How to clean PC without causing static damage?

Discussion in 'Desktop Computers' started by Donut, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Donut

    Donut New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I am going to be cleaning the dust out of my PC tower. I am concerned about causing static damage to the components, and I have put off cleaning the poor PC because of this fear. I have to carry the PC across carpet for about thirty feet and then I will be outside on the wooden porch, where I will place the tower down on a piece of particle board held up by two wooden folding tables. I will be barefoot, sitting on a wooden bench, in case that matters. I plan to do this next week on a day with about 60% humidity. I know I need to hold the fans while I clean them with canned air, but should I use a q-tip or a pencil or something else to hold the fan in place? I will probably need to pull out the graphics card and clean it separately. My biggest question is: how do I dispel static before and during the cleaning process to avoid any static damage to the computer parts? I have been told to touch a metal grounded object, and perhaps to touch it throughout the cleaning process, but I am not sure how to do that. I have a metal toolbox, and I have a metal pipe, but how do I make sure they are grounded? Do I need to attach a wire to the metal object and run it to the ground (ie the dirt beside the porch)?

    I also know to hold the canned air upright. Are there any other details I am missing? I was told that I could easily ruin my PC if I make the wrong move so I appreciate any detailed suggestions.

    Thank you for your advice!
     
  2. johnb35

    johnb35 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    41,327
    Just touch the metal part of the case to discharge any static. Providing you don't have caked on dirt, a can of compressed air should remove all loose dirt.
     
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  3. Darren

    Darren Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,818
    While it's good to be careful about static it's frequently a bit overblown on how much you need to worry about it. Touch the case before you start. That's it. I've done builds on carpet before, not that I necessarily advise it.
     
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  4. AlienMenace

    AlienMenace Active Member

    Messages:
    935
    Me, I use a shop vac on the blower side. My shop vac has both nozzles (blow/suck). And I stick my fingers in to hold the fans. Never had a problem. Where you will get static mostly if you use the vacuum side of it, (suck). Now there this guy called "Carey Holzman, he has a YouTube channel. He suggests using a leaf blower. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmWNCO9wSjzOz1UV8jCvIHA.
     
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  5. Darren

    Darren Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,818
    Air compressor or can of air works and then paper towels or coffee filters with isopropyl rubbing alcohol to clean fan blades and the like.
     
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  6. porterjw

    porterjw Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,624
    BTDT too!
     
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  7. Donut

    Donut New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Here is a diagram of a case. I have magenta arrows pointing to the places on the case that might be touched to dispel static, before and during a cleaning. Is this correct? Which of these places inside/outside the case are the ones that are safe to touch? Thank you!

    PC_Diagram.jpg
     
  8. johnb35

    johnb35 Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    41,327
    Any metal area even the drive bays. But usually you just touch the outer metal casing.
     
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  9. porterjw

    porterjw Moderator Staff Member

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    4,624
    All highlighted areas are. Just touch the chassis.
     
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  10. Donut

    Donut New Member

    Messages:
    7
    So it is OK to dispel static by touching the OUTSIDE of the metal case, the back part where the plugs go in? I was thinking that one must specifically touch the INSIDE for some reason. And after that I am safe to pull out the graphics card etc? I know that newbie questions can seem obvious and foolish, and I appreciate your having the patience to help me!

    ps. Is it ok to place my PC tower on a metal table covered with a piece of particle board, for cleaning?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  11. porterjw

    porterjw Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,624
    Touch. The. Metal.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. AlienMenace

    AlienMenace Active Member

    Messages:
    935
    I did a good cleaning about 2 weeks ago on my machine. I opened the front doors and had the screen door propped open, put my machine on a chair and used the shop vac and blew everything out into the open air. :p Got kind of cold in here for a short. I live in the Mid-West, United States.
    Get everything, and don't forget the power supply. I blew it up from the bottom and out the back. And if you have removable screen filters, pull them also and clean.
     
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