In addition to doing those other things you ought to take care of twice a year (like changing your toothbrush and replacing your furnace air filter), spring is a good time to clean your gadgets and computers to ensure they keep running well and looking good.
It doesn't have to take hours and hours. Here are some tips for cleaning your gear efficiently.
Blast it out
Anything you can physically open (primarily your desktop PCs) should be cleared of dust. Unplug your computer, remove the case, and take it outside. Get a can of compressed air and blow out all the dust bunnies, paying special attention to any fans in the case. Use quick, short bursts to avoid condensation. Cleaning your laptop is especially important, as laptops have far less room for airflow and can overheat if they aren't kept free from dust. Use the compressed air's straw attachment to blow out the laptop's vents. Use it on your keyboard as well, to keep crumb buildup to a minimum.
Shine it up
I hate it when people touch my laptop screen or TV, because of the smudges their filthy fingerprints leave. Fingerprints can quickly turn from a mere annoyance to a permanent problem if they're left there for long, as the oils have an uncanny habit of setting in and eventually becoming impossible to remove. (Nothing will ruin your HDTV experience faster than a bunch of kids' handprints overlaying your video, forever.) I've yet to find anything better than Purosol, which I've recommended in the past, for cleaning off LCD screens, but any store-bought LCD screen cleaner should work, as long as it's alcohol-free. Don't forget to clean your camera displays and cell phone screens, too. Those touchscreens (like the iPhone's) can get especially nasty, riding around in your pocket all day.
Repair your media
Scratched CDs and DVDs can be mended. A variety of solutions are available on the market, but the cleaning-paste-and-towel method has always provided the best results for me. Clean the surface of your CD with dish detergent and water. If scratches remain, use a commercial scratch repair kit that includes a thick paste that you rub into the media, and a microfiber cloth to wipe it clean. I've never tried the motorized solutions that spin your disc around electronically while cleaning it, but users have reported mixed results on how well these really work.
Spring Cleaning Suggestions
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