Keeping Your Tech Clean & Germ Free

NOTE: These are the show notes & resources presented in episode #4 of Your Technology Tutor. This program is available in the iTunes Store and can also be heard via the player at the bottom of this page.

Your Technology Tutor Program
Show Notes – Episode #3
Topic: Keeping Your Technology Clean & Germ Free

In this episode, Chet Davis shares suggestions for cleaning your tech tools & toys, from mobile devices like the iPhone, tablets & pads – to desktop/laptop computers and even big screen TVs.


Here are the links discussed in this episode of Your Technology Tutor program:

Here’s the summary for manufacturer’s specific recommendations for clearing our devices – but first some general guidelines which pertain to all devices:

  • Always clean the devices with the unit powered off and cables disconnected
  • Never use a household or commercial, chemical cleaner (unless approved by /for your product)
  • Never spray any liquid (even water) onto or into the device, always apply to a cloth
  • Never use Paper towels, even tissues as they may contain abrasive particles which can scratch

* Touch-screen devices (SmartPhones, Tablets & Pads)

– Clean the screen with a clean, lint-free, non-abrasive, soft cloth (like Micro-fiber cloth).  If necessary lightly dampen the cloth with clean water.

– You may choose to clean the rest of the device with a either a similar soft cloth or use a disinfectant wipe (example: ‘Lysol Wipes’ or the ‘Clorox Kitchen Disinfecting Wipes’) or the wipes specially marketed for tech cleaning (see links at bottom of this page).   Then after cleansing lightly – use a dry, soft , lint-free cloth to wipe dry and clean.

On ports for cables or connectors you may gently use a cotton swab like a Q-tip to remove any dirt or grime.  I have used a disinfectant wipe to get the tip damp and then cleaned these device cavities that way.  Pay particular attention to wiping clean the camera ports of your device (I use a camera cleaning brush for this final step).


* Desktop/Laptop Computers

Use the same cleaning technique listed above (for cleaning the outside of mobile devices).  For the screen/monitors use only a microfiber cloth with very gentle pressure – see the notes below on Plasma/LCD TVs.

When cleaning your keyboards – make sure it is disconnected to avoid triggering all kinds of activity on your computer… and use caution not to be overly aggressive when cleaning the keys… too much pressure can damage the keyboard, rendering some keys useless.
I choose to use a can of clean compressed air to clean between my keys, this gets out loose particles and then use the cloth to clean and disinfect.

Special note as well if you use a mouse or trackball.  It’s a good idea to take out the ball and clean at regular intervals.  You might be surprised at the gunk that accumulates.  Clean all over the ball itself and then inside the space where the ball rolls around. There are usually several contact points where the balls spins – these points collect lots of small debris.


* Electronic Components

The components in our home entertainment centers like amplifiers, Blu-ray or standard DVD players, receivers, cable boxes ,etc can be cleaned with the same careful attention given to cleaning the outside of your computers.
If your devices are in a particularly dust attracting space (or have not been cleaned in awhile… you may want to use clean compressed air blower – in a can available from computer supply stores) to get the majority of dust and dirt blown AWAY (and not into the devices) before cleaning with your cloths.

* TV monitors, your big-screen TVs

We’re going to cover Big Screen TVs in 3 separate categories or types.  If you do not know what type yours is, check the owners manual (if you do not have the owners manual, check the company website for the technical specs).

* Glass Front TVs – the ‘old-school TVs’ that use the CRT or Cathode Ray Tube to display the signal.  You can use a quality glass cleaner on these devices – but NEVER spray directly onto the face of your TV, always onto the soft, clean, lint- free cloth.  And never use paper towels which can be very abrasive and scratch sensitive surfaces.

* Plasma TVs – Use a clean, lint-free or microfiber cloth to clean your plasma monitor screen.  Slightly damp with filtered water, not dripping – just slightly damp should remove most of the dirt. Some recommend drying the screen with a clean micro-fiber cloth to remove any streaks.  And always check your clots to ensure there are no particles that would scratch your monitor surface (better to throw away and buy a new cloth than to have to buy a new monitor).  And again – do NOT use paper towels, tissues, etc that often contain abrasive particles and no household cleansers –0 not even glass cleaner here.

* LCD TVs – There are LCD monitors with glossy and matte finishes.
Glass finish LCD monitor can be cleaned the same way as an Plasma screen, with the clean, particle free micro-fiber cloth and slightly water damp to get dirt removed from screen.  NO paper towels, no cleaners or cleansers (apart from products recommended or approved by your TV manufacturer)

Matte Finish LCD panel displays must be cleaned with extra care – even water may lead to a streaked display and pressing too hard on the screen can cause permanent damage to the screen .  There are cleaning kits available – and you may consider contacting the reseller or local service company for specialized cleaning and/or service.

This week’s Cool Find is a Smart Phone app called Bakodo

Bakodo is a bar-code scanner that allows you to capture a bar-code or QR Code on your device and then process the data:

A bar-code will present you with information about the product and competitive prices for that product in your local area.
  Whereas scanning a QR Code will launch whatever action the creator of that code designed – from the launch of a website, to opening up an email to send to them and more.

As mentioned in the program the app is only available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch – but the developer indicates other platforms are coming soon.

Bakodo is available in the iTunes Store and you can find out more about the produce on their website here: Bakodo barcode search engine

 Here are the links discussed in this episode of Your Technology Tutor program: