How often do you clean your PC?

By Dawn1113
Mar 30, 2012
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  1. Once a week? Once a month? Once every six months?

    Ideally, how often should you clean your PC?

    I'm asking because this is something I'm trying to learn to do by myself: take the rig apart, dust off the GPUs, the fans and the filters and everything else. Not easy for me, but I'm getting there.
  2. Marnomancer

    Marnomancer TechSpot Booster Posts: 808   +51

    I clean my PC every 3 months or so. If I need to, I take apart even the PSU, clean it, and put it back again (Grey side up). If you need to, you can even detach the heatsink and clean it with some compressed air (for dust). Remember to re-apply the thermal paste if so, because every time you dislodge the heatsink, some paste is "dislodged" too.

    How often you should clean a PC is sensitive to environmental factors such as dust accumulation in the house itself, etc. A person living near a construction site would have to clean his rig more often than one living far away from it.

    Hope this helps. You can always google it, of course. :)
  3. Buckshot420

    Buckshot420 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 467

    I do external/internal "dustings" every month. I figure if my carpets need vacuuming than my PC needs dusting plus its way easier to remove light dust with a duster can than it is to remove excess build-up. As far as system cleaning I run CCleaner daily, Auslogics Disk DeFrag weekly and fresh OS re-install every 6 months/1yr.
  4. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    Usually every time I change a component, or can't bear the sight of dust build up, so generally every 3-6 months. Don't think it's worth cleaning it every month, dust build up isn't that detrimental to performance and there's always a slight risk of breaking something when cleaning.
  5. Vollezar

    Vollezar TechSpot Booster Posts: 116

    I live in a very dusty area. I use fan filters. The dust does get in of course, so once a week i open up and blast some air in to get rid of the dust.
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,250   +213

    Not that often. Much like slh28, just whenever I'm in there swapping out a hard drive or adding something else. Currently my PC sits on top of my desk, which is on a tile floor, and then on top of that, my case has a foam rubber of sorts behind its front panels (whatever came with my cooler master centuron? case). They do a pretty decent job of filtering dust, so I just vacuum them out whenever I notice them being particularly dirty (which isn't terribly often since there is no carpet nearby).
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,002   +710

    This is so, so, way not a new topic. I only say that because I can remember my father brushing the dust and dirt out of enormous console vacuum tube TV sets. "They work better when they're clean", said he! (Well of course I asked him why he was doing that).

    Fast forward to today. I have 2 cats, who have 2 litter boxes, with well over 2 kilos of clay clumping litter in them. Plus, it's a small house, and they're litter scratchers. It never seems to be arranged quite right for either one of them.

    Anyway, it still depends on the machine that you're asking the question about. My eMachines with a Prescott P-4, probably needs the most attention. It idles close to 50c even clean. Stock pre-built computers are mostly in Matx cases, with no front fans. Not good. I've been considering stuffing the eMachine guts into a low end CM "Elite 340" case. (ATX chassis but fairly small mid tower). It has a front fan mount for a 120. That'd probably help more than blowing the stupid thing out every day and a half. As dumb as it sounds, I'd actually prefer it live its life out in the OEM case, so I can rub raybay's nose in it. We've been together going on 8 years now, "E" and I.

    If you can believe the sensors, the machine I'm on right now is under 100 F(!) at all points, even the CPU. It's a G-41 / Pent dual Core E6300 combo. Hasn't been cleaned in months. It's mATX, but has a 120mm front fan, dialed down a bit. I'll blow it out when I can get the Windows open this spring. No sense doing it now. It's next to the cat litter, and it would just suck the dirt back in when I fired it back up anyway.

    So, the more crap you have in the case, and the hotter the machine runs to begin with, is a large factor in deciding how often you should clean it.

    I'd say good cable management and good fans, in a good case are at least as important as cleaning intervals.

    I tend to put mainstream builds, (even IGP) into good gaming cases anyway. My latest effort is a Core i530 (stock clock), H55 affair using the IGP. It's in a CM Storm "Scout". It doesn't get too much above room temp. Again, that approach manages temperatures much better than cleaning out too much computer, stuffed into too little case, every week or so.
  8. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TechSpot Booster Topic Starter Posts: 375   +64

    Thank you for your replies. Going by them, then I'd say I'm doing fine at once every three months.
  9. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TechSpot Booster Posts: 852   +84

    Using compressed gas is only half the job. If you want to be thorough and not have to clean so often, get out those toothbrushes, q-tips, and clothes out to clean your fan blades and wiping backs of expansion cards as examples.

    Best to get a case with filters over the intakes (front + PSU). You'll be glad you did, especially if you have a windowed side panel.
    No one can go wrong with cleaning their case every three months. If you stick by that, your hardware will thank you, and you'll thank it for running how it should.


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