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Tips to clean your tech gadgets correctly

We clean our rooms and appliances regularly, but we almost never think to include our tech gadgets on our regular cleaning list! The experts at Helpling, an online platform that helps home owners book ad hoc cleaning services, share their tips on how to keep your tech gadgets hygienic.

LAPTOPS/NOTEBOOKS


(image: pakete)

Thanks to the many crevices between the keys, the keyboard is a breeding ground for dirt and bacteria, froom food crumbs and drink spills, to dead skin and office germs. Every time you rub your eyes, or grab snacks with your hands right after using the keyboard, you’re introducing these bacteria directly into your body.

Do:

  • Dip a microfibre cloth in the afore-mentioned cleaning solution to wipe down your screen, mouse and other flat surfaces regularly.
  • Before cleaning the keyboard, make sure your notebook is turned off. If it’s a USB keyboard, make sure it is unplugged.
  • Turn the keyboard upside down and shake off particles trapped within the keys. Then, use a big soft brush (makeup brushes work well too) to dust off dirt. Even better, get a can of compressed air (Challenger stocks them) to force out the dirt in between the keys. This also works to clean the crevices inside your mouse.
  • Pay particular attention to frequently used keys, like the Enter key and your space bar.
  • Only turn on your laptop, or plug in your USB keyboard, when the keyboard is completely dry.
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly to prevent the transfer of bacteria from your hands to your keyboard

Don’t:

  • Don’t try to vacuum your keyboard with a vacuum cleaner. The powerful suction force can potentially damage the components.

How often: Once a month. Or, if you have a habit of eating at your desk, every fortnight.

SMARTPHONES AND TABLETS


(image: stylephotographs)

Hands up if you have used your mobile phones or tablets in the bathroom. Considering how rarely you clean your smart devices, your gadgets might actually be harbouring even more vile bacteria than the toilet seat!

Do:

  • Use a microfibre cloth to wipe away sweat and grease regularly.
  • Do a thorough clean inside the phone too. Just make sure you switch it off and remove the battery and Sim card first.
  • To disinfect, prepare a solution of 1 cup water and a few drops of vinegar or rubbing alcohol. Use that wipe the outside of the phone. For hard-to-reach corners, dip a cotton bud in this cleaning solution.
  • If you have silicone phone or tablet covers, take them off and soak in warm, soapy water. Otherwise, give your plastic cases a good wipe down with the cleaning solution.
  • When you’re done with cleaning, leave the phone to dry completely before turning it on again.

Don’t:

  • Don’t spray cleaning solutions directly on the screen, as droplets may get into the speaker or microphone and damage those parts. Dab the cleaning solution on a piece of cloth and use that to clean instead.
  • Don’t use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process. Your electronic devices have a lot of sensitive components that could be easily damaged by the heat.

How often: Wipe the screen every other day. Do a deep-cleaning every one or two weeks.

EARPHONES


(image: Chris Dorney)

Constantly wearing earphones or headphones can lead to acne breakouts and skin infections. This happens because the sweat and moisture collected around the earphones encourages bacteria to multiply.

Do:

  • Use a cloth dipped in soapy water to wipe the earphones or headphones. Make-up removal tissues are a convenient alternative too.
  • Remove silicone ear buds, then use a dry, old toothbrush to gently clean out dust and dirt from the metal parts.

Don’t:

  • Don’t share earbuds with friends, to prevent the transfer of bacteria.

How often: Clean earphones once a week, and headphones at least once a month.

CAMERAS


(image: Zamfir Cristian)

Nothing is more annoying than shooting what you believe to be great photos, only to realise that the lens was dirty. And that’s not the only reason to regularly clean your camera – we continuously touch it and also pass it to other people to show them photos, making it an easy transit station for bacteria.

Do:

  • Use a damp cloth to wipe the body.
  • Remove the battery and memory card, then use a soft brush to tackle dust or dirt that might be trapped inside these slots. You can use a clean makeup brush too.
  • Even if your lens is smudged, don’t use a cloth to wipe it, as that might scratch your expensive lens. Head to a camera shop and purchase a lens pen instead.

Don’t:

  • Don’t use detergents on your camera as the cleaning compounds may be too harsh.
  • Don’t try to clean the sensor in a DSLR yourself, as that is a very sensitive component. If there is a stubborn piece of dirt lodged on the sensor, take your camera to a camera shop for expert help.

How often: Clean your camera after every major use to prevent dust and dirt from building up inside.  

This article was first published on Simply Her's website.

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