Ready for the best tips to help you spring clean your tech? Hey, it doesn’t even have to be spring. The way we are constantly putting our hands all over the faces of our smart devices, you would think we were John Travolta at the Oscars. Sticky fingerprints, greasy smudges, scratchy crumbs, and plenty of germs — our tech workhorses endure it all. Sounds like these gadgets have more than earned a nice spiffying, yes?
Here, a few of my favorite safe and easy tips to clean your tech in any season.
Tips to Spring Clean Your Tech: Touchscreens
1. Go easy.
Whether it’s your Galaxy Tab or iPhone 6, gentle is the rule of thumb for all touch screens. Steer clear of harsh cleaning chemicals like bleach or alcohol. You also want to go easy on water. As any parent whose smartphone suffered the Tossed in Toilet By Toddler treatment can tell you, the two don’t mix well.
2. Wipe it. Wipe it good.
Opt for some tried-and-true screen cleaning wipes like Cool Mom Tech fave Wireless Wipes (above). They’re non-corrosive, dry fast and don’t leave behind any streaks, so these antibacterial wipes are definitely easy on the gadgets. And with lovely scents like Pomegranate Citrus and Rosemary Peppermint, they’re easy on the nose, too. (Wireless Wipes, $2.95 for a pack of 10 wipes.)
Liz also swears by the Whoosh Screenshine which is 100% natural and comes with a really excellent anti-microbial cloth. And it smells fantastic. (Starts at $5.99 for a pocket-sized spray bottle.)
3. Give it a soft cloth shine.
Polish your newly cleaned screen with a soft cloth like iKlear’s Klear Screen DMT Antimicrobial Microfiber Cloth. It’s been a bestseller forever, and the only one — along with its companion cleaning spray and wipes — that is even recommended by Apple. Use it to give your touchscreen some shine, literally.
You can also try a case like the NueVue gadget cleaning case (at very top) which actually has an anti-microbial soft lining so it wipes the screen clean every time you pull it out.
Tips to Spring Clean Your Tech: Nooks and Crannies
1. Shake it off, shake it off.
Sometimes all your computer keyboard needs — with all of its trapped crumbs, dust and lint — is a good shake. Seriously. Just turn the thing upside down and give it a few gentle jiggles. You can also use an ozone-friendly aerosol duster to loosen up deep-set crusty bits, or go with a cotton swab and a dab of vinegar to attack those lingering germs.
2. Try a high-tech deep clean.
If it skeeves you out to think of all the bacteria (and apple juice) that come in contact with your gadgets, Verilux CleanWave Sanitizing Wand for an even deeper sanitizing option. Just wave it over the surface of your phone, tablet screen or keyboard like a magic wand, and it promises to clobber up to 99.9% of germs and allergens. It’s easy, but at a price which has recently gone up. Silver lining: CleanWave can also be used on other surfaces around the house. Hey there, clean kitchen counter! (CleanWave; $99.95)
3. The old school quick-fix
If you’re really short on time and tools, but still desperate to clean the raised keys on your Blackberry, grab a piece of Scotch Tape and lay it out over the keys. Then peel it away, along with the dirt stuck in between keys. Neat trick, but be warned: The germs? They’re still there.
Tips to Spring Clean Your Tech: Accessories
We raved about these Velodyne vPulse In-Ear Headphones. They’re so cool and comfy and pretty. All the more reason to give them a proper spring-cleaning, especially since earbuds come in contact with tons of germs. You’ll want to go gentle here, too.
1. Baby soap and water.
If the headphones have removable silicone covers, slip those off and let them soak in a light homemade solution of water and a little grease-cutting dish soap or a very tiny drop of baby clothes detergent, which is free of harsh perfumes and cleaning agents. Use a cotton swab to get at any stuck-on dirt. Rinse well and let them dry all the way before putting the covers back on.
If the earbuds don’t have silicone covers, it’s wise to stay away from water. Though you might already have guessed that, earbuds having electronic components and all. Definitely don’t run them under the faucet, which will surely damage the wiring.
2. Brusha brusha brusha
Instead of water, use a dry toothbrush to gently brush away any crud. Be sure to hold the earbud down so that the dirt falls out as opposed to back into the earbud mesh. Still seeing some stubborn gunk? Use a cotton swab and a very teeny dab of rubbing alcohol, which dries quickly and won’t seep into the earbud.
Now sit back and marvel at your spiffy-clean tech, and maybe even post pics of your “new” gadgets on Instagram. Hey, even the Instagram photos will be better if you remembered to clean your phone’s camera lens too.
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