How to Keep Your Tech Paraphernalia Clean

By April 24, 2023Tech

How to Keep Your Tech Paraphernalia Clean

It's incredibly important to keep your arsenal of tech accessories clean. Here's how.
By Ben Jackson   April 24, 2023 8:34 am GMT-0700

While it can be tempting to just ignore the state of your tech items, proper maintenance and cleaning is essential for keeping them in a good condition.

Besides better and safer functioning of your tech equipment when it’s clean, the impact computer mites can have on your health should not be forgotten. Mites are everywhere, in every house, every workspace, and there are hundreds of different types. Computer mites are very common household pests that especially love living in your tech equipment.

To avoid their spreading and influence on your health, you should clean your tech stuff regularly. Some general tips for ensuring your tech paraphernalia stays clean:

Use Specialized Cleaners

There are many products out there designed specifically for cleaning computers, tablets, phones and other tech items. Using these cleaners ensures that you won’t damage the delicate components of your favorite gadgets.

Use Soft Cloths

Whenever possible, use a soft cloth such as cotton or microfiber to avoid scratching any surfaces while cleaning your tech paraphernalia. Avoid using paper towels as they may be too abrasive and leave fibers behind on the surface.

Avoid Excessive Water

When cleaning tech items, it is important to avoid using too much liquid. Water or any other liquids can seep into crevices and cause destruction inside your device. If you must use liquids, only use a very small amount on a soft cloth and wipe off immediately to avoid any damage.

Get Rid of Dust Buildup

Dust can accumulate in and around your tech items which can lead to decreased performance. Take a few minutes every week to carefully vacuum or wipe away any dust that has accumulated.

Keep It Safe

Make sure you keep your tech paraphernalia stored away in a safe place. This will not only keep it clean, but also protect it from any potential damage or loss. Investing in protective cases and covers can be beneficial for keeping your favorite gadgets protected when you are not using them.

Cleaning Computer Screens and Other Displays

Dirt and grease can build up over time, and a dirty screen can make it difficult to use the device. To ensure that your screens stay as clear and clean as possible, it’s essential to wipe them regularly. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to do, and you don’t need expensive equipment or special cleaning solutions.

  • Turn off your computer. Powering it down makes spotting smudges and oil schmears easier and eliminates the risk of damaging pixels while they’re still active.
  • Wipe your screen with a microfiber cloth. Unlike paper towels and old clothes, which may scratch or leave a lint trail, these soft synthetic cloths won’t damage your screen or cause streaking.
  • Dry it with a second microfiber cloth. You may need to repeat this step several times, but don’t power it back on until your screen is completely dry.
  • Spritz it with a mild LCD cleaning spray. You can also mix up a DIY solution with an equal amount of distilled water and white vinegar. Alternatively, you can buy commercially formulated computer screen cleaners. Just be sure to never spray the cleaning liquid directly on your display or let it get too saturated, as that can damage the sensitive layers of glass, plastics, and other materials.

Cleaning Keyboards and Mice

A dirty mouse can tarnish the image of your gaming setup, and a keyboard that’s covered in grease or stains can be off-putting to coworkers. Cleaning your keyboard and mouse regularly helps maintain a clean, healthy workspace, even when you’re not actively working on it.

Keyboards and mice are considered high-touch areas, meaning they can be contaminated with mites, germs, bacteria, and flu viruses. Keeping them clean is essential for improving hand hygiene and maintaining a hygienic environment, but you need to know how to do it safely.

  • Completely disconnect your keyboard and mouse from the power source (if you’re using a wired one). If you have a wireless mouse, turn it off before cleaning, too.
  • Sanitize the surfaces with disinfecting wipes or paper towels dipped in a mild solution of isopropyl alcohol. Be sure the clothes aren’t saturated, though, or you could damage your electronics.
  • Rinse it thoroughly with water to remove any remaining germs. For best results, use an alcohol-based disinfectant that contains at least 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropyl alcohol.
  • Go over your keys with a dry cotton swab. Repeat until your keys are free of crumbs and dust.

When you’re done, let your keyboard air-dry for a minute before plugging it back in. This process will remove any residual alcohol and ensure that your electronic accessories are ready for the next user.

Cleaning Printer Cartridges and Inkjet Printers

Usually, printers will have an automatic cleaning function built into their system preferences. If you have one, run it regularly and check the results for any blockages or other problems that might be causing poor print quality.

If your printer does not have a cleaning function, you can clean the print heads manually by unplugging it from power and removing the ink cartridges. Apply a small amount of cleaning fluid to the nozzles and wait 15 minutes before installing them back in the printer.

Another option is to blot excess ink onto a paper towel or coffee filter that has been dampened with distilled water. This will remove any dried ink from the nozzles that might be affecting your print quality.

If you are replacing your ink cartridges, it is important to have the supplies you will need for the job on hand. Having items like rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and clean towels nearby is a smart move, as it will save you from having to hunt for them when an ink spill occurs.

Cleaning Speakers and Headphones

If you’re not careful, dirt can block your headphones’ speakers, preventing them from properly delivering sound. This can affect the sound quality of your headphones over time, and it’s important to clean them as soon as you notice they look dirty.

A soft brush dipped in rubbing alcohol is a safe and effective way to clean your headphones. Run the brush back and forth over the speakers to remove any dirt or grime that may be blocking them.

For extra cleaning power, you can also use a piece of tape rolled into a loop to gently scrub the speakers. The sticky side of the tape can help you reach corners and crevices that a normal brush might miss.

Compressed air is another useful tool for removing dust and debris from your speakers. Simply hold the nozzle a foot away and spray a few short bursts of air.

You can also use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to wipe the speaker meshes. This will break up any earwax that may have built up. You can also use a toothpick to scrape away stubborn buildup. However, be very careful not to push the toothpick into your earbuds or any other part of the jack.

Cleaning, Storing, and Protecting Cables and Wires

Tangled cables and cords can also be a safety hazard if someone accidentally trips over them. It’s best to keep cables out of the way, and a few simple techniques can help you accomplish this. Wrapping or tying your wires separately can help prevent them from mingling and getting knotted together.

Another tangle-free solution is to group similar wires together in a drawer. If you have an HDMI cable and a USB cable, you might put them in a drawer with other similarly-sized cables.

Depending on the type of wire, you may want to cinch it up a little bit with a cable tie before wrapping it in a loop. This will also ensure that you don’t damage the wire while wrapping it.

It’s also important to store heavy cables properly, such as multiple conductor cores or coils of copper or fiber optics. This can be especially important for power transmission.

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