Cleaning your computer at regualr intervals is one of the most important tasks that most of us tend to overlook. It really doesn't take a lot of your time and keeps a lot of trouble at bay, if you are particular about keeping that machine of yours clean not only from within but also on the outside. Cleaning your mouse If your mouse pointer jumps around on-screen or doesn’t move at all, your mouse is probably clogged with desktop gunk. Do the following to keep it free of all the gunk. 1. Turn the mouse upside down and clean off any dirt stuck to the bottom. Your mouse must lie flat on its pad to work correctly. 2. Twist off the mouse’s little round cover and remove the ball. 3. Wipe off any crud from the ball and blow dust out of the hole. A little air blower, sold at office and computer stores, works well here. (It also blows off the dust layers clogging your computer’s air vents.) 4. Pull out any stray hair, dust. A cotton swab moistened with some alcohol cleans the most persistent dirt from the little rollers. (The rollers should be smooth and shiny.) Dirty rollers cause most mouse problems. 5. Replace the cleaned ball into the cleaned hole and reinsert the clean little round cover. You can also pick up an optical mouse. With no moving parts, they rarely need cleaning. (Optical mice don’t work well on shiny surfaces, so if your desk is shiny, you need a mouse pad.) Cleaning your monitor Don’t spray glass cleaner directly onto your monitor because it drips down into the monitor’s guts, frightening the circuits. Instead, spray glass cleaner onto a soft rag and wipe the screen. Don’t use paper because it can scratch the glass. For cleaning flat panel monitors, use a soft, lint-free cloth, and a mix of half water and half vinegar. Feel free to clean your monitor’s front panels, too, if you’re feeling especially hygienic. Cleaning your keyboard Keyboards are usually too wide to shake over a wastebasket. The best way to clean them is to shut down Windows, turn off your computer, and unplug the keyboard from the computer. (Never unplug a keyboard from a computer that’s turned on.) Take the keyboard outdoors and shake it vigorously to remove the debris. If you’re up to it, spray some household cleaning solution on a rag and remove the grime from around the keyboard’ edges and its keycaps. Plug it back in, turn on your computer, and your computer looks almost new.