Everything You Need to Know about Cleaning Electronics

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Electronics and other household devices quickly get dirty, but few people seem to know how to clean them properly. Even if you maintain a spotless home, chances are, your smartphone is enveloped in smudges and fingerprints, your computer keyboard is covered with bits of food and dust, and the backside of your television looks like it hasn’t seen the light in years.

All electronic devices, whether it’s a video game console, a computer, or even a dishwasher, need just as much cleaning and upkeep as any other machine out there. If you’re looking for electronics and testing equipment for sale online, then you need how to do preventive maintenance.

And it’s not just a health and hygiene issue, either: The smallest particle of debris can enter your thousand-dollar device and render it useless. Just recently, Apple retired its controversial butterfly-switch keyboard after multiple reports emerged that dust particles could break a key.

Simple maintenance tasks go a long way in maintaining device health.

Dust is your enemy

Dust is the number one enemy of electronics. They’re incredibly light and tiny and often collect around holes and points of entry, such as USB ports, memory card readers, and exhaust vents. A thin layer of dust is enough to damage sensitive electronics and hinder proper function.

All appliances fall prey to dust, from handheld devices like smartphones and cameras to home appliances like televisions and refrigerators. Computers are especially susceptible to dust damage: one of the top reasons why hard disk drives fail is overheating due to dust in the CPU fan.

You should dust your stationary devices every week. First, use a soft brush to remove particles from keyboards and other surfaces and then wipe it down with a soft damp cloth. For vents and ports, use a canister of compressed air to clean crevices and small areas. Electrostatic material should remove any stragglers.

Desktop computers require a bit more patience and preparation. Even if you’ve disinfected the exterior of the tower, you still need to clean the internal portion. Use compressed air to remove dust from the computer fan and motherboard but take care to limit the pressure to avoid damaging the components.

How to remove grime

cleaning materials

Compressed air won’t do much when it comes to removing oil and grime buildup. If your handheld device is covered with fingerprints, grease, and dirt, you will need to use liquid cleaning products. You have to be careful about the solvent you use, however, as many chemicals can permanently damage electronics.

The best and easiest way to remove grime and grease is with water. It’s a neutral substance and can be used to clean external surfaces with little risk. For hardier stains, you can use a mixture of water and isopropyl alcohol.

Alcohol works great for removing dried bits of food, fingerprints, and sticker residue. Do not use alcohol for cleaning smartphone screens as you could remove the oleophobic coating that protects the screen.

Cleaning electronic devices require more finesse and preparation than everyday home cleaning, but it’s the price you’ll have to pay if you want to keep your electronics in good condition.

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