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One question that gets asked a lot on the internet is: how to clean a fan on a laptop.

Cleaning it is not something difficult. In fact, you don’t have to pay anyone to do this job. With proper care and guidance, this is something you can accomplish easily.

Here’s an in-depth guide on how you can clean your laptop fan. We’ll also provide a few tips on the best ways to do this.

Why You Need to Clean the Fan on a Laptop

The main reason why you need to do it: Cleaning the laptop fan improves its performance when cooling your laptop.

When performing different tasks (for instance, gaming, programming, browsing, etc), laptop components such as the processor, GPU, and the RAM usually produce heat.

At this point: The laptop fan (with the help of the heat sinks) usually spins to eliminate the excessive heat. However, the speed at which the fan spins will depend on how much heat it needs to remove from the device.

If the laptop fan is not working efficiently, it would be difficult for the laptop to eliminate heat, which could fry the motherboard or some of the internal components.

One factor that can prevent your laptop from functioning appropriately is removing the dust and debris around it.

Dust usually sneaks into the fan during the cooling process and block the air vents or the blades.

You, therefore, need to clean the fan as soon as possible to prevent damage on the laptop.

Other reasons why you should clean the laptop fan are if:

  • Your laptop is overheating even when you are not using power intensive tasks
  • The laptop fan is louder than usual, it’s a clear indication that there’s some dust and debris that you need to remove

Read this: Why is my laptop fan louder than usual?

Tools You Need to Clean the Fan on a Laptop

How to Clean Fan on a Laptop Step by Step

Step 1: Shut down the laptop & Remove the Battery

How to clean a fan on a laptop step 1: Shut down the laptop to clean a laptop fan

Although blowing compressed air to the air vents would do the trick, it may not complete the job, especially if there’s more dirt on the fan blades.

Therefore, you need to shut down your laptop and remove the battery. Experts recommend this to avoid being electrocuted by the internal electrical components as you disassemble the laptop.

Step 2: Remove the Back Panel of the Laptop

Okay! if the fans are located on the underside of the laptop, you need to use the screw driver to remove the back panel.

Place the screws in a container to avoid losing any of them. Although you can use the laptop without one or two screws, it’s always advisable to ensure that you have all the screws required.

Here’s a video showing you how to do remove the back panel safely:

Step 3: Unscrew the Laptop fan

Remove the laptop fan from its position to clean it.

You can also clean the fan without removing it if your laptop is still under a warranty; however, you may miss out on cleaning the dirt that sits under it.

Here’s a video from HP to show you how to do it appropriately.

Step 4: Remove the Dirt on the Laptop Fan

Using the compressed air, blow out the dirt on the fan blades. You can use different speeds depending on how much dirt it has.

How to Clean a Fan on a Laptop step 4: Blowing compressed air on laptop fan
How to blow compressed air on the fans

You may also need to use the non-abrasive brush or earbud to clean the blades to remove any sticky dirt that the compressor might fail to remove. Dip both (the brush or earbud) in an alcohol solution (and not water) to help remove the dirt.

How to clean with an earbud

Also, check if there’s any dirt beneath the area where the laptop fan sits and clean it. You can use the brush or the compressed air, depending on the nature of the dirt.

Note: Most experts recommend using something to hold the blades in place to prevent them from spinning as you clean it. This is because the laptop’s motor is a bit fragile and can break if you use too much force on it.

Step 5: Return the laptop fan to its position & clean any other dirt on the laptop

Once you screw back the laptop fan to its position, check the air vents and other areas to identify any dust or debris.

Use a microfiber cloth/ brush/earbud to clean these areas. Remember: Any dirt that remains can cause damage to the laptop. They can also sneak back to the laptop fan.

You can also take this opportunity to check if the heat sinks have enough thermal paste. If not, reapply an adequate amount.

Step 6: Assemble the Laptop

Once you finish cleaning the laptop fan, it’s time to put everything back to its original position, including the back panel. Ensure that you use the right screws and screwdriver when assembling back your laptop.

A Few Tips to Use When Cleaning a Fan on a Laptop


  • Use a vacuum blower to clean your laptop fan: The air that these devices blow out can suck some of the tiny components out of their position if you are not careful.
  • Blow dust using your mouth: If any moisture falls on any electrical components, they can damage the entire motherboard once an electric current passes through it (or when you power on the laptop).
  • Use compressed air near flames or enclosed areas: From our research, we learnt that the canned/compressed air used is a chemical, which is quite flammable.

FAQs on How to Clean a Laptop Fan

How often should you clean a laptop fan?

The number of times you clean your laptop will depend on the environment you use your laptop in. If the area is dusty, you may need to clean it often. However, it’s good practice to avoid using your laptop in such areas. Also, avoid placing your laptop on a bed, couch, or carpet directly. Invest in a laptop stand instead.

How do you clean laptop fan without opening?

You can simply blow compressed air on the laptop’s air vents. However, this might not solve the problem entirely, especially if there’s dust on other areas of the laptop.

What happens if you don’t clean your laptop fan?

Dust and debris will clog the laptop fan, causing it to overwork when cooling your laptop. The laptop may also overheat often, and this can damage the laptop’s critical components.

Does Cleaning Laptop Fan Improve Performance?

Definitely! Getting rid of dirt improves performance. Your laptop fan will no longer be loud and it will have an easy time blowing excess heat from the laptop’s internal components.

Wrapping it up

That’s it guys. We hope that helps. Be sure to be sensitive when opening your laptop as some of the components can break easily. Also, incase you are not confident of opening your laptop, take it to a reliable service center.

Thanks for reading the article. Good luck!

Author: Brian KaguiriExpert writer who loves to talk about tech. You can follow him on LinkedIn or Medium.

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