HOW TO USE: Keep your HP 95LX Clean!

Protect your investment, your files, and the appearance of your 95LX. Here are some simple, and adventurous ways to keep your 95LX clean!

[This article is a compilation of tips collected for the HP Hand forum of CompuServe. Thanks to everyone who knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this article -- Rich.]

By Cindy Ericson

Most HP 95LX users are more concerned with learning how to use their Palmtop than keeping it clean. But dust and dirt have always been a bane to computers. Although the 95LX seems indestructible, why take chances?

Q-Tips, Alcohol, and More

It doesn't take a lot of time or ingenuity to keep your 95LX clean. It's as simple as grabbing a Q-Tip and a bottle of isopropyl alcohol. A few Q-Tips (or small camel-hair paint brushes) dipped in alcohol removes most grime from the keyboard. Of course be careful not to let the alcohol drip below the keyboard overlay. This can easily be prevented by rolling the top of the swab over a tissue. You can also hold the 95LX upside down when cleaning and allow the alcohol to evaporate.

Some 95LX users like Armor All, a spray-on "protectant" that cleans and coats surfaces with film that "protects against ozone, oxygen, and ultraviolet rays." It's alright to spray Armor All directly on to the outside of the case. Use Q-tips or a clean cloth to apply it to the area around the keys and screen. Allow Armor All to harden for two hours on the 95LX case and then wipe off any excess.

Another cleaner and polish for the 95LX is Snap, a product available through EduCALC. According to an EduCALC representative, Snap is the only product recommended by HP to clean computer surfaces. Snap also cleans glass used in photographic processes and repels dust from the surface it is used on. According to the product's label, it "minimizes glass and plastic maintenance by cleaning faster while imparting a satin smooth water repellent anti-static finish to treated surfaces."

You'll want to brush loose dust and dirt off the 95LX before applying a cleaning solution or protectant. You might use the camel-hair brush mentioned earlier. You could also use a camel-hair lens brush, normally used for cleaning camera lenses. The brush, which is available in most camera shops, comes in a twist-up container resembling a lipstick canister. The compact lens brush stores easily, and is protected from wear and tear when not in use.

A couple of resourceful users swept Post-It notes and Tack Rags across their 95LX display to keep the screen free of dirt and grime. Post-Its are available almost everywhere. Tack Rags are available at hardware and paint stores in the painting supplies section.

Finally, some users recommend one of the small vacuums available for cleaning dust from tight places. (Radio Shack has a battery-powered one for $9.95, part # 612504.) They are good to run over the keyboard to remove small dry particles of dust, lint, sugar, coffee grounds, etc.

Dangerous Launderings

(Note: Although some users claim to have successfully rinsed the 95LX in water, we did not test this and DO NOT recommend this procedure!!)

Computers don't like water, coffee, or any liquid for that matter. It's not a good idea to take your 95LX out in pouring rain, nor is it good to pour your favorite beverage on a Palmtop.

Unfortunately, these things happen!

It's very interesting, and a bit ironic, that an industry standard method for cleaning circuit boards is to wash them off. One CompuServe member described a three-step process: Rinse the board with warm water copiously; rinse it again with deionized water; finish the procedure by rinsing it one last time with Freon TF to dry it. Of course, the AC adapter must be disconnected and all batteries must be removed before the cleaning takes place.

Another 95LX user spilled a drink on his 95LX. He said he removed the batteries from his palmtop, disassembled the case, and then ran warm water through the entire computer. He then carefully dried it with a hair drier. He said most of his data was backed up so he didn't lose much from the system. (Editor's Note: We once corrupted a ROM chip in another computer by blowing dust out of the computer with a bottle of compressed air. We don't recommend using a device that forcefully blows air across a computer circuit board.)

All of these cleaning tips were discovered by 95LX users. There are undoubtedly many more ways keep it clean. You probably have all the equipment you need in your medicine cabinet or desk drawer. Add a little imagination and -- happy cleaning!