How To Clean Your Electronics

updated: 18/01/2023

Modern Day Technology

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equipment, keeping your electronics clean will help them last longer and work better (until next week when they're outdated!)

Old Cleaning Methods Still Work Today


Cotton swabs (Q-tips) and rubbing alcohol were the electronic cleaning equipment of choice during the seventies. You would 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.

Make-Up Brush

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

Baby Wipes

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. This is the same technique 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 TVs. Although this method works fine, there is some risk of damaging the fine screen surface of your device. With this in mind, I wouldn't ask my domestic cleaner to do this task.

Lint-Free Clothes Are Always Your Best Choice

You can use a soft cloth and mild detergent to clean your CDs if they tend to skip. Otherwise, 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 centre out in a small, circular motion. This will help with the resolution of DVDs 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.

Water-Damaged Electronics

Water-damaged cleaning electronics can be especially difficult. The principle here is to keep them as dry as possible. Wipe off as much moisture as possible 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.

You Can Go Hi-Tech

As a last thought, commercial products are 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.

About the author 

Nick Vassilev

Nick blogs about cleaning. He is a cleaning expert with more than 25 years of experience. He is also an NCCA-certified carpet cleaner. Founder and CEO of Anyclean.