Proper care of your office equipment will keep your business running smoothly. Regular maintenance may reduce maintenance calls for your computers, printers and fax machines.
Before doing anything, you need to turn off your device. Unplug it as well. This is the most important step. If you don’t follow it you could do some serious damage to the hardware.
Take a soft cloth (a microfiber cloth is recommended), slightly dampen it with water and start scrubbing. Be careful when going around ports, you don’t want any liquid getting in there.
Start cleaning the screen by wiping it down with a dry cloth. Go from corner to corner. Next, take the cloth and dampen it with some water. If you don’t think plain old water will get the job done, you could make a cleaning solution with 50 percent vinegar and 50 percent water. But don’t use cleaning solutions! In fact there are a lot of “don’ts” when cleaning computers, so it’s best just to follow these instructions. Speaking of which, don’t drench the cloth. If it’s dripping wet, you overdid it.
If you use an external mouse, you might want to give it a little love, too. Optical mice, which use light to detect surface area, require no internal cleaning—but the outside can get sticky over time. Mechanical mice are more susceptible to dust particles that can get caught inside. Stickiness and dust can lead to a stiff mouse that just doesn’t work as you want it to.
Start by unplugging the mouse from your computer and removing any batteries. Use a clean cloth with a little bit of alcohol to wipe the outside of the mouse clean; be careful not to get any liquid inside. If you have a mechanical mouse, you can give it a quick clean by placing it on a piece of paper and moving the mouse around on there. Some of the dust should just roll off by itself.
If you’re a multitasking heathen who eats while using the computer… well, you’re just like everyone else. It also means you have crumbs between, on, or inside your keys. You need to get those out before you come in with the damp cloth—like sweeping the floor before mopping.
Use a can of compressed air to clear the crumbs from the surface. If you don’t have one, a small fan may work. If you’re really desperate, you could employ a drinking straw and use lung-generated wind power. Just get the crumbs out.
Next, take out a clean cloth, the isopropyl alcohol, and some Q-tips. Take the cloth and dampen it with the alcohol. Run the cloth over the keys and make them shiny. Then take the Q-tip and get in-between the keys. You can dip the Q-tip in alcohol, but stop short of a full soak; you don’t want a puddle of alcohol to spew out when you press down.
Once you’ve run the key maze, the alcohol should dry within a matter of minutes. Voila, you’re halfway done to completely cleaning your computer.
Keep ventilation holes on the computer clear of blockages from dust or other items on the desk to prevent overheating. Use compressed air to blow dust and debris from all vents.
Open removable parts of the printer and wipe the insides with a dry, clean cloth.
Keep a fax machine in a dry room. Humidity can cause paper to stick together. Place fax machines at least six inches from walls for adequate ventilation around the equipment. Fan paper with your hand before inserting it in the fax machine. This prevents the machine from taking too much paper and jamming in operation.
Never force ANY office machine to open. When doing maintenance cleaning, only access parts of the machine that open easily.