Tips For Cleaning Electronics
We can't live without our precious electronic devices -- TVs to keep us entertained, smartphones to keep us connected and computers to keep us informed. But just like our homes, we have to maintain them to make them last as long as possible, and cleaning is part of that maintenance routine. Here are 4 tips for cleaning your electronics.
Because your TV and computer screens are more delicate than when they were all made of glass, you have to be very careful when you clean them -- you can't clean them the same way you clean your kitchen furniture. Store-bought cleaning products are filled with harsh chemicals or they leave behind residue that ruins your view. Instead, use either diluted white vinegar, rubbing alcohol or plain old tap water. Vinegar and alcohol cut through oil from your fingers and they evaporate quickly so they won't leave spots. If those things don't concern you, a little bit of water on a cloth works fine for picking up dust. Make sure to use the right type of cloth -- just like your eyeglasses, TV and computer screens are sensitive to the harsh texture of paper towels. A good rag or microfiber cloth allows you to clean thoroughly without scratching your screens. Between cleanings, wipe down your screens with used dryer sheets; the same stuff they use to neutralize static in your laundry picks up dust without scattering it.
Keyboards are dust magnets; if you have kids, they're crumb magnets! Getting in between all of those keys is impossible. The only things that fit in a crevice that small are water or air. Obviously, you can't pour water on your keyboard and expect it to work, but air works spectacularly well. Compressed air (air in a can) blows hard enough to get particles that are stuck underneath your keys without any work. If you don't have compressed air, turn your keyboard over and tap it to get the specks and bits out -- it doesn't work as well as compressed air, but it gets some of the junk out. To disinfect the keys, dampen a microfiber cloth with vinegar or rubbing alcohol and run it along your board. It you want to detail it, use cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol to mop up the dust in each cranny.
A computer mouse is hard to clean -- there's not much to them, but they do a lot of work, so they need to be clean and functioning properly. Make sure you unplug your mouse before cleaning. Tap it to shake out any loose dust and particles. Wipe it down with a microfiber cloth lightly dampened with rubbing alcohol or vinegar. Wipe it down again with a dry cloth. If there are spots that need extra attention, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to get it cleaned up.
Like the keyboard, the crevices in a smartphone that attract dust and debris are too small for conventional cleaning. Compressed air is best for the small slits and openings. If something really needs to be wiped out, try wrapping the end of a toothpick with a paper towel, dipping it in rubbing alcohol and getting at the dirt the way you would with a cotton swab. It's tedious, but it gets the job done. For the screen, it's best to use a dry microfiber cloth to remove smudges and streaks.