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Keeping Your Smartphones, Laptops and Tablets Clean

By Lito Carasig - Friday, August 26, 2011

I’m sure we’ve all experienced these scenarios at one time or another:  you’re enjoying a juicy burger for lunch, when suddenly you receive an urgent call from your boss and you clumsily reach for your smartphone with your greasy hands to answer it; Or while trying to be a D.I.Y. mechanic one weekend using a great app on your iPad, you absentmindedly touch its panel with your oily fingers; and finally; Maybe you’ve accidentally tripped on the wet sidewalk sending your Blackberry into the gutter.

Well don’t you worry because I’ve got some great tips on how to keep your gadgets clean, for situations just like these.

It would be incredibly tedious to have to keep washing our hands before handling our precious electronics and it would be too spooky (bordering on OCD really) if other people see us do it, so the first tip I would like to share with you is how to keep the screen of your gadget clean. 

You can use a soft lint-free microfiber cloth to wipe away surface dirt, fingerprint smudges and, of course, lint on your gadgets’ screen without worrying about scratching the delicate surface.  Though you may have applied a thin film protector on your screen, it’s advisable not to scrub to hard otherwise you may damage the protector itself if you do so.  Do not use paper towels (even tissue paper) since these products can leave minute scratches on the screen’s surface.

Remember the greasy-fingers-from-eating-the-juicy-burger scenario I mentioned? Well, you can easily clean this kind of stain. First turn off your device and remove the battery.  Second, dampen one small corner of the same recommended microfiber cloth and lightly wipe your gadget’s screen, avoiding any openings for speakers and mic, where moisture might get in. Next, wipe the same area with the dry section of the same cloth and if this doesn’t do the trick the first time, just do it again until you get most of the grime out. If the dirt is really stubborn, you can use a very mild soap and water solution to clean the surface. 

Never – ever – use any household cleaners to clean your gadgets’ surface.  These chemicals are just too harsh and they contain components that may wipe away the protective coating that manufacturers apply on your gadgets’ screens.

The sight of your beloved gadget accidentally falling onto the rain-soaked gutter can be unnerving – if not totally horrific.  But you can still save it if you act quickly.  Turn the unit off immediately and if possible, remove the battery, being careful not to get it wet any further.  It is advisable to use the same lint-free microfiber we have been using but in case of an emergency, and if you happen to have one (you should, always) , you can use a handkerchief to get most of the water out by ever so gently dabbing your gadget with it. 

The idea is to get most of the water and moisture out and let the gadget dry by itself without employing the use of a hairdryer, an over or a microwave to hasten the drying process.  Just leave the gadget alone and then check if it is totally dry before putting the battery in and turning it on.  If you are lucky, then you might just be surprised when it turns on like nothing happened.

Perhaps you have your own ingenious way of keeping your devices spiffy clean.  Maybe you’d like to share it with us too?

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