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I do it about every 2-3 months.
Remember whenever you open the case there is a (small) chance you could damage some of the more delicate components with the static you carry on your body / clothes... (really this is most important when your dealing directly with the processor - but it's still good practice.
I'm careful around the drives and try to blow the dirt out of the power supply through the fan
When this is all done, use a clean qtip to remove dirt between the blades of all heat-sinks.
there were coffee stains on the air intake on the power supply and in several places inside the computer.
When I clean my computers I usually take everything apart (including the power supply, if it's an older computer)
We need an emoticon for potential spew posts.