One thing I've never done is to actually read the Care and Safety Instructions that came with my laptop...have you? I realized that I have been committing some faux pas in that department! And I have never, I repeat, NEVER cleaned my laptop screen because I don't have the correct cloths etc. Things are looking much clearer now that I've done some research. Here's what I found out:
Do not place your laptop on a pillow or other soft material when it's powered on - this may block the airflow vents and cause overheating. This can lead to damage to your computer, and even a fire.
Do not turn on your computer unless all of its internal and external parts are in place.
Operating the computer when it's open or missing parts can be dangerous and can damage your computer.
For prolonged use, place your laptop on a flat, stable surface. Do not place your laptop on your lap or other body surface for extended periods of time as prolonged body contact can potentially cause a burn.
Many laptops are designed to disperse the heat from the bottom of the case by transferring the heat toward the cooler space. You don't want your laptop to overheat. If you hear the fan come on too often you know you need to move to a cooler location. There are different lap desks designed to use with your laptop...keeping the machine above your lap allowing airflow beneath the computer.
Always unplug your laptop before opening the battery, adding memory, or for cleaning purposes.
Only use the power adapter that came with your laptop. Order a new one from the manufacturer if you lose your adapter.
Keep your laptop (and all electric devices) away from liquids, drinks, sinks, tubs, showers, rain, snow and fog. This includes coffee!
Battery Warning: There is a risk of explosion if you replace the battery with an incorrect type. Dispose of used batteries according to your local environmental guidelines. Do not puncture, drop, or incinerate the battery.
Your Screen as Clean as a Whistle!
Cleaning the case and screen seem pretty simple, but many of us don't want to touch the screen in case we mess it up right?
First thing to do is completely shut down your machine...some sites even suggest removing the battery (I've never done that).
The best thing to use is a lint free cloth (I bought one for my car and have never used it, so I may use it for my screen)...or lint free paper, such as a coffee filter.
Don't SPRAY anything near or onto your screen...if a liquid gets inside an important part of your computer you may damage it. The Mac website suggest using only WATER to clean with, as other solvents may scratch or corrode your surfaces.
Secondly, dampen your cloth slightly with water and gently wipe the screen.
If you clean your screen once a week you will have a bright and healthy viewing surface!
Mr. Clean Erasers have been suggested as a non-wet way to clean the stained surfaces of your computers...I wouldn't try it on the screen just in case it harms the surface.
Distilled water has also been suggested as a non-staining solution. Rubbing alcohol is something I've used on the stains (where my hands have rubbed)...but it is not recommended by most manufacturers. One site even mentioned rubbing your fingers with hand sanitizer and then lightly massaging the keyboard to disinfect...who knew?
I use a cotton swab, dip it in the rubbing alcohol and swipe the keys of the keyboard, helping to remove dirt and grime. I end up using quite a few swabs. Then let it air dry. You may also use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any dust or dirt that may end up in your keyboard. With my laptop I use a small can of air to blow away debris.
Warning: Always consult the manufacturer for approved cleaning methods and products. Micro-fiber cleaning cloths for camera lenses work well on computer screens.