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Compressed air from a compressor. The "canned air" gets too cold too fast and can crack or damage plastic and or chips. I tell everyone to never use canned air. I have a workshop with a compressor and a small air cleaning gun tool with a trigger and long thin spray tube. I use it for the normal things but for cleaning desktops/laptops out of damaging dust nothing is better as long as one is careful not to get to close to fragile connections, and to not let the air spin the bearings too fast or too long.


With keys I vacuum my desktop keyboards gently with the big long bristled dusting brush attachment. Or use the air but either can suck up or blow off a key cap. With air you can hold the key in place and blow under it. Gently and wisely is the key to keys. If you have a shop vac that can be reversed where the hose is attached to the exhaust end, that can be perfect used with a crevice tool.


If it is a laptop the entire keyboard can be replaced easily. If an older (More than a year old and made two years ago) laptop you can usually find very good used parts online. Before you think this is too difficult, watch a you tube video of replacing one. Some are a PITA, others can be swapped out in under a minute by experienced techs with that model. Don't forget with laptops to vacuum out the fan, and radiator that's under the grille on the side usually or on the bottom.


I watched several of the videos just now and see many recommending the freezing canned air. And I agree that a heavy hand with a compressor can damage in inexperienced hands. The key is to blow or suck out the dust without breaking a fan or detaching a connector.


This video is how I do it and with the same tools. But this guy is doing it in the middle of SAWDUST and debris! Pretend it is being done on a clean surface. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5H5JobmW-PQ start watching at 3:30 into the video, before that it is long drawn out introduction.



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It is best to do a whole system cleaning every six months or so and prevent future problems if the computer is more than a couple of years old. Pet dander and hair, especially cat hair from folks who think its cute for them to curl up on the warm side is worst and can cause thermal shutdowns and erratic behavior. I have sucked out three or four handfuls of cat hair out of more than one laptop. Most desktops, despite the ease with popping the case side and blowing out the dust, especially from in the fins of the CPU cooler, which is under the fan which must be held to clean out all the crap in the radiating cooling fins. Very easy. More often for any remaining smokers who smoke around their electronics. My wife still smokes, I quit years ago. She only smokes under the vent hood or outside in nice weather.


In any event you can check the inside temps before and after a cleaning that involves a disassembly and it is dramatic, with many free apps like Piriform's free tool Speccy to see your systems parts and their temps. http://www.piriform.com/speccy

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