This may or may not surprise you, but your cell phone, computer, and tablet are actually some of the dirtiest surfaces in your home. Our electronics go with us everywhere, and occasionally we take for granted the importance of cleaning these items regularly—and maybe it’s because we just aren’t sure how. Electronic devices are fairly delicate and oftentimes require special care. Just spraying Windex on your monitor may cause more harm than good, and even the material that you use to wipe down your gadgets can create scratches or other damage. To keep your electronics properly cleaned and disinfected, it’s important to follow manufacturer guidelines and use natural products rather than harsh chemicals. For a general overview on how to properly disinfect your electronics, follow the process listed below:
Computer or Laptop Screen
- - Power off your device to prevent damage or shock.
- - Using a microfiber cloth, gently wipe the monitor free of smears.
- -If you do not own a microfiber cloth, a coffee filter will do as well.
- - Spray an EPA-registered disinfectant on a clean microfiber cloth and follow the instructions listed on the label.
- - Gently wipe down the display with the dampened cloth.
- - Using a dry microfiber cloth, gently wipe the screen once more.
- - Disconnect the keyboard from the power source, remove batteries, or turn off your laptop.
- - Hold the keyboard upside down and gently shake out any crumbs.
- - Spray the keyboard with canned air to remove any leftover crumbs or dust.
- - Lightly dab a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol. Do not oversaturate the swab.
- - First, do a spot test to ensure the alcohol doesn’t remove any lettering. Continue to swab each key using a light circular motion.
- - Dry the keys using a microfiber cloth.
- - Unplug or take the batteries out of the mouse.
- - Lightly dab a cotton swab in gentle rubbing alcohol.
- - Rub away any dirt or grime.
Cellphones, Tablets, and Other Touchscreen Devices
- - You’ll need a touchscreen-safe antimicrobial spray or a bit of isopropyl alcohol (depending on what the manufacturer recommends) and a microfiber cloth.
- - Power off and unplug your devices.
- - Lightly dampen the microfiber cloth with the spray or alcohol.
- - Wipe down the screen, avoiding all openings.
- - Allow the spray to sit for the amount of time noted on the product packaging.
- - Wipe the screens dry with a clean microfiber cloth.
Charging and USB Ports
- - First, try to use a can of condensed air.
- - Spray away from the device for one to seconds to eliminate any condensation.
- - At an angle, spray into the port.
- - If this does not work, try using a wooden toothpick to gently pick out any dust or lint.