In the age of the COVID19, we have swan dived into hand washing, disinfecting wipes, and hopefully, deeper cleans in general. One of the absolutely necessary things that we tend to neglect is our tech devices. From keyboards and mice to smartphones and tablets, there are a lot of places for yucky germs to live. But is there a proper way to clean these devices? Let’s take a look and see.
Tablets & Smartphones
If you absolutely want to properly disinfect your device, the first thing you should always refer to is the manual and/or contact the manufacturer. You can damage your device with improper cleaning methods so make sure you’re doing it right. Whichever way you do try, if it’s not recommended by the manufacturer, there is a chance it could hurt the device in some way. Even so, there are some methods that have worked, and at the end of the day, you can replace your smartphone, not your life.
Steps To Clean:
- Unplug your device and disconnect anything attached.
- Turn off the item completely, and if possible, remove the battery.
- Use a Microfiber cloth only and swipe downward. Do not move in circles
- Slightly dampen a microfiber cloth with water and wipe your device.
- For further disinfection use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe on non-porous surfaces or spray the alcohol onto the microfiber and then wipe.
- Use Bleach.
- Spray alcohol or cleaners directly on the device.
- Let moisture get into cracks, crevices, and seals.
- Use abrasives or spray them with compressed air.
Keyboards & Mice
As keyboards and mice are differently designed from smartphones and tablets, there are also different ways to clean these items. As usual, unplug the device first, turn the keyboard over and gently shake it out, and use compressed air to get anything that’s lodged between the keys or, if it’s a mouse, the roller or wheel. With a microfiber cloth and some isopropyl, gently wipe down the keyboard and mouse. Any internal needs with cleaning a mouse should be dealt with in a similar fashion.
As mentioned above, you want to unplug first and use a microfiber cloth. Depending on the type of screen you are cleaning, some can handle a wrung out Lysol Wipe, and some, like LCD screens, cannot. Check with the manufacturer. Microfiber cloths do a good job to lift germs from LCD screens, but they probably won’t fully disinfect them. You can specifically purchase an LCD screen cleaner if you are desperate to get that baby disinfected safely.
Prevention & Other Ways Of Cleaning Your Devices
While we have talked about the devices themselves, the question remains, what else can we do?
- A few cool things out there that you can purchase are Phone Soap, UV Clean Phone Sanitizer, and the totalee. These devices use UV light to unravel germs and viruses, but you won’t damage your device with chemicals or moisture.
- Other options include antimicrobial cases and screen protectors that reduce germs significantly while also providing your phone additional protection against everyday wear and tear.
- Some companies have produced safe and effective kits or solutions for your devices. If you don’t want to use Clorox Wipes or Isopropyl alcohol, they are a great alternative.
- If you have an ordinary plastic case that can be removed, use soap and water to wash it and let it completely dry before placing it back on your device.
- Last but not least, when all else fails, you should try to wash your hands before touching them your tech devices, though for many, this is a stretch.
If there was anything you learned from this article, I hope it was “unplugging your device and buying a microfiber cloth”. In all seriousness, your technical devices can get pretty disgusting and in this pandemic, please do yourself and everyone else a favor, clean your devices often and properly. Make your cleaning regime a regular occurrence, and if there is any chance it came into contact with something nasty, just clean it anyway.
Here are more resources to help you with your tech cleaning journey:
Podcasts: Hands-On Wellness 5 & Tech News Weekly 123
How to clean your Apple products
Keep Your Galaxy Devices Clean
Photo Credit: Victor B.