One of the biggest enemies to your electronics is dust. Dust settles, thickens, and can eventually block important components like fans. A nonworking fan leads to overheated and possibly ruined electronics. Everything from televisions to cell phones can suffer from problems created by dust.
No matter what kind of duster you use, the main point is that you dust your electronics and dust often. You may think dusting is a hassle, but try replacing a fried computer or gaming system that had its fan blocked by dust.
In case you have not noticed, television and computer screens are magnets for dust and dirt. A screen can get dusty and grimy or be covered with fingerprints. Different types of screens will require different cleaning solutions, so be sure to check the manufacturer's instructions. The touch screens on my phone and computer are magnets for my toddler and need cleaning frequently.
Never spray cleaner directly onto a screen because you will inevitably spray too much and have it dripping into your electronics. Instead, spray a small amount onto your cleaning cloth and then wipe the screen working in a circular motion. Do not use paper towels on your screens; they can scratch and pit the surface. Instead, choose a soft cleaning cloth. It's a good idea to have a few cloths that are specifically used for your screens. These should be hand washed and dried to prevent dirt from other laundry from sticking to them and damaging your screen.
For many types of screens, ammonia-free glass cleaner or isopropyl alcohol can do a great job of cleaning without damaging the screen. These can be a great alternative to the sometimes expensive commercial screen cleaners. Always test in a small area to be sure.
Although you are probably always conscientious enough to never allow any type of food or drink near your electronic equipment, it is inevitable that spills still happen. If a spill happens near electronics, one of the first things to do is to try to minimize the damage. Begin by turning off and unplugging the electronic devices right away. Try to wipe up as much of the spill as possible and keep it from spreading. Once you have gotten up as much as you can, it is time to assess the damage.
If the spill was on the surface and did not make it inside your electronic device, count yourself lucky and be more cautious in the future.
If a small amount seeped into the electronics, you may be able to let it dry out, or to remove the cover pieces and wipe up the inside. Use extreme caution when trying to do this yourself, and be aware that many warranties are voided if you remove cover pieces from electronic devices.
If quite a bit of something has seeped into your electronic devices, it may be time to call in a professional. You may be able to have the device cleaned, but do not, by any means, plug it back in until a professional has had a chance to look it over.
Cotton swabs dipped in isopropyl alcohol can be great for cleaning keyboards and push-button devices that have been spilled on.
Tips for Different Devices
- Cell phones: Cell phones get a ton of use. They get dropped, spilled on, coughed on, and more. You really need a good regular routine to take care of your cell phone. Dirt can cause numerous problems, such as blocking the connection for your phone to charge no matter how new it is.
- Computers: For computers, dust and screens are the main things you will need to worry about. Be sure to inspect and dust power cords, though, since dust loves to settle on those.
- Televisions: Like computers, televisions fall victim to dust and screen cleaning issues most often. You will want to follow manufacturer instructions for cleaning your screens. Not doing so may void any warranty or damage your picture. Since there are so many different types of screens around, your manufacturer is your best bet.
- DVD and Bluray players: Treat these devices like computers. Dust is an enemy and will deplete the life of your device. You'll also need to make sure that the DVDs and BluRays you put in are clean. Look for disc cleaner kits that can clean your devices and your discs.
- MP3 players: These small devices can get a lot of abuse, but the good news is that they are some of the easiest electronics to clean. A cleaning wipe is a great tool to give your mp3 player a quick weekly wipe down.