How to Clean Your Tech Without Damaging It
Whether you want to sterilize your phone after being in a dangerous environment or simply want to remove dust and fingerprints, it can be challenging to clean expensive technology safely and even costly if you get something wrong. Even if you are a fastidious individual when it comes to keeping your precious electronic devices clean and unblemished, every device can benefit from the occasional gentle cleaning session with the appropriate methods and materials. Find out more about how to clean your tech without damaging it to keep devices in good working order for years to come.
The Right Wipes, Solutions, and Techniques Make a World of Difference
Before frantically searching the internet for a "miracle cleaning technique" to clean a given piece of tech, it is highly advisable to check the owner's manual and manufacturer's website for specific instructions. For example, using water to clean a display or monitor employing OLED, LCD, CRT, or LED technology could lead to disastrous and extremely expensive consequences. While you should always follow the official outline for your device as much as possible, valuable items for cleaning tech include specialized cleaning fluid, alcohol wipes, and microfiber cloths. It is also advisable to avoid eating powdery or greasy foods over your keyboard, mouse, and other devices and to thoroughly wash your hands before touching or using them again. Some substances for cleaning computers, such as compressed air and isopropyl alcohol, can also be abused, so consider keeping all such substances well secured when not in use.
How To Clean a Keyboard
Whether your keyboard is wireless, external or a laptop keyboard, you will need different cleaning supplies appropriate to the given model. It is highly advisable to have access to tools like dedicated keyboard cleaning brushes (although cotton buds, a.k.a Q-Tips, and toothbrushes also work well). It would be best if you also had cleaning slime, isopropyl rubbing alcohol of 70% or lower, compressed air, several clean microfiber cloths, and clear adhesive notepapers. To achieve a safely clean keyboard, follow these steps:
Regardless of model or type, you should ensure that all power is switched off for the device while cleaning. Before getting into the nitty gritty of cleaning, one easy step you can do is gently shaking your keyboard after turning it upside down to remove any loose particles easily. The use of compressed air can make this process much more efficient.
For a wireless or external keyboard, wet your cotton bud with isopropyl alcohol until it is damp but not dripping with moisture. Proceed to wipe the bud back and forth under and around the keys until the bud is dirty, then dispose of it. It may take going through several cotton buds until you no longer find dirt beneath the keys, and you may want to consider using toothpicks to remove troublesome objects. Next, wipe the top of the keyboard keys and any adjacent portions with a damp towelette or isopropyl-infused cloth. Finish the process by rubbing the keyboard with a clean microfiber cloth to polish the exterior and help remove any remaining dust.
Laptop keyboards should be powered off and have loose particles shaken free as well, but cleaning slime or adhesive notepapers should be used in place of cotton buds to collect dirt. Next, give the surface of the keys a quick isopropyl wipe but take care to use as little moisture as possible when doing so since drenching your laptop keyboard will not end very well. Finish the process by rubbing the keyboard with a clean microfiber cloth to polish the exterior and help remove any remaining dust.
How To Clean a Mouse
Cleaning your mouse is a much simpler task when compared to cleaning a keyboard. All you must do is mix mild soap with water, dampen the end of a cotton bud with the mixture, and delicately wipe it across the mouse. Be sure to clean the mouse's optical sensor with the cotton bud as well as the wheel and outer surface to keep the device working in peak condition. A clean mouse can make a world of difference.
How To Clean a Computer Screen/Monitor
Just like cleaning keyboards and mice, you should always ensure that the device in question is fully powered down before attempting to clean the screen or monitor. It is crucial that you prevent excessive moisture near the display and its components at all costs, as improper cleaning may cause you to void your warranty. Only microfiber cloths should be used when wiping monitors to prevent scratches, streaks, smudges, and other imperfections. As mentioned previously, please take the time to consult with the device's manufacturer to ensure that you are performing your cleaning in a way that will not cause permanent damage. Never apply any liquids directly onto the screen or monitor, but rather spray them onto a cleaning cloth and gently rub them across the affected area.
Before beginning the cleaning process, you need to determine if your screen or monitor uses LCD or LED technology, which is especially vulnerable to damage from commonly used cleaning chemicals, or whether it is coated with glass. While glass-coated displays can be easily cleaned with isopropyl alcohol or common glass cleaning sprays, LCD and LED screens should never be cleaned with products that include acetone, alcohol, or ammonia.
Having a clean laptop, keyboard, and mouse can significantly impact your devices' performance and prevent the transmission of germs, viruses, and other illnesses. Take care when cleaning delicate electronic equipment to avoid having to pay for the cost of any repairs or replacements.
*The opinions reflected in this article are the sole opinions of the author and do not reflect any official positions or claims by Acer Inc.
About Dan VanPatten: Dan is a full-time technology writer with interests in gaming, gadgetry, and all things PC tech related. He writes about a variety of topics including technology news, product reviews, and software. His experience stems from years of experience writing & producing content for technology newsletters & publications.