How to clean your electronics

It's the information age, and electronic equipment is rampant. From ipods to personal computers to cell phones to high tech home theater equipment, keeping your electronic clean will help them last longer and work better (that is until next week when they're outdated!)

Cotton swabs (Q-tips) and rubbing alcohol was the electronic cleaning equipment of choice during the seventies. You would simply dip your cotton swab into the rubbing alcohol and use it to clean your tape deck. This method is time tested and still works well today, provided you are careful and watch that you don't corrode the computer chips inside. Rubbing alcohol evaporates easily, so it is still one of the best cleaners to use.

A small make up brush or art brush will loosen the dirt on your keyboard, and then simply use the dusting attachment of your vacuum to extract all of the lifted dust. For more on keyboard cleaning, see the article for this specific type of electronic cleaning.

The housing of your P.C. and your monitor screen can be cleaned with a baby wipe. Spraying glass cleaner directly onto the equipment can damage the inside so always use a cloth with the cleaner already in it, or at least spray a paper towel before you touch the monitor with it. This is the same technique to use for the electronic cleaning of your T.V. screen or any other glass surface, especially if you have one of those new high definition television sets. Use a small amount of rubbing alcohol on flat screen monitors and TV's.

You can use a soft cloth and a very mild detergent to clean your CD's, if they tend to skip. Otherwise just use a clean, dry, lint free cloth. A new cloth diaper works wonders. Holding the CD flat in the palm of your hand, wipe from the center out in a small, circular motion. This will help with the resolution of DVD's and computer disks as well.

Rubbing alcohol is still the best electronic cleaning material for your phone, cordless or cellular. Use cotton swabs to get into the little cracks and crevices. If you keep the connectors clean using the eraser tip of a pencil, your cordless phone will charge better and hold the charge longer.

Cleaning electronic that have been water damaged can be especially difficult. The principle here is to keep them as dry as possible. Wipe off as much moisture as you can with a dry towel and then use a dry cotton swab to soak up the tiny areas where corrosion can collect. Another method is to disassemble the electronic and allow it to air dry before using an old toothbrush to dust off any calcium corrosion or rust.

As a last thought, there are commercial products available for cleaning electronics, such as specially treated wipes and canned air, which will blow the crud in your keyboard right out the window. The wipes aren't much better than what we've already discussed here for the money, but a can of air is a good investment.