9 Easy Steps To Clean a Laptop Touchpad

A laptop touchpad will collect oil, dust, and grime over time. The dirt comes from various sources like the fingers, food and drink spills, leaving it uncovered for most of the time, and keeping or operating the laptop from unclean environments. The touchpad becomes sticky, less responsive and uncomfortable to operate. Cleaning it to improve its performance doesn’t take much, just a few items that you can easily obtain.

Extreme care should be taken when cleaning a laptop touchpad, though. It’s too delicate to withstand pressure, and can also get ruined by some of the normal cleaning liquids. To avoid damage to its delicate structure, always use the recommended cleaning materials. Safe materials you can use include lint-free and very soft pieces of cloth, distilled water, and non-polar liquids such as alcohol-based cleaners. These items are easily available for purchase in the case you don’t have them in the house, plus they’re not costly.
To clean your laptop touchpad, these are the things you will need, and steps on how to do it.

Materials you will need:

  • Distilled water ( avoid tap water as it contains salts that can damage the electrical systems of your laptop)
  • Two nonabrasive and lint-free cloth pieces ( a rough cloth would scratch the touchpad surface, while a lint-free cloth prevents a buildup of electrostatic charges)
  • Isopropyl alcohol solution ( it cleans oils better by dissolving them)

Steps:

1. Turn off the laptop’s power and unplug it from the power socket if connected. You can also remove its battery as a further precautionary measure in case some liquid accidentally spills into its inside. Such an occurrence would lead to shorting and possible shock or damage to the laptop’s circuitry.

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2. Dip one piece of the two pieces of cloth in the distilled water and remove it. Wring to remove excess water until it’s only damp, without any drip.

3. Use the dampened piece of cloth to wipe the touchpad surface, taking care not to exert pressure that’s too much as to cause damage.

4. Wipe off the surface using the piece of cloth that was not dipped in water. To remove oils, move on to the next step.

5. Mix equal parts of water and isopropyl alcohol in a separate container to make a 50% solution of isopropyl alcohol.

6. Dip the damp piece of cloth in the water-isopropyl alcohol solution and wring it to remove excess liquid, or until it only feels damp.

7. Use it to wipe the laptop touchpad slightly, without putting unnecessary pressure. Wipe it till it shows signs of being free of oil smudges.

8. Use the dry piece of cloth to wipe the surface to rid it of any traces of liquid, including the surfaces the liquid touched other than the touchpad.

9. Your touchpad is now clean and its responsiveness restored.

How Frequently Should A Laptop TouchPad be Cleaned?

It depends on how soon it gets dirty after you’ve cleaned it, which in turn depends on many factors. To keep the touchpad in good condition, free from dirt, oils and other debris, follow these simple tips.

  • Avoid working in dusty conditions that cause dust to settle on the touchpad for long. With time, the dust gets stuck and not easy to remove. Dust will also find its way into the inside of the laptop, affecting its overall performance and life
  • Always close your laptop when not using it to protect it from collecting unnecessary dirt on the touchpad
  • Avoid taking meals or drinks near your laptop; you never know when an accidental spill of food or drink will occur. Some food stains can be so hard to remove and so big as to cause the touchpad to malfunction
  • Keep your working area adequately ventilated to prevent settling of dust on the touchpad
  • Always clean your hands before working on your laptop. Oil on the fingers is not always visible, and the best way to be sure they’re oil-free is by washing them in soapy water
  • Keep pets off the laptop’s touchpad lest they leave dirt on the touchpad
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While cleaning a laptop touchpad is simple, avoiding environments that cause it to accumulate dirt is advisable. Of importance, too, is learning how to clean a laptop touchpad using the right materials; using the wrong ones may result in corrosion which with time wears the touchpad off.