Even the most perfectly treated computing devices need occasional cleaning. Laptops, phones, and iPads that are used all day, carried around, used with sticky fingers, used by multiple people, those ones are even more likely to need a good clean fairly often.
As with most things, the best remedy is prevention: if you have a computer that’s in a situation where it’s likely to get drink or drool or muck on the device, get a cover and use it! You can get a myriad of cases for keyboards and for all the portable apple products including laptops, iPhone, iPads, etc. The Support ATMac page has several recommended retailers who sell device cases and covers.
But when your device does get dirty, Apple’s online knowledge-base contains a wealth of information about cleaning and disinfecting your device. Their knowledge base used to have at least twenty separate articles about cleaning different bits of Apple equipment, but some bright spark has came along and consolidated all the information so it’s easy to find.
This is probably the page you need:
There are also just a few separate articles still around:
- How to disinfect the Apple internal or external keyboard, trackpad, and mouse
- Clean a DVD disc or optical drive
- Troubleshooting MagSafe adapters (cleaning is step 8)
If you’ve managed to make your keyboard or laptop stop working because something got spilled into it, you’ll need more drastic measures than the ones listed here and your best move is to get professional help from your local Apple retailer. If you can’t afford the professional help and you’re not afraid of taking the computer apart yourself, the iFixit Guides can help you take things apart and safely clean or replace soiled components – but this is not for the faint hearted and will void any warranty. I would only suggest the do-it-yourself option if you can’t afford to get your computer fixed professionally and the only other option is tossing it out. In that case, you may find that the guides let you take a machine that’s only good as a doorstop and end up with a functioning computer.
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