Clean Machine

By Jeanelle D. Horcasitas

April 12, 2018 4 min read

Have you ever shut down your computer, only to see a dark screen full of smudge marks? Do you ever wonder why your keyboard letters and numbers look a little faded? Well, with any electronic device you own, there will always be some wear and tear. But part of preserving your device is making sure you have an effective cleaning regimen put in place. Whether it's your personal computer or tablet at home or at the office, maintaining a clean machine is crucial for not only your product's health but also your health.

We tend to forget how much dirt and germs can collect over the span of just a week if we do not properly clean our electronic companions. According to Forbes, five gadgets dirtier than our toilet seats are smartphones, tablets/e-readers, game controllers, keyboards and remote controls. Knowing that these five items are some of the dirtiest in your home should get you to start thinking about how you can change that. If you are a bit of a clean freak, you may be inclined to abide by a daily cleaning routine, but if not, try to implement some of the following tips at least once a week.

First, identify all of the electronic devices you find yourself touching on a daily basis. This usually includes remote controls, your keyboard, your mouse and your smartphone. From there, you can identify the best option for getting each particular item clean, because there is not always one product that will do the job. Always remember to keep it safe and completely turn off or unplug the electronic device that you are cleaning. Here are some tips on how to quickly clean two highly touched items in your home or at the office:

--Cleaning keyboards. Keyboards are notoriously grimy because we type on them with our hands, which have touched many things throughout the day. If you like to snack or eat lunch at your desk, you may find that your keyboard contains a lot of crumbs. Therefore, begin by gently shaking out any crumbs from your keyboard. Next, you may want to use a can of compressed air, which can be purchased from any store that sells office supply products. Compressed air can help clear out some of those residual crumbs you couldn't get when you shook your keyboard. After that, with either a cotton ball or a soft towel, dab a bit of rubbing alcohol on your keyboard and start wiping it down. That's the quick do-it-yourself version. If you prefer to use a product out there on the market, there are great Windex electronic wipes at Office Depot and Read Right KeyWipes and keyboard brushes on Amazon.

--Cleaning monitors/screens on phones, tablets, laptops and more. Cleaning your monitor or anything with a screen on it, such as your tablet, is a bit trickier. Simply using your microfiber cloth is not completely effective for truly cleaning your device. It may have the appearance of a clean screen, but the germs have simply been smeared around; they haven't gone anywhere. You may not want to go DIY here and instead stick to the professionals. Never directly pour liquid onto your monitor or screen, as that can be extremely damaging. Using a microfiber cloth is helpful in getting any dust off, but some other products you may want to use to deeply clean your devices are Monster ScreenClean and Insignia's LCD screen cleaner, both of which can be found at Best Buy.

Some of the other items mentioned earlier could benefit from a quick wipe-down similar to what you would do for your keyboard or monitor. But you can also play a bigger part in ensuring that you do not add to the dirt that gets collected by doing things such as always keeping some sanitizer handy, keeping food away from your workspace and, of course, washing your hands often.

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