Clean Your Gadgets Properly Without Damaging Them
How to clean your devices safely…
Computers and gadgets are always getting dirty, and to clean them people turn to all sorts of methods to get rid of the gunk and grease that accumulates over time. Unfortunately most devices weren’t built to withstand harsh cleaning solvents, even Windex can actually damage some devices – so it’s best to get clued up on what cleaning solutions are safe to use on your precious electronics.
There are lots of cleaning products out there which claim to spruce up your devices like new, however in most cases, simple home-made solutions can do the trick.
Here are some tips on how to clean your computers, monitors and other devices effectively, without damaging them.
Image Credit: Andrew, 2007.
How To Clean Your Devices Safely
How To Clean Your Monitor
LCDs are not resilient pieces of kit, pixels can burn out if you press on it too hard, excess liquids can easily seep in through the sides, and they generally don’t stand up well to being dropped and bashed around. So proceed with caution.
To start with, only use microfiber cloths to clean your monitor screen, these materials don’t leave tiny particles like paper towels, tissue, or cotton does.
In some cases you may be able to wipe away any marks on the screen using the microfiber cloth alone. But if you’re looking to remove months of gunk from your display, a homemade mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 1 part water should do the trick.
Remember: Never spray or apply the liquid to the LCD screen itself, always douse the cloth lightly and make sure its not dripping wet before cleaning the screen. And always turn your monitor off before cleaning.
Of course you can use ready-made monitor cleaner, these work great too, but vinegar really does work well, and it’s highly likely you’ve got some sitting in your kitchen cupboards.
Cleaning touchscreens can be done in much the same way as cleaning a monitor screen; using a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water.
Remember: Always apply the cleaning solution to the cloth and not the device itself, and always turn off the device before cleaning.
How To Clean Your Keyboard
Computer keyboards can be difficult to clean. To do the job correctly, you’ll probably need to buy some compressed air and a little rubbing alcohol – if you haven’t already got some.
Blowing the compressed air between the keys will get rid of any dust and dirty lurking away underneath. And a light wipe down with rubbing alcohol will be sufficient to remove the grease and gunk from the buttons.
If you managed to spill drinks in between the keys, you may need to remove the individual buttons to give it a thorough clean.
Remember: Always turn off your keyboard and unplug it before cleaning.
If it’s readily available in your locale store, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser also does a really good job.
How To Clean Your Mouse
With the exception of the Apple mouse, all modern mice do not need to be taken apart and cleaned.
Simply rub down the device with a damp cloth, using rubbing alcohol if necessary. The alcohol can also be used to strip any grease from the buttons.
Remember: Always turn off your mouse before cleaning.
How To Clean Your Laptop
Some laptops, like the Macbook Pro, are extremely easy to keep clean. Non-acetone nail polish remover does wonders for these lighter colored machines, but it can also discolor or damage the surface of others.
If you’re not too sure about using nail polish remover, a solution of rubbing alcohol and water can also do the trick.
Ready made solutions and other cleaning products such as Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, also work well, but some are much more expensive than others so shop around before you buy.
- Whitson Gordon: How to Properly Clean All Your Gadgets Without Ruining Them. Gizmodo, 12/01/2012.