There are tons of items that we touch every day that we’d be disgusted by if we saw them under a microscope. Typically, things like door handles, toilets, and wallets come to mind. But things like our cell phones, AirPods, and laptop keyboards are also breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, and just all-around grossness that shouldn’t be anywhere near your face.
Unfortunately, unlike your door handles or toilet bowl, you can’t just grab some Clorox and give it a good spray, lest you want to spend time looking into your phone’s warranty. Instead, here’s how to clean your tech devices:
Your cell phone is probably home to more germs and grime than just about anything else in your home—and that’s especially true if you let it hang out face-down at your local coffee shop or date night spot.
Apple’s cleaning guide recommends using a 70 per cent isopropyl alcohol wipe to “gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces.” Just keep in mind that aerosol sprays or bleaches will cause damage. If you’d rather not turn to alcohol, which isn’t safe for every phone on the market, try spritzing some Glass Cleaner on a microfiber cloth and wiping it clean.
Our AirPods go directly into our earbuds, which means things like ear wax or other bodily fluids can build upon them. For any product with removable tips, give them a good cleaning with soap and water, then use a clean cloth to clean the rest of the earphones. For anything that’s hiding within the crevices, use an old brush to get into the grooves.
We always thought those little cans of compressed air were for IT nerds—until we tried it ourselves. Turn your laptop off, then use one to get rid of any loose debris, then add a bit (truly just a bit—the swab should be moist, not even damp) of Glass Cleaner to a cotton swab or Q-Tip and work around the keys. For LCD screens (which is what most MacBooks have), use a damp microfiber cloth to remove dust and fingerprints. To clean the outside of your laptop, mix half a teaspoon of dish soap with warm water. Dip a cloth into the solution, ring it out well, then get to wiping.
Similar to your phone, you likely touch the screen on your watch all day long, which means it could house harmful bacteria. Spritz a bit of Glass Cleaner on a microfiber cloth, then wipe off the screen and casing. You can use a soft-bristled brush to gently remove any buildup in the grooves of the piece.
Make sure you’re also keeping the band of your watch clean—especially if you wear it during sweat sessions. If your band is nylon, dab a bit of laundry or dish detergent on a damp cloth and wipe it down. Silicone bands can be wiped clean just like the glass face: with a bit of water and All-Purpose Cleaner.
Rejoice! Your life just got a heck of a lot less germy.