step by step guide for anyone looking to effectively and routinely clean their IT hardware. Additionally, your device will not only feel new but also disinfected from most harmful germs. This 4-step tutorial also applies to any other electronic equipment you may have at work or in your own home.


Before we begin, please make sure you have the following items handy:

  • Dry cloth or rag for wiping

  • Vacuum cleaner

  • Compressed air can (shown in the image below)

  • Microfiber cloth

  • Disinfectant spray or rubbing alcohol

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Step 1: Wipe your IT hardware clean

Safely clean and disinfect IT hardware


It is always best to focus on removing the large particles first, and the easiest way to do that is with a dry rag or piece of cloth. Gently wipe down your IT hardware, carefully avoiding pushing dust and particles into crevices. The idea here is to start with the easiest to reach dirt or particle and finishing off with the more stubborn dirt and particles at the end.

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Step 2: Blow hard to reach dust particles

Safely clean and disinfect IT hardware


Our second step involves using the compressed air can, especially the ones specifically designed for computers and laptops. The idea here is not to blow all the dust and dirt away; it is to loosen or dislodge the ones stuck in those nooks and crannies, especially for locations inside the keyboard and hinges. This is a crucial step in cleaning your IT hardware.


IT Support 101: Safely clean and disinfect IT hardware

Step 3: Vacuum your IT hardware

Safely clean and disinfect IT hardware


Ever heard the phrase which says if pushing does not work, try pulling? Why we chose to use the compressed air can before the vacuuming step is because of it being more effective after rather than before. In this case, the stronger the suction of the vacuum cleaner, the better. And if you have one of those small nozzle heads meant to suck tiny particles, even better. Once you have sucked as much of the dirt and dust as possible, proceed on to the final step which is disinfecting your IT hardware.

IT Support 101: Safely clean and disinfect IT hardware

Step 4: Disinfect and wipe clean your IT hardware

Safely clean and disinfect IT hardware


The remaining first after the first three steps are typically oil, sticky substances and germs. Avoid spraying or applying the disinfectant spray or rubbing alcohol directly on the surface of your IT hardware. Instead, damp a part of your microfibre cloth with it and focus on one section of the hardware to clean. Once finished, apply the disinfectant spray or rubbing alcohol to a different part of your microfibre cloth and focus on another section on your IT hardware. Keep repeating this process until you have covered the entire surface and finish it off with one final wipe of your entire hardware to get that professional clean finish free of dirt and germs.

Effectively cleaning and disinfecting IT hardware is an important skill that an IT support professional must have, and for the non-professionals reading 'IT Support 101: Safely clean and disinfect IT hardware' by IT Block. IT Block is an IT support service provider based in Singapore and we love sharing our IT knowledge with the world.

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