How To Clean Computer Ports?

Why you need to clean your computer’s ports?

Every computer needs to have its ports cleaned, otherwise, it might overheat. This is very important to do every 6 months, depending on how often you use your computer. We have already mentioned how important it is to clean your computer.

Computer ports help transfer data from one device to another through a laptop, a desktop, etc., but over time they become dirty emitting an unpleasant odor. This article will demonstrate how to clean these ports using basic household items you may already have laying around the house [i.e.” a toothpick” a pencil”].

This article will show you how to clean the various ports found on computers.

USB Ports

To get the dust out of the USB port, simply blow into it. It’s almost scary how much dust comes out… If this doesn’t work for you try using a pencil eraser and gently rubbing it in a circular motion around the port until something comes out.

For the other ports that will not clean using air [i.e. the ones that use erasers, toothpicks, etc.] follow these steps:

1. Unplug your computer and take out any CDs/ DVDs in it

2. Turn your computer upside down and shake it a little bit (to get all of the dust out)

3. Now turn your computer back right side up and get an eraser to rub around the port(s) for about 30 seconds each. If you do not have an eraser readily available get a cotton swab and some rubbing alcohol (70%+) and place one drop on the tip of the swab then gently rub where necessary until you have a clean port.

4. Turn the computer upside down again and repeat step 3 if necessary, or you can now plug your computer back in after doing step 3 and turn it upright to use it as normal.

5. First cover your workspace with cardboard or newspaper just in case anything falls out of place when cleaning your computer ports which could result in scratching your devices [i.e “or any other household items you have”].

6. Remove any foreign objects from inside of it. You can use a toothpick or a pencil to put pressure against this opening by poking it through the back of the device until they fall out [i.e “or however else you may choose”].

7. After finishing this step, take a cotton swab and remove the excess dirt from within this same area carefully so as not to damage anything [i.e “clean both sides of each opening by turning it over”. After completing these steps, repeat them on each opening on your device until finished.

8. After finishing this step, take a cotton swab and remove the excess dirt from within this same area carefully so as not to damage anything. Then, unscrew the back of your device with a Philips screwdriver [i.e “and clean it inside with alcohol”].

9. After completing these steps, repeat them on each opening on your device until finished. Once you are done you can either choose to put everything back together or just leave them out for future dust buildup during use.


To clean your computer’s mouse, port, fan, or any other opening that conducts electricity you will need:

A can of compressed air (can be found at your local Officeworks),  an old soft toothbrush with hard bristles (not the kind with plastic on the bottom)

1. To begin unplugging your computer from all power sources and turn it off if applicable.  Do not use sharp items around your computer, they may damage it.  Compressed air can be extremely powerful and even cause harm to the components inside your computer. Make sure you are in a location with good lighting so that you see all of the openings on your computer where dust has accumulated.

2. Use your compressed air to blow off any excess dirt or debris from the openings on your computer. Hold the can of compressed air upright at about 5 inches away from any opening where you are blowing out debris.

3. Gently insert an end of the toothbrush into each opening (where you blew off dust) and gently move it back and forth, then remove it slowly without exerting too much pressure onto the opening – do force anything through an opening if you can help it.

4. If you feel compelled to use the toothbrush in the direction of a particular opening, spray some more compressed air into where you want to brush before brushing, and after removing your hand from that area.

5. You may also wipe off any other visible dirt with a clean, dry cloth or damp rag (not soaking wet) such as microfiber if desired.  Be careful when using water near electronics since they don’t mix well and water may damage them leading to expensive repairs.

Your ports should be much cleaner now!  Rinse and repeat these steps if necessary/if you see dust accumulating again over time. Sometimes there is only so much you can do and computer cleaning is best left up to professionals because it takes special tools and methods.

However, if you must do it yourself or don’t have access to these tools or the professionals then this method should help get your ports clean.  Be careful not to break anything while doing this though!

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...