Whether there is a global pandemic threatening the population or not, it’s always a good idea to keep your cell phone, tablet, and television screens clean. However, this isn’t as simple as wiping your phone on your shirt or using Windex and a paper towel on your TV. Due to the complex technology used to create these electronics today, there are a few additional steps you should take to remove the dirt, smudges, and fingerprints that accumulate over time. However, the extra effort will ensure that your devices stay germ-free while operating properly.
Step One: Microfiber Cloth
The first thing you’ll need is a soft, lint-free microfiber cloth. DO NOT use paper towels or any sort of abrasive cloth. Not only can they leave scratches, they could end up leaving harmful particles behind that could affect the performance of the display. Microfiber attracts and removes unwanted oils and dust, while your conventional towels or cloths can simply spread them around. It’s also important to remember to wipe your screens gently with your microfiber cloth. Excessive pressure could cause damage as well.
Step Two: Cleaning Solution
If your screens require more cleaning power than your dry microfiber cloth can offer, lightly spritz distilled water onto the cloth. Don’t over-wet your cloth since even waterproof devices can still be damaged by getting water in charging ports and other openings. Also, never apply water directly onto your screens because it could cause component failure. For an added bit of deep clean, you can also mix a one-to-one ratio of distilled water and 70% isopropyl alcohol in a small spray bottle as your cleaning solution—but never spray the solution directly to your screens. A good off-the-shelf choice is the Audioquest CleanScreen kit, which includes a solution and microfiber cloth.
If you’re worried about germs and want to disinfect your devices, Apple has said recently that 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes are acceptable options as well. There are also a number of cleaning kits on the market, just like the one we mentioned in our blog post about working from home. Just make sure that those wipes and other cleaning solutions do not contain bleach, alcohol, chlorine, phosphates, ammonia, or any other abrasive that could scratch the screen. And stay away from kitchen cleaners, makeup remover, dish or hand soap, vinegar, and compressed air. These cleaners could strip your screens of their protective coatings, which would make it easier for germs to accrue.
Step Three: Little Details
Now that your screen is taken care of, it’s time to focus on the ports and other crevices on your device. Scotch tape can remove sand, lint, and additional debris from these spots. To get the tape into smaller areas, it would be best to roll a piece to fit the opening that you’re looking to clean. Alternatively, you can also use toothpicks and Q-tips with the distilled water + 70% isopropyl solution that you concocted for your screens.
An Extra Step: UV Lights
For the ultimate clean, you may want to consider investing in an ultraviolet light sanitizer. PhoneSoap makes a pretty good portable one that can sanitize your phone, car keys, and other small every-day items without using excessive heat or moisture that can damage electronics. I haven’t found one big enough for a TV as of yet, but this is definitely a good option for your phone and tablet.
If you need additional assistance with cleaning your devices or have a more in-depth query related to your electronics, please feel free to reach out to our Electronic Service Department at 847 544 2261.