Thursday, March 20, 2008

How Can I Remove Odors from a Laptop?

"I bought a used notebook on ebay. The previous owner must have worn perfume as the notebook smells like that still although I've had it over a month. Is there a cleaning solution I can use on the case and carefully around the keyboard that might remove that? - Karen"
A. The most likely areas that are holding the odors on a laptop are the keyboard and mousing surface. The casing of laptops are generally made from non-porous materials and they aren't likely to hold an odor.
With that being said it is possible that if someone were a little over-indulgent with perfume, cologne, body sprays or other bodily odor enhancements they may have transferred the odor over time to the casing.

The first step I would take to remove the odor is to use canned air on the keyboard and any ports including the vents to remove any particles that may be inside. Bits of dust can hold odors and removing this debris can help.

The next method I would try is to spray straight white vinegar on a lint-free clothe and then gently wipe down the casing, keyboard and mouse pad. Don't wipe the display with this clothe.

Use a proper screen cleaning wipe or solution to wipe down the display.
Another option to try if the vinegar doesn't work is to use one of the room freshener products and spray directly onto a lint-free clothe and wipe down in the same manner as the vinegar clothe.

If these methods don't work, the last option is one that will take at least 24 hours and is often used successfully with clothing.

Open the laptop
Place in a large plastic bag that can be sealed
Place a well soaked clothe (vinegar or room freshener) in the bag
Baking soda in an open type container can also be used
Seal up the bag and leave for at least 24 hours
Make sure you place the laptop in the bag somewhere where it won't be bounced or jostled.

After 24 hours, remove the laptop to see if the odor remains. You can spray the laptop with the canned air again to remove any last bits of debris.