Best way to dust out laptop fans and vents?

I know the best way to dust out a laptop is open it up and dust it out, but that isn't possible or practical in many cases.   Is it better to run the fans while it is on and blast air into the fans?  It seems like a lot of dust comes out.  Or should the fans be idle?  Or is this a complete horrible process?
gta2011Asked:
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gbarrientosCommented:
I like to use a vacuum and pressurized air. Sometimes a toothbrush when the dust doesnt seem to come off. Make sure laptop is off.
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Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
First turn off the laptop and buy an Canned Air and that should help you in your process.
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gbarrientosCommented:
@clonyxlro
How is that any different from what i said?
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gta2011Author Commented:
How important is the vacumn?

Does more dust land inside if you do it while the fans are running?
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Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
I guess that's because I had the question open for a while without posting it. In the mean time you posted your answer. It happens all the time.
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joelsplaceCommented:
If it has an intake and exhaust you would want to blow air through backwards while it's off.  A vacuum on the intake and canned air in the exhaust does wonders.
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Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
I don't think the vacuum helps without opening the laptop.
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gbarrientosCommented:
Vacuum is just to try to minimize the dust that is blown inside the laptop. And just cleaner.
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Larry Struckmeyer MVPCommented:
Those little fans are not meant to spin at 10K rpm, which a blast of air can do.  Put a paper clip in the opening to keep it from over spinning and trashing the bearings.
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nobusCommented:
the best way is to open the laptop to clean it, since you are blowing air INTO the laptop
if you don't want to open it, some suggest to hold the fan from spinning - to avoid bearing problems - see above
personally, i have cleaned hundreds of fans with an old vacuum cleaner exhaust (an old round Hoover) without taking any measures, and have never had any problems
i guess that if you have fan problems after blowing into it, that the the bearings were already worn
just my 2cts
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CallandorCommented:
Vacuums not designed for electronics can introduce static electricity, and compressors can introduce oil droplets into the airflow, which is why these are not recommended.  Cans of compressed air are good; avoid holding them the wrong way and spraying the fluorocarbon liquid, which will freeze and cause other problems.  Opening up the laptop will make the cleaning job much more thorough, so do it if possible.
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