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Clean bytes – how to clean electronics

We’re a society of connected people with a device to streamline every task in our lives. Unfortunately, electronics are dust magnets that can be a real pain to clean. There’s no real getting away from it, though. Ignore and you run the risk of damaging hardware.

Before cleaning, refer to owner’s manual for directions to avoid tears. Manuals are often neglected, but can hold useful tips and tricks when it comes to cleaning time – such as the correct way to remove a protective cover.

Turn everything off completely before cleaning them and allow them to cool. To deep clean some electronics, you must completely remove its outer casing – but today we’re suggesting alternatives that will allow you to routinely remove the worst of the dirt, without having to dismantle your devices.


Where would we be without our telly, eh? These days, the flat, slim nature of modern televisions saves us loads of elbow grease, but it’s still worth a light dusting with a clean, microfibre duster every so often.

Providing your telly doesn’t have a touch-screen capability, gentle cleaning fluids will brighten up the screen, but if it does, there are plenty of device-appropriate wipes to purchase to protect the screen’s integrity.

For remote controllers, use a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol or an alcohol wipe to disinfect surfaces. If you have pesky crevices use a cotton bud to dislodge debris.

Mobile phones and tablets

Handheld devices are increasingly powerful, and capable of executing impressive tasks, but they’re still quite susceptible to damage, whether from being dropped or being exposed to the elements. Be careful not to get them wet or allow cleaning chemicals to come into contact with any of the phone’s internal workings.

Remove any cases you’ve attached yourself and use and anti-bacterial wipe to remove any grime from the screen and keys.


PCs have lots of fiddly parts, which means they can get absolutely filthy without due care and attention. To start, purchase a can of compressed air to spray debris out of your keyboard and allow the keys to function better.

After you’ve gently shaken out your keyboard, wipe gently across it with a clean, microfibre cloth that is of sufficiently good quality to not leave fluff or lint behind. Most mice shouldn’t need to be opened up to be cleaned. Generally, you can just turn it over and take a cotton swab to the rubber pads, wetting it with a small amount of water or rubbing alcohol if necessary.

Give your computer monitor and tower the same treatment as your telly, and ensure nothing is obstructing any vents. If you’re using a light cleaning agent ensure you apply them to the cloth and not directly to any part of the computer.

A list of ‘don’ts’:

  • Use glass cleaner on screen as it have been proved to destroy protective coatings.
  • Take your phone or tablet into the bathroom with you – read the shampoo bottle! You are welcoming unwanted germs to your devices.
  • Spray cleaners directly onto your electronics. It can damage screens and get under your keyboard.
  • Use vacuum brushes directly on electronics. The bristles could scratch the surface, and static discharge could cause damage to delicate internal circuits.

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