Spring Cleaning Your Tech

On the TODAY show, I showed off a different kind of spring cleaning today: how to keep your mobile phones, remote controls, monitors, laptops, and even keyboards clean. Keep reading to see all of my tips!

#retronerd — The Nerdery

First up, a warning: when cleaning your devices ALWAYS power them down, UNPLUG them or TAKE OUT THE BATTERIES. A little water in the wrong place and your might be buying a new device, and nobody wants that!

Another warning is that you should also never use products containing harsh chemicals like ammonia (i.e. No Windex). It can ruin the special coatings on the screens. Also, I do not recommend using disinfecting wipes on any electronic device except keyboards and remote controls.

A final note, NEVER spray any liquid directly onto the device. Always spray it onto a soft cloth and then wipe the device.
Make sure to always consult the manufacturer or the manual that came with your device if you have any questions regarding what you can or cannot use on that particular device.

Please note that these tips are meant for general day to day type cleaning. For special or emergency types of spills or accidents, please consult a professional on how to clean.

Mobile Phone and Remote Control

Dampen a soft cloth with water and them wipe down. You can also use a disposable wipe made specifically for cleaning electronic screens. To get the dirt and grime out of the hard to reach places in your phone, simply use a Q-Tip.

Computer Monitor and Laptop Screens

Computer screens are very sensitive and can get very dusty. To clean them, first, power the screen or laptop down. First, try a soft dry cotton or microfiber cloth to remove dust. Don’t use Windex or anything scratchy like a paper towel or Kleenex. If you need more than a dry wipe, you can use a little bit of water to dampen the cloth, but don’t use tap water because it may have minerals can damage the monitor!

If you want, you can buy cleaning solutions or disposable wipes made specifically for monitors.


Keyboards can really get gross: they are a place where you can collect a lot of crumbs, dust and hair. Here’s a few different ways to clean them:

Compressed air–to blow the dirt from between the keys
Soft brush–helps to loosen the dirt stuck between
Isopropyl and Q-Tips—to clean the dirt and sticky areas on the keys
Desktop vacuum–you can remove the keys and vacuum the tray under it.
Other solutions for dirty keyboards
Zagg Foam Cleaner
Waterproof washable keyboard–you can be much more aggressive with cleaning
Keyboard slipcovers–cover your keyboard to protect it from getting dirty.

TV Screens

Clean HDTVs with a soft dry cloth or microfiber cloth. One cool thing is that some TVs actually come with a cleaning cloth, though you may not have yours anymore. DO NOT use any chemicals on the screen!

When in doubt always refer to the users manual that came with your TV to see what the manufacturer recommends for cleaning that PARTICULAR TV. Each one is different!


For Mechanical Mice—

Remove the ball and wipe it down with a soft cloth. Wipe down the rest of the mouse with a damp soft cloth and Q-Tip for the tougher places.

For Optical Mice—

Wipe it down with a damp soft cloth.


Both headphones and earbuds collect a lot of dirt and wax!!! That’s gross, and they need to be cleaned.

In a bowl, start with a small amount of dish soap and water. Get your towel or cloth damp, and wipe down the headphones. Be sure to give them plenty of time to dry before plugging them back in! Nobody wants a dead pair of headphones on their hands!

For earbuds, you can use Isopropyl Alcohol and a Q-Tip to gently clean them. You can actually lift up the rubber strip and wipe under there as well.

Keyboard photo based on an image by Tony Webster (via Flickr. Some rights reserved.