In the Forums...
Posted: July 21, 2000
Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Mouse Cleaning (cont.)
Cleaning the mouse tracks (the little smooth white bars on the bottom of the mouse) is also important. I personally use a damp cloth to clean the flat part of the tracks, as well as a toothpick to get the grime out from around the edges of the tracks. If you happen to have an optical mouse and need to clean the 'eye' of the mouse, I would personally use a q-tip or a lint free cloth as well as some alcohol or glass cleaner to clean the eye, possibly using a toothpick to get the grime out of the hard to get to edges. You have to be careful with the toothpick, however, that you don't somehow manage to scratch the eye.
Floppy Drive Cleaning
If you want to go all high tech when cleaning out your antiquated floppy drive, there are floppy drive cleaning kits available that come with a fake floppy disk and this gel stuff that can be used to clean the drive head. I won't go into how to use those, however, because there are instructions on the box. If you don't have one of those kits, you will need to clean the drive in some other manner - it is the same manner in which I would recommend cleaning all other similar removable media drives (Zip drives, LS120 drives, etc.). Use a finger or other implement to force the bay door to remain open and then use compressed air to blast the dust, dirt, and grime out of the drive.
Optical Drive Cleaning
When you are cleaning a CD or DVD drive, there are two things that generally need to be cleaned - the tray and the lens. Cleaning the tray is simple - take some glass cleaner or isopropyl alcohol, apply it to a cloth, and rub the tray until it is clean. Leave it open for a moment until the tray has dried, and then you're done. To clean the actual lens, you will have to go out and purchase a CD drive cleaning kit for tray-based CD players (they have different ones for caddy and auto feed drives - if you have one of those you will need a cleaning kit specifically for that type). Follow the directions on the box to clean the drive. Generally this involves applying some fluid to the bogus CD (which conveniently has a brush on it) and allowing the drive to spin up (making this one of the few cleaning operations that needs to be done when the computer is on).
When you are cleaning your case, there are several things you should consider doing. The first would be to take a can of compressed air and blow out any and all of the fan ports, air slots, etc. that are in the case. If your case is outfitted with air filters (like the Addtronics cases), you should clean those out with hot soapy water and let them dry before reinserting them into the case. Don't forget to clean out the power supply fan grille as well (however, don't open up the actual power supply - it can electrocute even when turned off).