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How to Clean a Computer and Other Devices

Wondering how to clean a computer screen? Or how to clean up computer parts? Here are some great tips to cleaner tech gear.


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While you’re doing your regular house clean, think for a second about what you haven’t scrubbed. A lot of us forget to tackle the dirtiest objects in our homes: our electronic devices. These devices are in constant contact with our hands, and they all contain tiny recesses where moisture and dust can easily become trapped. There’s always plenty of nasty germs teeming on computer keyboards, phones, and all of our other peripherals. They also generally require a bit of extra care when cleaning, so here’s a handful of tips to help get you started.

If you want to know how to clean a keyboard, try getting between all the little nooks between the keys with a cotton bud. Just dip it into a small amount of rubbing alcohol to sanitise it, then dig out all the dirt and grime. Make sure you always unplug and turn off any electronic device before you start cleaning it.

How to Clean a Laptop Screen

Newer laptop and notebook monitors are LCD rather than glass, so you need to be extra careful when cleaning them. You can pick up LCD cleaner from computer stores, or you could use a very small amount of water to clean your screen.

The gentlest way to clean the screen is with a plain, clean, and dry lint-free cloth. Paper towels and other abrasive materials can scratch the screen, so it’s important you use a soft cloth. If you’re using a liquid screen cleaner, make sure you only apply a tiny amount to the cloth – and not directly onto the screen.

Knowing how to clean a keyboard is a little more complex. Food and dirt can easily reside in between the keys, which can make them stick and cause trouble, therefore:

  • Turn the keyboard upside down to allow dirt and dust to fall out.

  • Grab a can of compressed air to blast out stubborn dirt particles. Make sure you angle it to blow the particles out, rather than pushing them further in.

  • To make your keyboard more hygienic, use a cotton bud to apply rubbing alcohol to the keys and allow them to dry naturally.

cleaning your smartphone

The best way to keep a trackpad clean is to use the same rubbing alcohol method as above. This stops dirty hands from transferring germs. If, on the other hand, you use a mouse, you’ll need to take a different approach – and that approach will depend on whether you have a mechanical or an optical mouse.

For an older-style mechanical mouse:

  • Take the ball out of the bottom, wash it with water and allow it to dry

  • Get rid of any dust and dirt from the ball housing

  • Use an all-purpose cleaner or some rubbing alcohol to clean the mouse casing with a cloth

It’s much easier to clean an optical mouse:

  • Use the same method to clean the mouse casing, then make sure there’s no dirt or dust build-up around the laser.

Cleaning Your TV

Most TVs these days have plasma or LCD screens, so the same cleaning methods apply as outlined for the laptop screen and LCD TVs.

If your TV screen is made of glass, this can be cleaned with ordinary glass cleaner from the supermarket. Make sure the product is free from alcohol or ammonia, because this can damage the screen’s coating. Greasy finger marks can be easily cleaned with glass cleaners, but if it’s just a quick once-over to remove dust and dirt, you’re better off using a lint-free cloth.

Cleaning Your Smartphone or Tablet

  • It’s easy to clean smartphones, especially if they’re entirely touch-operated. In this case, you can use an LCD cleaner as per the laptop screen cleaning tips.

  • Always turn your smartphone or tablet off before you attempt to clean it.

  • You can even scrub a smartphone or tablet screen a little more thoroughly than computer screens, because they’re deigned to take more pressure.

  • Pay special attention to the mouthpiece of the phone, because they’re the device’s dirtiest part. Give them a wipe with an antibacterial wipe once or twice a week to clean off germs accumulated from your mouth.

  • Always use liquid screen cleaners very sparingly.

  • For LCD screens, a dry, lint-free cloth is always a good option.

  • Make a habit of cleaning your smartphone’s mouthpiece with an antibacterial once per week to kill off germs.

Originally published