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01/13/2012 08:22 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

How To Be Organized: Cleaning Your Computer

If you're on your computer more than you'd like to admit, it's bound to be pretty dirty. Dust, crumbs and general daily grime love the teeny crevices of your keyboard--and we know from experience. To begin anew and in honor of National Clean Up Your Computer Month, check out four ways to clean your computer and its accessories. There's no need to buy expensive electronic cleaners; sanitize your electronic best friend with common household items. You'll not only contract less germs, but save a buck or two.

Computer/Laptop Screen - If a microfiber cloth is not readily available, fear not; cotton bandannas or scarfs straight from your wardrobe will do the trick. Be sure not to use bath or paper towels, as their designs could scratch the screen. Mix one-part vinegar or one-part isopropyl alcohol and distilled water together, and spray onto cloth. It is important to use distilled water, as regular tap water will leave streaks. With the damp cloth, gently wipe the screen from top to bottom.

Keyboard - If you work while eating, chances are your keyboard has seen its fair share of crumbs. Instead of buying compressed air canisters, use a toothbrush or paintbrush to sweep out any particles or dust. You can also fold a Post-It in half or fourths to clean out the nooks and crannies between keys.

Mouse - Firstly, detach and turn off the mouse from the computer. Use a cloth dampened with the same solution you used to clean the screen and wipe down the mouse, avoiding the area around the lens underneath. Moisten a Q-tip or cotton ball with the same solution, making sure there's no excessive liquid, and gently wipe the lens. Use a cotton ball to completely dry.

Laptop Bag - Open and turn over the bag and shake out any crumbs or particles. Next, take a hairdryer to blow out or a hand vacuum to suck up any leftover dust or lint. Wipe the exterior of the bag with a cloth dipped in a baking soda-water solution. Be sure to air dry before storing the laptop again.

Do you have any more tips? Let us know in the comments below.

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