I need to clean the dust out of my computer. Previously, I have used canned air, but it seems now I cannot find any without a bitterant to prevent inhalant abuse. I just bought a can that says it is suitable for "home, office, electronics, and auto."

Is there any reason to worry about the bitterant chemical damaging the insides of my computer?

  • 1
    Dunno, but I have used a leaf blower to clean out an older computer with 6 inches of dust build up. They wondered why their 2 year old computer kept crashing... ><
    – kobaltz
    Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 7:01
  • A computer is not much different from electronics, hence you can. You would actually want to prevent inhalant abuse to ensure your computer doesn't blow bad air into your room... Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 22:22
  • @Tom: How does preventing inhalant abuse ensure your computer doesn't "blow bad air into your room"? Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 3:29
  • We have a force air blow dryer that I've used to clean out my computer many times. It's also great for keyboards, fun to watch all the dog fur and junk scoot along under the keys and then POP out.
    – Rob
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 4:23
  • An oil free air compressor is handy and can be used for many other tasks too.
    – Aki
    Commented Apr 16, 2012 at 17:55

1 Answer 1


Well, the chances are the quantity of bitterant is so low that it dosen't really have an effect on the parts of the computer its in contact with. A little digging indicates that the commonly used bitterant is Denatonium Salt of some sort, and considering its detectable at as low as 0.5 ppm, there probably isn't enough to actually cause a short, or damage things in any other way.

I also note that no one seems to have had issues outside bitterness (i've never had this issue, but i generally follow up dusting with a quick once over with cleaning gunk).


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .