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Clean your computer system in 5 steps

Your keyboard, the very one your hands touch hours each day, could be covered in harmful disease-causing bacteria, including E. coli and staph. That is what a British study conducted by microbiologist James Francis found.

In this study, Francis swabbed 33 keyboards, a toilet seat, and a toilet door handle. The results? Four of the 33 keyboards were so dirty they were considered potential health hazards, and one of them had levels of germs that were 5 times higher than those on the toilet seat!

The takeaway is that keyboards, including the spaces between keys, are a haven for microbes. Here are 5 steps to clean your computer system.

Your keyboard

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Pick up your keyboard, turn it over and give it a good shake, preferably over a trash can.
  3. Use cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol to clean between the keys. A can of compressed air also works.
  4. Clean the top of the keys with a clean cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Your monitor

  1. Gently and repeatedly swipe a microfiber cleaning cloth across your screen. The cloth should be dry, soft, and lint-free.
  2. Never use harsh window cleaners on your computer screen. If it's so dirty or smudgy that you need more than a dry cloth to get it clean, use a solution of mild soap and water.

Your mouse

  1. Unplug your mouse and turn it over, so the bottom is facing up.
  2. Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently clean the four 'feet' that collect dirt and grime.
  3. Clean the center of the mouse with a dry cotton swab (no rubbing alcohol). Be careful not to scratch or shatter it.
  4. Moisten a soft paper towel with warm water and rub the bottom of the mouse.
  5. Gently and carefully clean the mouse wheel using toothpicks.
  6. Clean the top and sides using mild dish soap and warm water. Dry it immediately.

Your cloth mousepad

  1. Rub your mousepad with a clean wet cloth and a bit of shampoo.
  2. Rinse the mousepad thoroughly in hot water until all shampoo is removed.
Pat it dry with a paper towel and hang it up to dry. Do not use it until it is completely dry.

Clean the guts of your PC

Don't forget about the insides of your computer, especially your hard drive. A bunch of unused software programs, large audio and video files, and downloads that you don't need can clog things up and make your computer crash, freeze, or run very slow. Yahoo Assist tech agents can help you clean up, tune up, and improve the performance of your computer - and they are available by phone to help you anytime, 24/7.