Spring is just around the corner – and let’s face it, spring runs a little early here on Vancouver Island, so why not get a head start on some spring cleaning?

You’re probably already making a checklist of all the cleaning tasks that need to be done:

  • Dusting
  • Window cleaning
  • Decluttering…

… But what about your electronics? When was the last time your devices received a good thorough cleaning?

We touch many of our devices all day! Keyboards, smart phones, mice, tablets… so naturally they must be harboring dirt, grime, bacteria, and even viruses.

A clean device will not only last longer and look better, it will also 
discourage the spread of germs. This is why it’s good to get into the habit of regularly cleaning your devices.

In this post, we will go through some common devices one by one and show you how to properly maintain your device’s hygiene.

COVID-19 UPDATE

Many touch screen devices have an oleophobic (fingerprint resistant) coating that can be damaged by common cleaning products. For this reason you will see a lot of manufacturers recommend that we only use distilled water and a microfiber/lint-free cloth on our touchscreens.

HOWEVER

With the COVID-19 pandemic still at our heels and with our phones being the center of a lot of germ transmission, water just might not cut it!

In response, Apple has released additional cleaning instructions should we decide we need to disinfect our devices. Here’s their statement below:

quotes


Is it OK to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?

Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces. 


Above we can see that Apple has given the go ahead for us to use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes on their products. In this post we will focus on these products, but feel free to use water instead. 

Materials

  • Clean microfiber cloths
  • 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox Disinfecting
    Wipes (or your own 70% or less Isopropyl alcohol solution)
  • Compressed air (for cleaning keyboards and remotes)
  • Cotton swabs (For mouse and game controller cleaning)
  • Tooth picks (For mouse and game controller cleaning)
  • Access to water

At the very least, make sure you have microfiber cloths and water!

Contents

Now there are so many different types of devices with different cleaning needs that we could go over in this post, but for this article we are going to focus on the devices that are often touched by our hands, since these ones harbor so many germs.

Below are all of the devices we will be covering in this article:

Smartphones & Tablets

Laptops

Mice

Game Controllers

Remote Controls

Now let’s clean our electronics! After this very important safety message:

BEFORE YOU BEGIN, please keep these notes in mind as they apply to ALL DEVICES:

  • Please make sure you read your devices manual (these can usually be found online!) to check and see if there are any special cleaning instructions for your particular device. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Always disconnect all external power sources, devices, and cables before cleaning.
  • Wait until your device has dried before turning it back on.
  • Do not spray any products/liquids directly onto a device.
  • Be very gentle when wiping/ dusting your devices, apply a little pressure, don’t scrub.
  • Do not get any moisture into device openings.
  • Avoid using Windex or other window/glass cleaners on your device.
  • Wring wipes and cloths of any excessive liquid before applying them to your device.
  • Avoid the use bleach. 

Smartphones & Tablets

person holding phone and texting
  • Unplug and turn off your phone
  • Take the phone case off
  • Use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down your device and  to get rid of any dust
  • Use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and gently wipe down the phone body and display. If you do not have either of these items, then a damp microfiber cloth is good (but it will not disinfect your device)
  • If you are not using a wipe but rather a spray cleanser or water, please make sure you apply the spray/ water to a microfiber cloth and then apply the cloth to the phone. Do not apply the spray directly to the phone
  • You will also want to clean the phone case, since phone cases are made of varying materials (plastic, leather, silicone etc)  it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper cleaning. There is, however, one way to clean all types of case materials and that’s with a microfiber cloth. This alone will not disinfect your case but it’s a place to start. Just wipe the inside and outside of your case with the cloth to get all of the dust and dirt out.
  • After your device has air dried and you have cleaned your case, feel free to put it all together again and turn your phone back on.

Laptops

person typing on their laptop
  • Turn off and unplug your laptop 
  • Take any devices and chords out of the ports 

Laptop Keyboard

 
  • Wipe down the keyboard with a clean microfiber/ lint-free cloth to get the dust 
  • If there is debris in the keyboard, you can use compressed air (follow the directions on the can) to clean it out
  • Use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and gently wipe down the keyboard. If you do not have either of these items, then a damp microfiber cloth is good (but it will not disinfect your device)
  • These same instructions can be followed for desktop keyboards

Laptop Body

 
  • Use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and gently wipe down the body. If you do not have either of these items, then a damp microfiber cloth is good (but it will not disinfect your device)

Laptop Display (screen)

 
  • If your laptop came with a display cloth, use that cloth to gently wipe the dust and fingerprints off of the display, otherwise use a clean microfiber cloth instead. 
  • If the display needs additional cleaning, use a clean, damp microfiber cloth to get rid of excessive fingerprints and dust. I would caution against using wipes on the screen as they may leave streaks. 
  • These same instructions can be followed with a desktop display screen.

Mice

person sitting at desk with one hand on the mouse and the other hand on the keyboard
  • Disconnect and power off your mouse 
  •  use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to gently wipe down non porous areas of the mouse, if you do not have these items you may use a damp (not wet!) microfibre cloth
  • Use a cotton swab and/or toothpick to remove grime from the crevices. Be mindful to not push the grime deeper.  
  • Let mouse air dry before plugging back in 

Game Controllers

someone holding a game controller
  • Disconnect and power off your controller
  • Use a cotton swab and/or toothpick to remove grime from the crevices. Be mindful to not push the grime deeper.  
  • Wipe down the controller with a damp (not wet!) microfiber cloth
  •  Use 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes  or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to gently wipe down the controller

Remote Controls

someone pointing a remote at their tv
  • Remove batteries from the remote
  • Shake any debris out
  • Feel free to use compressed air on the buttons to get out any lodged dust and debris
  • Use a damp microfiber cloth, or 70% isopropyl alcohol wipes, or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes to wipe down the remote,  if you do not have these items you may use a damp (not wet!) microfibre cloth
  • Let the remote air dry 
  • Put the batteries back in

If you find yourself glued to your electronics all day, there’s a good chance that there’s a build-up of dirt, grime, and germs on these devices. 

Make sure you regularly clean your electronics, especially if you have been touching them on a regular basis. And at the very least, give them a good dust with a microfiber cloth (It will make them shiny again!). 

But most importantly, don’t forget to wash your hands regularly.

Liked this post? Make sure you read more posts by us.

At CBS Electrical we provide professional electrical work in Victoria and Nanaimo B.C, make sure to check out our commercial and residential services.

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