Whether you want to protect yourself from the very contagious COVID-19 or just need to give all of your gadgets a deep-clean while you’re working from home, now is the perfect time to do so! Here are some tips on how you can safely clean your tech gadgets, without doing any damage in the process.
Tip One: Disinfecting and Cleaning Are Two Different Things
In light of the recent outbreak, Apple has released this statement when it comes to disinfecting your iPhone:
“Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the exterior surfaces of your iPhone. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any openings, and don’t submerge your iPhone in any cleaning agents.”
Many of the instructions for cleaning gadgets prior to this announcement still stand, as well, though. Damp cloths and soap are still great if you need to remove stuck-on grime or dirt. To disinfect, however, you have to use a product that contains enough alcohol to kill potentially harmful microbes.
Tip Two: Smartphones & Tablets
The easiest way to clean your smartphone is with disinfecting wipes or use rubbing alcohol to disinfect the screen. Keep in mind that the biggest danger is that you will potentially accelerate the wear on the oleophobic (oil repelling) coating on the display. This coating will wear away over time, especially if you’ve had your device for a while.
If you keep your phone in a case, remove it and wash the case thoroughly in hot soapy water. You can also use an alcohol-based disinfectant on the rest of your phone. Despite your phone’s waterproof rating, you should never submerge your phone in water or any other liquid.
Tip Three: Laptops
You can properly clean a laptop inside and out if you have the right tools. A great tool to use is a can of compressed air to blow out any dust trapped in small spaces and crevices.
Use Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol to disinfect the keyboard and other high-touch surfaces. But remember, you might want to be a little more careful with the screen, particularly if it’s plastic, as alcohol and other chemicals might destroy the finish.
Tip Four: Keyboards
Think about how much you touch your keyboard. They’re usually covered in germs, caked with grime, and filled with crumbs, and more. To get started on deep cleaning our keyboard, remove the keys and clean them with a cloth or brush. Use compressed air to blast any dust or crumbs out of the chassis.
Isopropyl alcohol and ethanol will help kill potentially infectious microbes. Some people go the extra mile and put their (wired) keyboards in the dishwasher. Provided you dry it out thoroughly before you plug it back in, it may still work. However, you might damage the finish or keys, so we don’t recommend it.
Thoroughly cleaning your keyboard may even improve your typing experience. Since grime builds, removing anything that makes your keys feel “stuck” should make your keyboard feel new again.
Tip Five: Your Mouse
You can follow many of the same cleaning techniques you would use for a keyboard to sanitize your computer mouse, too. Because your mouse is frequently in contact with your hand, alcohol-based cleaners are great for killing bacteria and germs.
For those super hard-to-reach places, try dipping a cotton swab in some alcohol and get to work. A wooden toothpick might also help you scrape any grime out of any small cracks. The key here is to lightly clean your mouse often to prevent dirt from building up in the first place so you can continue to ‘click’ smoothly.
Tip Six: Clean Often for Best Results
You’ll spend less time cleaning your gadgets if you don’t wait until they desperately need it to get it done. It’s also a lot more hygienic to clean them regularly. This is especially true for gadgets that are regularly exposed to your hands, like smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
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