Our tech is something we use every day, and because of this, it can accumulate a lot of dust, debris and especially germs. Your screen may look clean, but some studies show that you would be safer licking a toilet seat in a public bathroom than the screen on your phone. Now that’s just gross…
It gets worse…that keyboard you type at while eating your breakfast? There’s a good chance it’s probably the biggest bacterial threat in your home or office, with about 20,000 times more germs than a toilet seat. Oh, and if you have kiddos…well, let’s not go there.
It’s not just germs and bacteria that we’re up against. Dust builds up inside gadgets and computers over time which can cause them to slow down, malfunction, or overheat. Your device essentially chokes on gunk. The vents and filters become clogged by sucking in pet hair, dander, dust, and any other floating debris. Think about how your ceiling fan can build up dust, your tech isn’t any different.
Here’s how to clean your tech without causing damage:
Skip the household cleaners:
Most cleaning products are way too harsh for our technology and can end up causing permanent damage. You want something that can kill germs and remove everyday grime, without scratching or leaving behind a scented residue. A good option is a mix of 50/50 Isopropyl Alcohol and distilled water. It has the capability to kill germs as well as remove the gunk. Alternatively, there are many commercial cleaners specifically designed for technology which are available in sprays and cleaning wipes. You can typically find them in the electronics section of the big box stores.
Power down completely:
This is a must! Electricity and liquids don’t mix. Turn your tech off all the way, not just sleeping, and unplug from any power sources. Switch wireless keyboards, mice, etc off underneath or remove the batteries. Leaving your tech powered on while cleaning can cause all kinds of strange things to happen. What would happen if you just started randomly pressing keys on your keyboard or your phone? Things can get really messed up fast and next thing you know you’ll be calling us for some of our computer repair services.
Remove any cases or covers:
Its time to crack things open. Grab a phillips screwdriver for your desktop computer and pop off the side panel so you can see inside. For your phone, undress your device as much as you can, but leave screen protectors on (unless there’s grime underneath). If you do remove your screen protector, have a new one ready because it won’t look the same if you try to reapply it, there will be all kinds of debris stuck to it. So make sure you have a new one ready.
Grab a microfiber cloth:
Dampen a clean microfiber cloth with the Isopropyl Alcohol mix (or cleaner), and gently wipe external surfaces. Older or more stubborn build-up may require a little elbow grease, but be careful not to rub too hard. Always apply the cleaning solution to the cloth – never to the equipment or screen.
You can use a toothbrush or cotton swab to clean between most crevices, but some areas will need a bit more ‘oomph’ to clear. For really stubborn grime, use pure Isopropyl Alcohol, but be cautious, as too much rubbing may cause discoloration.
Springfield PC PROS tip:
Use a can of compressed air to blow the dust out of your computer or laptop fans. You can get these from many stores and they come with a long nozzle so you can really get in and direct the pressure. You’ll be surprised what flies out, so it’s best to do this outside! Be careful using compressed air on your computer’s internal fans though, as they can spin too fast and cause damage.
How often you clean your tech is really up to you. We typically recommend dusting out your tech at least twice a year and wiping down your tech 1-2 times per week. Following these guidelines will definitely help reduce bacteria, germs, and grime.
Here at Springfield PC PROS, every computer that comes through our doors gets a thorough cleaning inside and out. Contact us today to schedule service and we’ll make sure your tech is squeaky clean!
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