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canned air

Canned air is compressed air in a spray can with a very long nozzle that enables a precisely focused blast of air for cleaning delicate or sensitive things. Because jets of air are more effective, and yet gentler, than other cleaning methods, canned air is often used for cleaning computer keyboards and the insides of computer cases.

Dust is attracted to electronics in general because of static electricity; this quality, combined with the circulation of air created by the fans in a computer case, means that impressive quantities of dust can collect in a surprisingly short time period (depending, of course, on the amount of dust in the area). If dust is not removed from electronics, it creates an insulating blanket and can lead to over-heating and damage to circuits.

This was last updated in September 2005

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