Clean your tech!

Portrait Of Happy Male Janitor Cleaning Computer On Office Desk

Wear your favorite pair of jeans every day, and they’ll get dirty. Really dirty.

The same goes for your favorite tech. Smartphones, tablets and laptops don’t see much downtime. Neglect cleaning your tech, though, and you risk compromising its performance – not to mention harboring a host of germs.

I once had trouble charging an Android phone. Convinced I’d broken it somehow, I searched online for hacks to make it work until payday. One hack suggested I prod inside my phone’s charger port with a safety pin. A clump of pocket limp came out.

Problem solved – and phone charged. Easy.

Check out these tips for keeping your tech clean and at its best.

Gather the essentials

EVERYDAY ITEMS | Have handy rubbing alcohol (not on screens!) and tweezers (to pluck out crumbs and dust). Toothpicks and cotton swab sticks will help you clean narrow places.

SPECIALTY ITEMS | Keep canned air to clean out keyboards and screen gel spray (they’re a thing!). Disposable screen wipes and screen erasers (also a thing!) can be helpful as well.

OTHER ESSENTIALS | Pick up microfiber cloths (they won’t scratch screens) and cotton pads for cleaning plastic casings. Use soft makeup brushes and lint-free lens cloths to care for smartphone and tablet camera lenses.

Vanquish the germs

If your personal device stays in your hands only, you’re straight. If kids or colleagues tap and swipe and talk on your tech, germs become part of the equation.

ON HEAVY-TOUCH SURFACES | Consider all the fingerprints on your headphones, mouse and laptop. Wipe them away with alcohol or disinfectant spray applied to a soft cloth. Be careful – liquid sprayed on your device could damage it.

ON TOUCH SCREENS | Read your user’s manual for proper care. Light application of alcohol-based cleaners shouldn’t inflict damage. Choose microfiber or items designed for tech, including screen erasers, gel spray, and wipes.

OR APPLY SCREEN PROTECTORS | Cover your screens with inexpensive stick-on sheets or anti-glare film. Protectors can tolerate harsher cleaning agents. (Be careful not to overdo it, though.)

WHAT OF THE BIG SCREENS? | LCD screens shouldn’t be touched much. How should one be cleaned?

  1. Turn off the monitor or TV
  2. Wipe with dry microfiber cloth
  3. Still spotty? Add a bit of water to your cloth and wipe gently.
  4. Still spotty? Clean with a mix of equal parts vinegar and distilled water on a microfiber cloth.

This method also works for laptop, tablet, and smartphone screens.