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7 Tips for Keeping Your Essential Tech Clean

Posted on 2020-04-15 12:26:46

Spending more time at home means spending more time on the computer. Keep the cost of maintenance of your computers low by keeping them clean. And now, during the time of Covid-19, cleanliness is something we should all take seriously. 

Your screen may look clean, but studies show that a mobile phone can be 18-times dirtier than a public restroom! The keyboard you tap at while eating your morning toast? It’s probably the biggest bacterial threat in your house. Keyboards with a great deal of usage accumulate about 20,000-times more germs than a toilet seat, more if you share the keyboard with children. Keep your tech gear clean to make sure it runs optimally.

As dust builds up inside gadgets, they also slow down, malfunction, or overheat. Your device essentially chokes on the dirt as vents and filters become clogged by sucking in pet hair and floating debris. Here’s how to clean your essential tech items without damaging them:

1. Skip the household cleaners: Most cleaning products are too harsh for technology devices and can end up causing permanent damage. You want something that can kill germs and remove everyday grime without scratching surfaces or leaving behind a scented residue. Your best bet is Isopropyl Alcohol. You’ll find it in the first aid section of supermarkets and pharmacies or at hardware stores.

2. Power down completely: Turn your tech off all the way. Sleep mode is not enough. Passive electric fields attract dust. Switch to wireless keyboards, mice, and other devices. Turn off the devices when you're not using them so they don't attract more dust than they would when they are on.

3. Keep cases and covers clean: Keep the cases of your devices clean, too. cover them up at the end of the day when you have finished using them. Leave screen protectors on (unless there’s grime underneath). If your screen protector needs replacing, apply a new one. 

4. Grab a microfiber cloth: Dampen the cloth with Isopropyl Alcohol and wipe screens and external surfaces gently. Greater build-up may require extra effort to clean. Disconnect your keyboard from your machine (if it's not wireless) and wipe on top of and between the keys. If the keys are close together or the keyboard is miniature, you can use a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to clean the surfaces.

5. Go deep: You can use a toothbrush or cotton swab to clean between most crevices, but some areas will need a bit more attention to clean. You’ve probably seen people use vacuum cleaners on their keyboards, but these are often TOO powerful and may suck keys or internal parts loose. They also generate damaging static electricity. Another option is to use a tech-specific vacuum, though some of these may be underpowered.

6. Insider tip: Use a can of compressed air to blow the dust out of tight spaces. 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!

7. We don’t recommend using compressed air on your computer’s internal fans though, as this can make them spin too fast and damage them.

How often you clean your tech is up to you and your lifestyle. But it’s a good idea to blow out dust in your computer at least twice a year. You should also wipe your tech down 1-2 times per week. The habit will help protect your health, shield your loved ones from infection from tech surfaces, and maintain the equipment at peak performance.

Give Sound IT a call at (425)654-2502 for tech support or to manage your computer's well-being.