Spring Cleaning Your IT – Physically Cleaning Devices

With spring in the air, many of us have taken to deep cleaning our homes over the last few weeks. We’re gathering old clothing to take to Success in Style, Salvation Army, or Goodwill, and crouching into those hard-to-reach nooks and crannies in our home to wipe away the dust bunnies. Take a look at your television screen – if you don’t clean it on a regular basis, you’re sure to find a fine layer of dust present on it. The battle with fingerprints on our smartphones and tablets never seems to go away. Special care and materials are required to physically clean electronic devices. In the next part of our spring cleaning series, we’re going to talk about the right way to go about physically cleaning your electronic devices.

Cleaning Your Devices

The cleaning of electronic devices requires special care and techniques – learn what to do below!

Television and Monitor Screens

Screens are notorious for gathering dust, but the methods for cleaning them have changed since CRT technology became obsolete. LCD and LED screens require special care so as to not ruin them, but look online and you’ll find any number of dos and don’ts on how to clean them. The bad news is that some of these tips often conflict with each other. So how should you go about cleaning them?

  • Use a dry, lint-free cloth, preferably one that came with your monitor or TV. If you don’t have it handy, a microfiber cloth should suffice.
  • If it still has smudges, take two cloths and make a cleaning solution with warm water and just a drop of dish soap. Dip one cloth into the solution, wring it out, and wipe the display gently. Rinse the cloth in clean water, wring it again, and wipe the screen again to remove soap residue. Then use your second cloth to wipe the screen dry.

The best thing about the microfiber cloths is how easy they are to clean. The best method is to soak in cool or warm (not hot) water and wring out to remove the dirt and grime. Rinse them well and let them air dry.

Smartphones, Tablets, and Their Cases

It’s a good idea to clean your mobile devices on a regular basis, especially since they can harbor many kinds of germs and bacteria. In fact, smartphones and tablets are some of the dirtiest things we touch every day! Again, care will need to be taken as you clean these devices.

Cases should be cleaned first, but luckily these are fairly straightforward. Use your warm water with a drop of dish soap solution from the TV or monitor cleaning from before and wipe down with a cloth. If you’re more germ-conscious than most, a cotton swab and dab of rubbing alcohol will help kill the germs on your case. Use a second wet cloth with clean water to wipe down the case, then let the case air dry.

Phones and tablets require a bit more care. Make sure you power down your device before beginning to clean it and never spray a cleaning solution directly onto the device. You can use the same cleaning solution method as before to clean your phone and tablet, but make sure there’s no lingering residue on the device before powering it back up. Alternatively, you could use pre-made electronic wipes to wipe down your device – these can be found in the electronics department of your local big-box store and are also great to keep handy in your backpack, car, or purse!


At Howard Tech Advisors, we manage your IT infrastructure so that you don’t have to. Whether you need assistance creating a disaster recovery plan or you’d like to outsource your IT needs, we can help! Keep up with our weekly blog to stay up-to-date on the latest tech trends, security information you need to know to stay safe online, and tips and tricks to effectively navigating an increasingly mobile world.

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