Cleaning Your Electronic Gadgets

Nobody lets a sink, shower, or toilet go very long without a good cleaning. When it comes to making sure your home environment is truly as fresh and germ-free as possible, don’t forget to clean all your electronic devices… like your television, computer, tablet, and cell phone.

Always be sure to power down and unplug electronic devices before cleaning them. It’s also a good idea to let them cool down before you begin. Don’t forget to read the cleaning instructions in the manufacturer’s manual that comes with each device.

Here are a few useful suggestions for cleaning your electronic gadgets without harming them. Here are some tips we hope you find valuable.

Some helpful tips…

TOUCH SCREENS -Computer monitors, laptops, tablets, cell phones, etc.

All computer monitors should be cleaned regularly, because dust and grime can accumulate. Touch screens should be cleaned even more often because they require actual physical contact, and a dirty surface can interfere with the touch sensitivity of the screen.

  • Do not spray anything directly on your screen.

  • Do not use glass cleaner, ammonia, or other cleaning solvents on your screen. They can harm your screen’s protective coating.

  • Do not use paper towels on your screen. The surface of paper towels is not as “soft” as it may seem. Paper towels can leave small scratches on a screen.

  • Do not use an old T-shirt or some other scrap of clothing, because you will inevitably leave some lint behind.

  • Do use microfiber cloths (like those for eyeglasses and/or jewelry). Wipe across your screen lightly in a horizontal or circular motion.

  • Do use a little distilled water – not tap water – on a slightly damp microfiber cloth to clean off any debris that is difficult to remove. A terry-cloth-like microfiber cloth will absorb liquid better than a smooth one. Every once in a while, you can add a drop or two of rubbing alcohol to the water to remove bacteria. Do not use alcohol very frequently, because it can damage your touch screen’s protective coating.​

  • Do display a white image on your screen while cleaning your screen so you can really see whatever needs to be removed.


Lots of “stuff” can build up on or below the keys of your keyboard. Many people snack while using their computers and food particles can easily find their way into spots below the surface.

  • Do not spray anything directly on your keyboard. Too much moisture may wreak havoc on your keyboard.

  • Do not use cleaning solvents. They may be too harsh for your key board and could remove print from keys and cause issues with the keyboards functions.​

  • Do begin by turning your keyboard over and gently shaking to remove bits of debris.

  • Do use a soft brush to get in between keys and down into every nook and cranny of your keyboard. Makeup brushes are perfect for the job.

  • Do spray your keyboard with a can of compressed air after you dust away any loose material. Use short bursts of air from a distance of about six inches.​

  • Do clean off any difficult to remove grim with a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and water, but use sparingly. A Q-tip lightly dampened with the mixture will allow you to get in between keys. Prepackaged rubbing alcohol wipes may be effective, but use sparingly and gently.


It’s hard to imagine what may be lurking on a remote, especially in a household with more than one person. Some studies have shown that remotes can harbor more bacteria than almost anything else in the home.

  • Do not spray the entire remote with fluid of any kind, because liquid can damage the internal mechanisms.

  • Do not put your remote in the dishwasher (yes it has been done), because water and heat will damage electronics.

  • Do remove batteries from your remote before cleaning.

  • Do use an antibacterial wipe or cotton swab damp with alcohol to wipe down the entire surface of the remote.

  • Do dry your remote after cleaning with wipe or cotton swab.​

  • Do use a tooth pick, if needed, to carefully and gently remove any grime around buttons. Be careful not to break the toothpick or damage the remote.

EARBUDS (earphones)

People do not often think about cleaning earbuds. But they do collect dust, sweat, and ear wax, which can interfere with the sound quality.

  • Do unplug your earbuds from any device before cleaning.

  • Do not submerge your earbuds in water or place under running water, which can damage wiring, etc.

  • Do not run through your washing machine (yes, it has been done)

  • Do use a small brush to loosen and remove dirt.

  • Do wipe down your earbuds with prepackaged alcohol wipes, but do so very gently and do not allow moisture to seep down into speakers. Dry with a soft cloth.​

  • Do carefully remove covers/caps if possible and wash them in a mixture of a few squirts of mild dish soap and warm water. Use a soft toothbrush, if needed, to remove grime. Rinse thoroughly and dry completely.

SCANNER OR FAX (Glass surface)

The glass surface of scanners and fax machines does not stay clean on its own. The glass collects fingerprints along with residue from documents, newspaper clippings, and other items.

  • Do not spray anything directly on the glass surface, because excess liquid may get inside the machine and damage parts.​

  • Do clean with a microfiber cloth, wiping across entire surface in straight or circular motion.

  • Do use a small amount of glass cleaner on a microfiber cloth to get rid of difficult-to-remove dirt. Wipe dry, making sure no liquid remains.

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