How to Clean Electrical Interfaces and Appliances

Cleaning most things in our houses can be fairly simple. If it’s squishy, you vacuum or wash it. If it’s hard, you spray some appropriate solution or water, and wipe it down. However, when dealing with electrical systems, there are additional considerations. You don’t want to get shocked, or damage your wiring or appliance. It’s important to keep them clean though. Aside from that outlet near the stove which is turning yellow with grease, buildup of dirt or grime can be a health hazard. And if your electrical appliances are dirty, they could pose a health hazard, or even a fire risk. Finally, for systems like computers, cleaning them out periodically can extend their life and improve performance.

To clean a basic outlet or light switch, the steps are fairly simple. First, shut your power off. If we are going to get this clean, then we need to do it completely and correctly. Once the power is off, you can unscrew the cover. Take this, and wash it. This should be much easier with it detached. Now, return to the outlet. I would recommend a small cotton swab with some alcohol. Wipe around the edges, removing all grime and residue. Then, scrub the face of the outlet. Make sure that you do not spray any cleaning product into the outlet, as this could be a safety hazard or damage your outlet. Once it is clean, you can dry everything thoroughly and replace the cover. Once its screwed in, you can turn you power back on and test that it is still functioning. You will not want to have inadvertently damaged anything.

If you have a computer that is running loudly, it means that the fans inside the case are working hard to distribute heat. This means that heat is building up, and this will be worsened by dust inside the case. To clean this, shut the computer off. Unplug it, and switch the power off at your computers built in power supply, which will likely have a switch on the back of the case. Then, you can look for a side panel which will unscrew. Once unscrewed, you should be able to see inside. If you are intimidated by what you see, its ok. You will not have to mess with any of the wiring or disassemble it at all besides removing the side panel. Now what you need is a can of compressed air. Blow away all the dust that you can, paying special attention to any fans that you see. Once done, replace the side panel, and your computer should be running a bit cooler.

Scroll to Top