How to Clean a PC Power Supply

By Richard Kalinowski

Your PC's power supply is one of the most vital components on your machine. The power supply, as its name implies, feeds electrical current into your PC, allowing it to operate. A poorly functioning power supply will cause your entire computer to shut down. Regular power supply cleaning is important to ensuring a long power supply lifespan. Generally speaking, you should clean your power supply at least every 2 to 3 months. If you want to clean it even more regularly, feel free to do so; there is no such thing as a power supply that is too clean. If your computer makes a grinding noise as it powers up or shuts down, it can serve as a good indicator that you're well overdue for power supply maintenance.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • 12-oz. can of compressed air with nozzle

Step 1

Shut down and unplug your computer. Never clean the inside of your PC while it is running or plugged in; this can result in accidental electric shock or other such injuries. Wait for your computer to cool down if it has been running for a prolonged period prior to shut down. This action will help you avoid burning yourself. Wait at least 1 hour to ensure that all internal components are cooled off.

Step 2

Unscrew and remove your computer's access panel. Generally speaking, PCs have 1 main, large access panel. It is located at different positions, depending on your computer's model. The access panel is easy to identify; it is basically a large removable sheet of metal or plastic screwed onto your PC's main body.

Step 3

Find the power supply by looking for the place that your computer's power cable goes into. The power supply is also recognizable because of the large fan it contains. This fan is visible both on the inside and outside of the computer. Its external, grated face will typically be about the size of a compact disc.

Step 4

Use a 12-oz. can of compressed air with a nozzle to blow dust and dirt off the power supply. Hold the nozzle about 2 inches from the surface you're cleaning and always blow from the inside of the PC outward. Blow the air through the natural holes and air channels of the power supply's fan, shooting dust out of the PC. Dust for about 1 to 2 minute, using short bursts of air.

Step 5

Let the dust settle, and then shoot air through the power supply again to see if more dust comes out. If there is still dust, use the compressed air duster for another minute and wait for the dust to settle again. Repeat dusting until no visible dust comes out of the power supply. Place the access panel back on your computer and screw it back in.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never directly touch the internal components of your PC to avoid electrical shock or damage to your PC.