You Are Doing It Wrong: How to Clean Electronics and Computers

May 06, 2018Reading Time: 3 min

Cleaning your electronics should be easier, as you’ve probably learned when you went to freshen up your desktop for spring cleaning. When it comes to streamlined electronics, everything looks like it will wipe clean, and yet dust gets in every nook and cranny, crusts your keyboard, and jams up precious equipment. This season, when you’re spring cleaning, be sure to clean your electronics and computer, in addition to the usual suspects like your closet, your kitchen, and, of course, your cabinets.

When it comes to cleaning your computer and equipment, though, you’re probably curious what you *really* need. There are so many gadgets out there, and some of them look essential. Many of them aren’t, but others? They will change your spring cleaning game like you wouldn’t believe. If you’re feeling inspired — or you want to feel inspired — you should try these must-buy essentials for spring cleaning your electronics and computer.

Before we start, a word of warning: before you even consider cleaning your computer, make sure you unplug it. If you don’t, there’s no doubt that your computer hardware could be compromised — permanently. And before we wrote this, we never really thought about it, either.

Here are some of the supplies you’ll need to do the job:

Microfiber Cloths

Lint is the ultimate enemy of a desktop computer and its accessories, and that’s why microfiber cloths are fantastic. You can carefully wipe down each part of your computer, including the monitor, and ensure that everything is ship-shape. Be careful around ports, and only dampen the cloth slightly as you are using it to lightly rub away general soil and dust.

Vinegar solution

Forget expensive fluids and stick to the best, which also happens to be the most affordable. Mix 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar in a clean bottle and use it sparingly when a slightly damp cloth simply won’t do. Rub the cloth over the screen with light pressure, but be sure not to scrub.

Cotton buds

Basic bathroom-cabinet stuff is the perfect solution to cleaning a computer mouse. Simply unplug the mouse, use rubbing alcohol in the parts that can come apart or detach, and use cotton buds to clean the hard-to-get-to areas that always crop up when you examine your electronics up close.

Canned Air

Canned air dusters are perfect for cleaning keyboards, and when you hold the can perfectly upright, you get the best results by far. These cans are filled with more than air and include bittering agents and other gases, so be sure to use them carefully. For cleaning a keyboard, though, it’s a great option.

Moist Wipes

Moistened wipes are fantastic for cleaning off screens and other surfaces, and they usually come in extremely large buckets as well. It will take a year of more to work your way through the wipes, but it’s worth it: they are lint-free, convenient, and relatively inexpensive. Buy them from bulk from Staples.