How to Keep your Tech Gadgets Clean amid COVID-19

Many of us use our tech devices such as our smartphones, tablets and laptops on a daily basis but rarely stop to consider how clean they are. Be it a case of protecting yourself against COVID-19 or give them a deep clean while at home, there is no time like the present. Here’s some ways on how you can clean those tech gadgets safely without damage.

When we think of cleaning, we automatically assume that it means disinfecting as well. Do note it is two separate things. Just cleaning your smartphone with a damp cloth and brute force won’t make a difference as that that won’t kill bacteria or viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

Although a damp rag, soap and a little strength still works for the stuck-on grime, you’ll have to go one step further to disinfect the gadget by using a product that contains enough alcohol to kill potentially harmful microbes. Manufacturer instruction vary across products but to effectively disinfect, you will require a cleaning spray of at least 60 percent ethanol (like Dettol) or rubbing alcohol with a 70 percent concentration or more.

Smartphones and Tablets

Your smartphone can be cleaned with disinfecting wipes or for a more through clean use rubbing alcohol to disinfect the screen and chassis. If your phone is kept in a case, you can remove it and wash it thoroughly in hot soapy water. Meanwhile, you can use an alcohol-based disinfectant on the rest of your phone. Never ever dip or soak your phone in water, despite its waterproof rating.

Keep your phone or tablet’s screen in tip top condition by avoiding the use of harsh cleaners such as bleach or any other detergent-based agents as these will spoil the oleophobic coating, and might cause your screen to be streaky or foggy.

Laptops and Hybrids

The exterior and interior of your laptop can be easily cleaned using a variety of tools. Use compressed air to blow dust away while Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol can be used to disinfect the keyboard and other high-touch surfaces. Be careful with the screen as alcohol and other chemicals can affect the finish. When in doubt, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


Cleaning your keyboard isn’t only good for general hygiene. Since grime builds up on the switches, getting rid of anything that makes your keys feel “mushy” should enhance the keyboard experience.

To get started, remove the keys and clean them with a cloth or brush. Use compressed air to blow any dust or crumbs out of the mainframe. Purpose-built brushes and hand vacuums will also work but unnecessary if you remove the keycaps for a deep clean. Isopropyl alcohol and ethanol will help kill potentially infectious microbes.


Many of the steps used for cleaning your keyboard can double up for your computer mouse as well. Because your mouse is frequently in contact with your hand, alcohol-based cleaners are great for killing bacteria and getting rid of germs. For the little nooks and crannies, dip a Q-tip in some alcohol or a wooden toothpick to scrape any grime out. Cleaning your mouse often will stop dirt from building up and discoloring the plastic.

Game Controllers

The game controllers for that Playstation can be really dirty with dirt, grime and stickiness from soda. Similar to cleaning procedure for the computer mouse, you can use rubbing alcohol and Q-tips to deep-clean your game controllers. Use a toothpick to pry dirt out of those hard-to-reach places.

PC Cases

Your computer case also needs a regular cleaning as they attract dust and dust will hinder heat dissipation. As heat kills computer components, it’s a good idea to remove as much dust from your PC case as possible regularly. Never under any circumstances should you use a vacuum to clean a computer case and make sure you’re grounded to avoid static discharge. Ideally, you can clean individual components (like the graphics card) outside the case and perform any other necessary maintenance.

Monitors and Televisions

Most monitors and TV screens aren’t designed to be touched. Hence, they’re rarely made of glass, which means they’re not as hardy as a smartphone or tablet. To prevent your screen from permanent damage, clean it only with a damp cloth and not harsh cleaning sprays, or anything that contains detergent. These chemicals can (and will) damage the surface of the screen, leave streaks, or even make the display foggy and difficult to see. For the exterior, you can dust the back, sides, or top of your monitor to help with heat release.

Clean Often for Best Results

Rather than wait till your tech devices are completely dirty, clean them regularly as they are likely to become dirty more often. This is especially true for gadgets such as smartphones, laptops etc which come into frequent contact with your hands and other surfaces.

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