Your equipment's already expensive. Cleaning it doesn't have to be.
From grimy keyboards to germy remotes, these DIY tips will tell you how to repurpose common household items to clean your electronics safely and efficiently.
Clean & Protect Devices
1. Simple DIY Screen Cleaner
Sure, you can buy a commercial screen cleaner or cleaning wipes for $10 to $15, or you can make your own at home for pennies. All you need: white vinegar, distilled water, and a spray bottle. In the bottle, mix equal parts vinegar and distilled water. When you’re ready to clean your phone, TV, or computer screen, first give it a dusting with a microfiber cloth. Then shake your spray bottle, spritz a little of the mixture on a clean cloth, and bring your screens back to clean!
2. Dust with Coffee Filters
When your electronic screens need a dusting, grab a coffee filter. It’ll grab dust without scratching or leaving smudges.
3. Clean Up Your Keys
The easiest way to clean the gunk and dust between your computer keys is with transparent tape. Slide a 2-inch strip between the rows of your keyboard, and the adhesive will pick up any debris. More dust than dirt? Try a small, soft paintbrush. Really tiny crumbs need loosening? Look for cleaning tools in your bathroom. You can brush with a child’s toothbrush, and swipe a strand of dental floss between the keys in your computer keyboard. So many simple yet effective options!
4. Need More Key-Cleaning Power?
Simply dip a cotton swab or cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol and run it between your computer keys. Another surprising solution that works: mouthwash! The same cleaning solutions work for your mouse.
5. Get Help from Squeeze Bottles
Save plastic squeeze bottles, but not for storage—they make the perfect substitute for bottles of compressed air, which are used to clean out computer keyboards, electronics, and other tiny crevices. This works especially well with squeeze bottles with small spouts, such as lemon juice dispensers. Wash them well and let them dry completely before using. To really power up this repurposed tool, try using just the top of a squeeze bottle top as an extension on your wet/dry vacuum to clean nooks on electronic devices.
6. Refresh Remotes
Remote controls gather a lot of grime and germs from so much handling. Squeeze a drop of hand sanitizer onto a paper towel or cloth to clean remotes. To reach between buttons, use a cotton swab.
7. Protect Your Phone at the Beach
When you spend a day at the beach, sand can get everywhere—including the nooks of your phone. But you can protect it from scratches, humidity, and other sneaky damage while still keeping it ready for use. Simply wrap it in a layer of plastic wrap. When you’re worried about water, you’ll need to take an extra step of sliding it into a zip-tight plastic bag. Don’t keep it wrapped up for too long or it can overheat.
8. Get Organized
Raid the playroom. Lego figurines can give you a hand (literally!) when it comes to holding cords and cables in their places. Look for those little figures that have open hands, and run your cords right through them for fun organization. You can assign roles to remember which character holds which cord—for instance, the firefighter has your computer power cord under control.