Cleaning your laptop can help extend its life, and yours too. Computer keyboards are breeding grounds for germs [source: Wall Street Journal]. In fact, the Center for Disease Control recommends routinely cleaning your computer keyboard and mouse, along with other frequently touched surfaces [source: CDC]. While you're cleaning the keyboard and mouse, take the opportunity to clean your laptop screen as well. Cleaning your screen will make it much easier and pleasanter to get your work done.

Here's how to clean your keyboard:

  1. Turn off the laptop and disconnect the battery.
  2. Open the laptop.
  3. Turn the laptop upside down and gently tap it to get rid of any loose crumbs.
  4. Spray some canned air on the keyboard. This will loosen some of the gunk that's stuck in between the keys.
  5. Put the laptop on a flat surface and vacuum the keyboard with a small brush attachment.
  6. Dampen some cotton swabs with rubbing alcohol, and wipe them over and in between the keys (if possible). Make sure the swabs are just damp, and not wet.
  7. Apply some CyberClean to the keyboard, following the instructions on the package [source: Griffith]. You can purchase Cyberclean at your local office supply store [source: Office Depot].

Here's how to clean your LCD screen:

  1. Spray your screen with canned air to remove any surface dust.
  2. Make a solution of equal parts white vinegar and distilled water.
  3. Spray the vinegar solution on a soft rag, and gently wipe the screen [source: Griffith].

You can keep your screen clean by periodically wiping it with a microfiber cloth designed specifically for computers. These cloths are available at computer and office supply stores. Always check your laptop's manual before using any cleaning products on your LCD screen [source: Heloise].

Don't forget to clean your external mouse, if you have one. This is the easiest part of your laptop to clean. Simply spray your rag with some of your vinegar solution and wipe off your mouse. Don't forget to turn your mouse over, and wipe down the bottom, as well [source: Griffith].