You could get sick
Roman-Samborskyi/Shutterstock Much like on doorknobs and light switches, the grime that accumulates on our laptops often goes unnoticed and, therefore, uncleaned. But believe it or not, our grossest habits (think: eating at our desks and forgetting to wash our hands) transfers tons of germs and bacteria to our laptops the minute we put our fingers on the keyboard. As mighty as they are invisible, once those germs are allowed to grow and build up on your computer, they can make you more likely to get sick. In fact, a British study shows that keyboards swabbed at an average London office had more harmful bacteria than a toilet seat. Why? The survey found that most users cleaned their keyboards infrequently (if at all), and cleaned their mouses even less often. Yuck! To keep the germs away, use a soft, damp microfiber cloth to wipe the screen and keyboard at least once every other week.
Your laptop could overheat
Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock Dust is way more than a simple nuisance around the house; it can also clog up the fans and vents inside your laptop, preventing it from cooling down properly. Overheating, in turn, can wreak havoc on the hardware inside and ultimately spell demise for your dear MAC or PC. To deep clean the fans and vents, power down your laptop and remove the battery, and then take it to a spot that you don’t mind getting dusty. If your laptop has a bottom panel, unscrew it and use a can of compressed air to blow the fans, clearing them of dust. If you can’t open your laptop, point the can of compressed air at the cooling vents and do the same thing. But beware of using too much pressure, which could damage the fans; instead, shoot short bursts from different angles into the laptop. And since this is a deep clean, you only need to do it once or twice a month, depending on the age of your laptop—the older it is, the more dust it accumulates and the more upkeep it requires.