How to Clean and Disinfect Electronic Devices

Do you wash your hands every time you touch your face or scratch your nose? Most people don’t even realize they’ve done these things, much less stop to clean their hands. But think about what happens when you scratch your mouth and then use the family computer or tablet.

Electronics have a fixed place in our daily lives and are often shared by family members. Because of this, it’s important to know how to clean your computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Note: When considering how to clean electronics, you should always check your manufacturer’s instructions first, as the use of some products is not advised. If your device is damaged at some point, veering from the manufacturer’s instructions could result in the nullification of any warranties you might have.

How to Clean Your Computer or Laptop Screen

Even people who think they never touch their screens seem to end up with unsightly smudges and smears. And if you have a cold or children with sticky fingers, your screen can get downright gross. Learn how to clean your computer and laptop screens for a clear view and — hopefully — fewer germs.

  1. To prevent damage or a nasty shock, you need to turn off power to your machine. For computers, you should power down and then unplug the device. You’ll also want to unplug the individual monitors. Unplug laptops and remove their batteries if your model allows for this to be done.
  2. Gently wipe the monitor free of smears or dust using a microfiber cloth.
  3. If this doesn’t work, you can us a solution of diluted dish soap, according to CNET. You’ll only need a single drop of soap and the water should be warm.
  4. Dip a clean microfiber cloth into the solution and thoroughly wring it out. This is especially important when you’re cleaning laptops, as you don’t want liquid to drip down through the keys.
  5. Gently wipe your display with the dampened cloth.
  6. Rinse all the soap out of this cloth, and wring it out again. Go back over your display to remove any soap residue.
  7. Once more, gently wipe your screen, this time using a dry microfiber cloth.

How to Clean Your Computer Keyboard

It’s common to snack or eat lunch while at the computer these days, which can lead to some gummy keyboards. These steps will show you how to clean your computer or laptop keyboard:

  1. You want to disconnect the power source first. For computers, you should power down and then unplug the device. Additionally, unplug the keyboard from the computer. If you use a wireless keyboard, remove the batteries. Laptops should be unplugged. If possible, remove the laptop batteries.
  2. Hold your keyboard upside down and gently shake it to remove any crumbs that may have fallen down into it. Be very careful when doing this to your laptop, as you don’t want to snap the hinge.
  3. Spray the keyboard with canned air to remove any leftover crumbs or dust.
  4. Lightly dab a cotton swab in gentle rubbing alcohol. Don’t oversaturate the swab, as you want to prevent moisture from falling in between the keys.
  5. Swab each of the keys using a light circular motion. You’ll want to do a spot test first to be sure the alcohol doesn’t remove any lettering.
  6. Dry the keys using a microfiber cloth. Do not replace any batteries or plug in your machine until the keys are completely dry.

How to Clean Touchscreens on a Routine Basis

In an ideal world, you should clean touchscreens daily. After all, they see a lot of unwashed hands. Fortunately, everyday upkeep of smartphone and tablet surfaces is extremely easy: You just need to wipe it off with a dry microfiber cloth.

For a more thorough clean, you can use a slightly dampened microfiber cloth. When doing so, you’ll need to unplug and power off the device before cleaning. You also want to be very careful to make certain you don’t get any moisture in the openings. Clean touchscreens with the cloth and then wipe displays dry with a fresh microfiber cloth. Afterwards, let screens dry completely before plugging devices back in or powering them on.

How to Disinfect Cellphones and Tablets

You may have heard that your smartphone screen has more bacteria than a toilet. Unfortunately, that’s not just a dirty rumor. What’s more is that tablets can be even more germ ridden.

Here’s how to disinfect cellphones and tablets:

  1. First, you’ll need a touchscreen-safe antimicrobial spray and a microfiber cloth. (There’s a rift in popular opinion when it comes to whether alcohol-based sprays are OK to use on touchscreens. Again, refer to your manufacturer’s instructions.)
  2. Make sure your electronics are powered off and unplugged.
  3. Dampen a microfiber cloth with the spray, being careful not to oversaturate the cloth.
  4. Wipe down the screen, avoiding all openings.
  5. Allow the spray to sit for the amount of time noted on the product packaging.
  6. Wipe your screens dry with a fresh microfiber cloth.

Don’t forget that your tablet cover needs to be cleaned from time to time. You can wash this with dish soap and a microfiber cloth.

  1. Remove your tablet from the cover.
  2. In a bowl, mix a couple of drops of dish soap with warm water.
  3. Dip your cloth into the solution so that it’s damp, not saturated.
  4. Wipe down the cover.
  5. Rinse the cloth until it runs clean and then wring it out so that it’s damp.
  6. Wipe the cover again to remove soapy residue.
  7. Leave the cover to air dry overnight or wipe it down with a dry cloth or paper towel.
  8. Make certain the cover is absolutely dry before re-inserting your tablet.

Keeping your computers, laptops and mobile devices wiped down can go a long way in reducing the amount of germs that get spread about your house. However, you may have to be even more diligent in other areas, especially in the winter when cold and flu cases spike. Check out these tips on household cleaning during flu season to see what you can do to further prevent sniffles and coughs in your home.

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