How to Effectively Clean Your Electronics
We take our phones everywhere – to work, to restaurants and coffee shops, to the pool, and yes, even to the bathroom. And in doing so, we expose them to a ton of germs. Did you know that your phone houses 10 times more germs than a toilet seat? This is because, unlike your phone, toilets are cleaned on a fairly regular basis. But it’s not often that we think to clean our phones. All the talk surrounding germs got us thinking: Why don’t we regularly clean our gadgets – phones, laptops, portable gaming systems, tablets, remote controls, etc.? After all, we use them so often that they’re bound to get a little grimy, especially after eating a bag of Cheetos or taking them with us on a long flight or road trip. When it comes to your electronics, we understand how you might be concerned with damaging them in the cleaning process. We’re here to help you gain confidence. Follow these tips on how to properly clean some of your most used gadgets, without causing any harm to them.
Follow these five easy steps on cleaning your cell phone, from HGTV:
- Use a microfiber cloth. Most smart phones come with one, however, if not, check your glasses case. If you don’t have a cloth, your local drug store should carry them. Wipe your entire screen, getting rid of all the smudges, oils and fingerprints.
- To adequately disinfect your phone, use a 1:1 mixture of alcohol and water. We would like to caution that some manufacturers, including Apple, warn against using anything other than a microfiber cloth. So ultimately, it’s up to you whether you want to take the risk. However, in an interview with the New York Times, a technician with Best Buy’s Geek Squad explained the mixture they use, which is a combination of isopropyl alcohol and distilled water. To avoid accidental spills, use a spray bottle along with your microfiber cloth. For the unreachable areas, use a foam swab instead of a Q-tip.
- Using a phone case is a great way to prevent your phone from shattering. However, cases also house a ton of germs. For added protection against bacteria, use an antimicrobial cover.
- If you really want peace of mind that your phone is clean, get the PhoneSoap 2.0. Using UV-C light, this useful device can kill 99.9 percent of germs in 10 minutes.
You can use a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and distilled water (It has to be distilled!) to clean other electronics like your laptop or tablet.
LCD or Plasma TV
LCD panels are made of specially designed flexible plastic that is sensitive to chemicals. This means you have to be very careful with what you use to clean your screen. Using a chemical cleaner could very well turn your screen blank. Here’s what How Stuff Works recommends:
- Make sure the TV is turned off and the screen is black. This will allow you to see where all the smudges are.
- Using a microfiber cloth, wipe the screen gently. Don’t press down hard as you risk burning out the pixels.
- Using a 1:1 mixture of water and vinegar, dampen a cloth and gently wipe the screen again. Remember not to wipe the screen hard.
- Don’t use paper towels, toilet paper or a shirt to wipe the screen. Doing so could scratch or damage it.
- Avoid using products that contain ammonia, ethyl alcohol or ethyl chloride. These could turn your screen yellow.
- Never spray liquid directly on the screen as it can get inside the monitor which will cause damage.
Remotes get passed around left and right. Between the sticky syrup, Doritos cheese and other caked on foods, and germs, it’s time you give it a good clean. This is what How to Clean Stuff recommends:
- First take out the batteries.
- Combine water and a bit of dish soap to make some suds. Dip a cotton swab into the mixture, gently wiping it to get rid of the excess fluid. Don’t skip this step as you risk getting fluid into the remote, which could damage it. Using the cotton swab, wipe around the buttons. If there’s any excess buildup in the crevices where the buttons are, use a toothpick to extract it.
- To clean the rest of the remote, use a mixture of either soap and water or a one part water and two parts vinegar. Use either a soft rag or a microfiber cloth.
- Wait until the remote is dry to put the batteries back in.
Remember to treat all your gadgets and gizmos with utmost care while cleaning them. The last thing you want is to have to replace them because of water damage!