Cleaning Tips for your Gadgets



Quick tips on how to clean

1. Filmy touch screens

2. Sticking keypads

3. Clogged earbuds

Fastest Fixes

1. Swab off smears.

Fingerprints, sweat, and makeup residue can coat touch screens and other smooth phone surfaces with a hard-to-see-through film. To quickly & safely get rid of the muck, wipe with a slightly dampened microfiber or lens-cleaning cloth. If your phone already has a soil-resistant coating on it (check the manual), simply wipe it with a dry cloth — anything harsher will accelerate the removal of the coating. Never use any cleaners, solvents, or abrasives on these surfaces or spritz them with anything.

2. Bust keypad dust.

Clean your mobile device the same way you’d clean your computer’s keyboard: Use a can of compressed air or a soft, clean brush, like a baby’s toothbrush or a small paintbrush, to whisk away the dust & dirt that cause keys to stick and trackballs to stop rolling. If that’s not enough, and your LOLs are still turning into LOLLLs, grab a premoistened electronics cleaning wipe, with your fingernail or a toothpick, work it into the crevices around the buttons and the ball. (Skip the Internet advice about removing the trackball to clean it — doing so could void your warranty, plus it’s often impossible to put back once you get it out.) If home remedies don’t work, it’s best to take the device into your provider’s store for service.

3. Clean out your ear(bud)s.

Don’t be surprised if your earphones’ sound quality is suffering — if the last time you cleaned them was never. To remove loose dirt & earwax, gently go over the buds with a small brush. If the covers or caps are removable (check the manual), unscrew them or pop them off and soak them for about 30 minutes in a bowl of hot water with a drop or two of dishwashing liquid added. Rinse and dry them with a soft cloth, then put back in place. For one-piece earphones, dip the tip of a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol, squeeze out excess, and go over all sides. Use the swab’s other end to wipe and dry.

Make It Easier Next Time

  ♦  Consider a screen protector. Widely available online and in stores, these thin adhesive sheets protect the surface from scratches and dirt.

  Raid your first aid kit for individually wrapped alcohol wipes and stash some in your purse, tote, or car for on-the-go keypad (but not screen) cleaning.

♦  Store personal electronics in their own cases, or use the special pockets in your purse, to keep them cleaner longer. A small drawstring jewellery pouch is great for stashing earbuds.