Whether you want to protect yourself from COVID-19, or just thoroughly clean all your appliances while stuck at home, now is the perfect time! See how you can disinfect and at the same time to clean your technological gadgets without destroying them.
Cleaning and Disinfection
First of all, let us make it clear that cleaning and disinfection are two different things. Before the coronavirus, companies like Apple advised consumers to use only a damp cloth to clean their gadgets. Unfortunately, this will not kill bacteria or viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or COVID-19.
Given the recent pandemic, Apple changed her way, regarding disinfecting your iPhone:
"You can gently wipe the outer surfaces of the iPhone, using a cloth with 70% isopropyl alcohol, a cloth with 75% ethyl alcohol or another cloth with disinfectant. Do not use products that contain bleach or hydrogen peroxide. Be careful not to spill liquids from the openings and do not dip your iPhone in cleaning products. ”
However, many of the gadget cleaning instructions before this announcement are still valid. Wet cloths, distilled water with minimal dishwashing liquid still work if you need to remove stuck dirt. For disinfection, however, you must use a product that contains enough alcohol or equivalent to potentially kill harmful germs.
Regarding hand disinfection with disinfectant, EODY proposes:
"Use an antiseptic solution (with at least 60% alcohol) when you can not wash your hands with soap and water."
Respectively the CDC recommends:
"Laboratory data show that 60 percent ethanol or 70 percent isopropanol are the active ingredients in alcohol-based hand sanitizers that inactivate viruses genetically linked to 2019-nCoV."
Regardless of the manufacturer's instructions, if you want to disinfect a gadget effectively, you need a liquid with at least 60 percent ethanol (such as Dettol) or rubbing alcohol with a concentration of 70 percent or more.
However, there is a small risk that these disinfectants will damage your device. You have to decide if it is worth it.
Smartphone and tablet
You can clean your smartphone with disinfectant wipes or use alcohol to disinfect the screen and the framework. The biggest risk is that you will accelerate the wear of the oil-repellent coating of the screen.
This coating wears out one way or another over time, and if your device is a bit old most of it is probably gone. At the market there are materials that can to restore it with surprisingly good results, although the usual method on smartphones is to put glass.
If you keep your phone in a case, you can remove it and wash the case thoroughly with warm soapy water. You can also use an alcohol-based disinfectant on the rest of the phone. You should never immerse your phone in water or any other liquid, even if it has been described as waterproof.
To protect your phone or tablet (especially the screen), you should avoid harsh cleaners such as bleach, window cleaners, cream cleaners or any other detergent agent. These will definitely damage the oil repellent coating and may even leave lines or blurs on your screen.
The same tips apply to tablets, smartwatches (like the Apple Watch and fitne +
ss trackers), as they are essentially just bigger (or smaller) smartphones.
You can clean a laptop, even internally, if "your hands catch" and you have the right tools. You can use compressed air to blow the dust. Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol will disinfect the keyboard and other touchpads. You may want to be a little more careful with the screen, especially if it is plastic, as alcohol and other chemicals can damage the finish.
A variety of cleaning products, especially for computers, will facilitate this task. If you are particularly concerned about the proper removal of heat, you can try to remove dust by opening the frame.
Beware, before attempting anything like this, it would be good to do an internet search for videos that show exactly how your particular laptop opens, because there are anchor points that if you do not know how to open, you will most likely break them.
Keyboards are quite durable, so most users do not replace them often. This also means that they are usually covered in germs, crammed with dirt and full of food and hair. You can clean most keyboards piece by piece.
To get started, remove the keys and clean them with a cloth or brush. Use compressed air to remove any dust or crumbs from the frame.
You can buy specially made brushes and vacuum cleaners, but these are not necessary for a deep clean if you remove the keys.
Isopropyl alcohol and ethanol will help kill potentially infectious germs. Some users even go so far as to put (wired) their keyboard in the dishwasher. As a solution it works, however, you can damage the finish or the keys, plus you need to disassemble it completely first, so we do not recommend it to everyone.
Warning: Never put a wireless keyboard with a built-in battery in the dishwasher!
Cleaning your keyboard is not only good for hygiene, but it can also improve typing. As dirt accumulates under the keys, removing it will make your keys softer and give you the feeling that it has become new again.
You can also follow the same cleaning procedures that you would use for a keyboard to disinfect your computer mouse. Because your mouse often comes in contact with your hand, alcohol-based cleaners are ideal for killing bacteria and other invisible viruses.
For hard-to-reach places, dip an ear swab in a little alcohol and get started. A wooden toothpick can also help remove any dirt from corners and crevices. The key is to lightly and frequently clean your mouse to prevent dirt from accumulating and discoloring the plastic.
Headphones and earphones
In-ear headphones, such as Apple AirPods, can get dirty quickly. Fortunately, there are many tricks to cleaning them, such as a damp cloth, Blu Tack glue and cotton. As always, isopropyl alcohol is the ideal solution if you want to completely disinfect them.
Wearing headphones are different, as they do not sit in your ears. How you clean them ultimately depends on the material from which they are made. Be sure to consult the manufacturer's specific instructions to avoid damaging them.
In many cases, a quick wipe around the ears with a damp cloth should be enough to remove the dirt. If you want to disinfect them, use isopropyl alcohol on the solid surfaces, the buttons and the plug (if they are wired).
If you have never cleaned your gaming consoles, you will be shocked. They can become very dirty and the dirt can be hidden everywhere. Use alcohol and swabs to thoroughly clean your console controls. Use a toothpick to remove dirt from hard-to-reach areas, especially plastic joint joints.
If you have spilled soft drink on one of your controls, it may stick. You can use alcohol to clean the base of the buttons without opening the shell.
Your computer case also needs regular cleaning, but for different reasons than your smartphone or console controls. Computers are dust magnets, and dust prevents heat from escaping. Because heat "kills" computer components, it is a good idea to remove as much dust as possible from your computer case on a regular basis.
Just be careful not to damage any items in the process. Also, make sure that you are grounded to avoid static electricity.
Warning: Under no circumstances should you use a vacuum cleaner to clean a computer case, as it may provide static electricity.
For best results, clean the components (such as the graphics card) individually out of the box. Take this opportunity to perform any other necessary maintenance, such as replacing the thermal paste or installing additional fans, RAM or storage.
After cleaning the box, you may be wondering where it gets all this dust. If it is on the floor, it may suck more dust than on a shelf or desk.
As far as disinfection is concerned, only the outside of the box is needed. Because it is metallic with paint, you can use a gentle household cleanser or 70% alcohol lotion. Try it first in a corner to see that the color does not blur.
Monitors and televisions
Most computer monitors and TV monitors are not designed to be touched. This is why they are rarely made of glass, which means they are much less durable than a smartphone or tablet.
To avoid permanent damage to your screen, you should only clean it with a microfiber cloth dampened with distilled water. Avoid harsh cleaning sprays, such as Ajax, or anything containing detergent or ammonia. These chemicals can (and will) damage the screen surface, leave lines or even make the screen blurry and indistinguishable. In addition, once you damage the surface, there is no going back.
Some monitors and TVs have cooling fans inside. Depending on their technology, dusting the back, sides or top of your screen can really help dissipate heat. Since heat is the enemy of all electronic things. Removing dust accumulation will help extend the life of the screen.
"Yellowed" retro machines
Once upon a time, most computers and game consoles were made of off-white plastic. Over the years, these machines have discolored due to the bromine present in ABS plastic. Fortunately, you can use a solution called "Retr0brightTo restore your retro consoles and old home computers to a new look.
We have not found it in the Greek market, but you can order it online. Uses about 10 percent hydrogen peroxide (oxygen) for bleaching the plastic and you have to disassemble the machine for proper operation. You will also need safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles, and a well-ventilated area to work. Oxygen is also a powerful disinfectant.
Alternatively, light alcohol (blue, not white), or methyl alcohol, also does some work. It just stinks a little.
Frequent cleaning for best results
You will spend less time cleaning your gadgets if you take care of them often and do not wait until they are full of dirt. Frequent cleaning is also much healthier. This is especially true for portable gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, as they are regularly exposed to your hands.