Electronic devices like your television, computers and smartphones are probably among the most expensive and heavily-used items in your home. So to maximize the lifespans of these electronics and make them more enjoyable to use, it’s important to maintain them with routine, gentle cleaning.
Some electronics are quite sensitive, especially to harsh chemical cleaners. To make your cleaning routine safe, heed these simple tips:
Clean flat screens gently. More than most electronics, flat screen TVs and monitors are vulnerable to damage from cleaning products or even moderate pressure. The ideal cleaning solution for these screens is either distilled water or half water, half white vinegar. Apply this solution to a microfiber cloth -- never a paper towel -- to gently buff out spots. Don’t spray the solution on the screen or use any more pressure than necessary to avoid scratches or dead pixels.
Take care with touch screens, too. These are more resilient to pressure, but it’s best to stick with water or the water and vinegar combo when cleaning these devices. Not all touch screens are the same, so refer to your product documentation whenever you’re in doubt about the suitability of a cleaning solution.
Clean disc players inside and out. The disc readers inside DVD players, Blu-Ray players and video game consoles are extremely delicate and may start generating errors if they get dirty. You can purchase cleaning discs that have small, gentle brushes to keep these components clean, but check the product description to ensure compatibility first.
Compressed air is a must-have. Available at any office supply store, a can of compressed air provides focused bursts of air that can effectively blow dust and dirt out of fans, vents and other tight spaces. Gentler than a light touch, you can use compressed air to clean virtually all electronics.
Trap dust where you can. While compressed air is handy, it merely blows dust around. To rid your electronics of the scourge of dust, you’ll need to attract dust particles with washable or disposable dusting cloths. Make this part of your weekly cleaning routine to stay on top of things.
Clean your keyboards and computer mice regularly. These are always in contact with your fingers, so they get dirty fast. Be sure to unplug or otherwise disable them before cleaning, and start by blowing them clean with compressed air. Cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol are perfect for removing buildup or stains.
Heavy use means more cleaning. For gadgets you use every day, such as your smartphone or mp3 player, make a habit of thoroughly cleaning them at least once per week. If it’s safe to use rubbing alcohol, packaged alcohol wipes provide a quick and convenient way to keep up with this schedule.
Clean your earbuds! Even if you’re a stickler for personal hygiene, earbuds that receive regular use need regular cleaning. They can collect oils, dead skin cells and bits of earwax that are best cleaned with cotton swabs and rubbing alcohol. If your earbuds have removable rubber inserts, you can safely clean those with warm, soapy water.
Keeping your electronics clean is all up to you! But when you need help keeping them powered up, reach out to your licensed local electricians for repairs, upgrades and other service.