Feb. 8 is Clean Out Your Computer Day

It can be hard to remember to routinely clean out your computer. That’s why having a day devoted to making sure that your computer is working well and that you can find anything you need on it is a good idea.

Complete Guide to Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Mac

Computers get dirty, especially their human interface surfaces — keyboards and pointing devices.

In some instances, dirt can even affect input device performance as well as appearance. Some time ago the faithful SlimType gave me a scare when the F and W keys stopped responding properly. A keystroke would register only when the key was pressed more firmly than usual, and the subtle over-center click of the SlimType’s scissors keyswitch mechanism was missing — the malfunctioning keys feeling “numb” and offering higher than normal resistance.

The medicine that time proved to be blowing out the accumulated crud beneath the key console with compressed air. I successfully used an automotive shop compressor with a blow gun. For more cautious folks, or those without convenient access to a compressor, one of those little aerosol cans of compressed air used for cleaning photography equipment could do the trick.

But sometimes a bit of compressed air isn’t enough. So, here is our guide to cleaning everything from mice to laptops. Read More about Complete Guide to Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Mac

Keep Your Mac Clean and Tidy With Sponge

Dare to be Creative has released Sponge, a system cleaning and optimization tool for Mac OS X. The tagline for the product, summing up the aim of Sponge well, is:

You’re running out of disk space? You want to clean your disk to free up some space and get rid of the clutter? Sponge is a tool to keep your Mac clean and tidy.


Sponge combines three different techniques to clean up your Mac: removing applications, locating the large files on your drive and finding duplicates.

  • Removing applications: Sponge generates a list of all the applications installed on your system, how much space these applications occupy, and their associated files and folders. Sponge then provides the facility to remove applications safely from the system.
  • Sweeping disk hogs: Sponge will show which files and directories take up the most space, giving you a starting point for cleaning some of the clutter from your Mac. Once you’ve tracked them down, Sponge can conveniently swipe them off your disk.
  • Finding duplicates: With all the attachments, memos, letters and other documents with which we are flooded in today’s world, it’s easy to lose track and accidentally save duplicates of files. Sponge makes finding these multiple copies easy.

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A Mean Clean For A Glossy Screen

iClean I have a two-year-old grandson who loves to touch my MacBook screen. And he is NOT into washing his hands (okay with me, he’s my grandson, he can do anything).
So I had to find a non-abrasive but effective way to clean my screen. The best product I’ve found — and believe me, I’ve tried everything — is a microfiber lens cloth made of ultra suede.

The Process

First, I use a monitor wipe.
Then polish the surface gently with the microfiber cloth. You may have to use a little bit of elbow grease if someone (not you of course) has touched the screen with sticky fingers.
The ultra suede microfiber leaves no streaks,no smoky residue, no muss, no dust, no gooey fingerprints. And it shines like the first day you took your MacBook or iMac or MacBook Pro out of the box. Good for cleaning matt or glossy LCDs or glass monitors, too, like the new iMac.
Microfiber ultra suede lens cloths are small, about 5 x 7, inexpensive and durable. Mine looks like a thin version of ultra suede but is tacky to the touch and is bunch-up-able for easy transport. I’ve had mine almost a year and I use it to clean my MacBook, iPhone, my iPods and my iMac screen.
The one I have has no sewn edges. Sewn edges can scratch a surface. It’s cut with pinking shears so the cloth will not ravel.

Where to purchase

Staples sells its own brand of Monitor Wipes and I am sure you can buy them at Office Depot or Office Max. Make sure you buy Monitor Wipes and not All-Purpose Wipes. A container of 80 wipes sells for about $10.
Don’t get a microfiber cloth sold in auto shops. They’re for cars.
The one I use came with a travel cleaning kit from iClean by Monster that I purchased at CompUSA. 3M also manufactures microfiber ultra suede cloths and you can buy them for $2.99 at Drugstore.com.

Apple Pro Keyboard Repair

I had a broken Apple Pro keyboard to deal with at work today, and so, in accordance with one of my favorite mottoes – when in doubt, take something apart – I took it apart. This turned out to be a bit harder than I expected, so I took pictures and thought I would post a how-to guide here.

A quick introduction: This is the keyboard that shipped with the G5 Mac Pros, and in terms of everything but color, is identical to the keyboard from G4-era Macs as well. I was doing this repair because the keyboard was full of food and gunge, relic of a past user, and there was no way that I could issue this to anyone else in the condition it was in. Unfortunately, it was also the only keyboard that I had with the handy little shortcut-reminder stickers that used to come in boxes of Final Cut Pro, and the user wanted those. It was clean it out or nothing. So, without further ado…
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