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Cleaning a PC - Vacuum cleaners, air blowers, static electricity

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Cleaning a PC - Vacuum cleaners, air blowers, static electricity

OK, so I've always used a vacuum cleaner to clean my PC. I know you're not supposed to, but I live in a hot, humid climate where you don't really GET static electricity, and it's never caused any problems. And there are NO shops selling air-blowers, either the electrical kind or the ones that use compressed air canisters. (I've tried a hairdryer too, but it wasn't very good at it.)

But I've recently seen adverts for several kinds of mini-vacuum cleaners (dust-buster size) that have air blower functionality, and I'm thinking of getting one. The adverts don't explicitly claim PC-safe, but they look as though they should be. Anyone here who can advise?

Example of the type of cleaner:
http://www.lazada.com.ph/kyk-tools-mini-vacuum-cleaner-800w-kmv-800-58468.html
 
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OK, so I've always used a vacuum cleaner to clean my PC. I know you're not supposed to, but I live in a hot, humid climate where you don't really GET static electricity, and it's never caused any problems. And there are NO shops selling air-blowers, either the electrical kind or the ones that use compressed air canisters. (I've tried a hairdryer too, but it wasn't very good at it.)

But I've recently seen adverts for several kinds of mini-vacuum cleaners (dust-buster size) that have air blower functionality, and I'm thinking of getting one. The adverts don't explicitly claim PC-safe, but they look as though they should be. Anyone here who can advise?

Example of the type of cleaner:
http://www.lazada.com.ph/kyk-tools-mini-vacuum-cleaner-800w-kmv-800-58468.html
My biggest concern is that it wouldn't generate enough pressure to clean effectively. It would get the loose dust off pretty well, but it's the dust that's been blown into cooling vanes that is important.
 
My biggest concern is that it wouldn't generate enough pressure to clean effectively. It would get the loose dust off pretty well, but it's the dust that's been blown into cooling vanes that is important.
What if it was used in suck-mode with a hand brush/cotton buds to loosen the dust? I tend to do that with the big vacuum cleaner.
 
It's also hard to clean dust which accumulates on fans. The best way really is to prevent dust accumulation as much as possible. Fan blades usually require some manual cleaning.
 
It's also hard to clean dust which accumulates on fans. The best way really is to prevent dust accumulation as much as possible. Fan blades usually require some manual cleaning.
Agreed, and that's something I'm also working on. But the environment I'm in will still mean I have to clean regularly, so I need both solutions.
 
I still find it funny that people buy cans of air...

Anyway, I will always suggest using something like a hair dryer on it's highest speed to clean if nothing else is available, I do the same.
 
I used to take mine to the shop and use low pressure with an air compressor and then swab the fans with cue tips . There's crazy dust where I live and I want to invest in the dust filters Gilrond has mentioned for my next PC.
 
I am one of those who uses compressed air canisters, and they work wonderfully. It is silly to pay for air but the pressure and precision is what you're paying for. Granted they can be really cheap or relatively expensive. I buy a bulk package and each can turns out to be quite cheap.

I also use air filters which trap most of the dust, but the fan blades I usually wipe manually with a rag.

The other day when I replaced my video card I put my older one away and for the first time blew some compressed air directly into the heatsink fins (I used to just blow some air on it without removing it). I was surprised at how much dust came out. No wonder it was heating up more than it did when it was new. My suggestion: blow everything every couple of months, and take the parts out and blow them well every year or so.
 
OK, but if you live somewhere where air canisters don't exist?
You could try a photographer's squeeze duster. They are not as powerful as canned air, but big ones like the Giotto Rocket Blaster are not tedious to use for an extensive cleanup. One of these in combination with a vacuum in suck mode could get rid of a lot of dust.
 
You could try a photographer's squeeze duster. They are not as powerful as canned air, but big ones like the Giotto Rocket Blaster are not tedious to use for an extensive cleanup. One of these in combination with a vacuum in suck mode could get rid of a lot of dust.
Good idea - I hadn't thought of that. (And I own a couple)
 
I only ever use a vacuum cleaner and a brush to clean PC's. Canned air seems a waste considering I clean at least one PC a week.

I just disconnect the fan cables or block them with a pen while vacuuming. The brush is one of those that hair salons use to dye your hair. Good for getting between the metal ribs of a cooler or just a quick dust of a fans blades whenever the case is open without cleaning out the whole PC.

Well except once a year I take a shower with my case. Summer cleaning, remove all components including the power button and cables of the case. Take a shower with the case to get every bit of dirt out of the dust-filters. dry for a few hours in the sun.
But then I also disassemble keyboards and put the key caps in the dishwasher.
 
Not using Vacs isn't only about static electricity, it's also about the magnetic field created by the vac motor - you don;t want magfields around your computer unless the Nefarious Scandalous Arseholes are at your door. You are supposed to use compressed air canisters, but try a bicycle pump they can do the job as long as your atmosphere isn't humid, because water molecules are the other bad thing.
 
I only ever use a vacuum cleaner and a brush to clean PC's. Canned air seems a waste considering I clean at least one PC a week.

I just disconnect the fan cables or block them with a pen while vacuuming. The brush is one of those that hair salons use to dye your hair. Good for getting between the metal ribs of a cooler or just a quick dust of a fans blades whenever the case is open without cleaning out the whole PC.
Thanks for the tip about the pen. I hadn't thought of that.

Well except once a year I take a shower with my case. Summer cleaning, remove all components including the power button and cables of the case. Take a shower with the case to get every bit of dirt out of the dust-filters. dry for a few hours in the sun.
Ha. Given the state of the mains water here, I think it would be full of grit afterwards if I took it in the shower.
 
Not using Vacs isn't only about static electricity, it's also about the magnetic field created by the vac motor - you don;t want magfields around your computer unless the Nefarious Scandalous Arseholes are at your door. You are supposed to use compressed air canisters, but try a bicycle pump they can do the job as long as your atmosphere isn't humid, because water molecules are the other bad thing.
except the magnetic field generated by a vacuums motor is piss poor weak compared to the magnets in a hard-drive. Lets just roll the numbers.

A vacuum cleaner generates a magnetic field on average 0.706 - 2.262Microtesla (µT) at 30cm and 0.051 - 0.128Microtesla (µT) at 1 meter
while a hard-drive magnet is a rare earth magnet (about 1.25 Tesla (T)) depends a bit on the shape size and if it has more than one...
And the vacuums motor is usually a meter away... I would be more worried about those old CRT monitors, my sub woofer, surround sound, or the metal shelves standing 50cm away where I stuck over 50 hard-drive magnets on the surface.
As a reference coil gap of a typical loudspeaker magnet: 1 T to 2.4 T
If none of those strong fields cause any harm then why would a weak vacuum be a problem

Oh and just to be sure: 1,000,000 µT = 1 T. To really destroy hardware by magnetic fields it's gonna take a lot more than household appliances. (except if that household appliance is a hammer)
 
All that is true of course, but the biggest and most annoying problem in a computer system? When theres an electrical short. Such shorts can be imperceptibly caused by metallic, or conductive, dust, and when I learnt to build PC's back in the 286 days, using a vacuum cleaner was considered idiocy, or at least very bad practice, maybe vac motors were stronger back then. Of course it matters how you use it, but why risk it? Bicycle pump it ! ;)
 
I think I'll get the vacuum cleaner. And probably still use the suck instead of the blow.
And the camera blower I have has a brush built in, so I should probably also start using that on the fiddley bits.

(And the bike pump is definitely out for me, if it can't be used in high humidity)
 
Yeah, I've never had to deal with that issue, I don't know if you could add some de-moisturiser element to the setup. If there one thing that really irritates my nose (& skin) its the electromagnetic muck that comes out of a computer, hate it. ;)
 
So I got the vacuum cleaner/blower. It had about a million attachments. I carefully unpacked it, laid everything out, checked against the manual to make sure everything was there.
The main attachment for turning it into a blower was missing. So it sucked, but it wouldn't blow.
Checked again, then fired off a complaint to the store's customer service. (A local online store who's trying to be an Amazon-equivalent. Not quite there yet).
Then wondered exactly what the noise was under the sofa.

Damned cat. Playfully batting around the missing part.

Anyway, I'll check it out tomorrow.
 
You should just use compressed air :p

Just kidding. I hope the vacuum cleaner will blow OK. Otherwise it would suck.

And now I'll just shut up.