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How to Clean and Disinfect Your Phone and Laptop

Smartphones, tablets and laptops can be a huge hotspot for germs and viruses. We carry them everywhere, in pockets or bags and use them almost constantly. These electronic devices-our best allies for leisure and work-come into contact with every type of dirt although we’re rarely aware of it; food residue, germs, dust and much more. Now more than ever, it is important to take care of the hygiene of our electronic devices and in this guide we will show you what to do to keep your smartphones, tablets and PCs germ-free.



Why Disinfect your Smartphone?

Frequent hand-washing is often the golden rule to protect against viruses and bacteria. Whether it’s Covid-19 (better known as Coronavirus) or other unknown infections and germs, this good practice is essential to prevent illness and the spreading of germs. However if we continue to touch the screens and keyboards of our devices without taking any other precautions, all our hand washing is in vein. This is why it is important to know how to clean and disinfect your device itself.

How to Clean Your Smartphone (or Tablet) Without Damaging It

Very little is needed to clean the external surfaces of your phone. Nonetheless, it’s important to remember never to use rough materials or aggressive products which can scratch and damage the screen display. There are handy ready-to-use sanitising wipes widely available which do the job just fine. They are soft moist cloths that contain different types of disinfectants (we recommend opting for ethanol-based wipes). In case you don’t have access to these sanitising wipes, a soft cloth moistened in a solution of water and ethyl alcohol can be used instead.



When wiping, you should be sure to wipe not only the display but the reverse side of the device also. If you have a protective case on your phone or tablet, you might be surprised at the amount of residue found both on the back of the device and on the cover itself. Better to be safe than sorry and wipe the exterior of the device and the cover thoroughly.

What Not to Do When Cleaning Your Devices

As suggested by Apple on how to clean their products, we have some cleaning tips here that can be applied to all electronic devices:
  • Do not rub the display vigorously
  • Do not immerse your device in liquid disinfectant/sanitising products unless indicated by the manufacturer as not all devices are water resistant.
  • Do not use bleach to clean your device or spray any disinfectants directly onto it.

How to Clean Your PC Keyboard

Smartphones and tablets with touch screens are quite straight forward to disinfect. Laptops with their integrated keyboards can be slightly more complicated. How best to proceed? First of all, turn off the computer, disconnect it from any power points and if possible, remove the battery. In the case of PCs with separate keyboards, disconnect the peripheral keyboard from the main computer. Make sure to remove any protective films or stickers you may use also.

Normally a can of compressed air is used to remove any residue or crumbs from in between the keys which cannot be reached with a normal cloth. However this is not always the best solution, as this generally only removes the dirt to re-deposit it on the surface of the keys. It’s better to turn the laptop/keyboard upside down to remove any residue and then pass a soft, slightly damp microfibre cloth across the keys. Magic cleaning gel gum or even a toothbrush can be used to remove any residue that is deeply embedded between keys, but be careful not to use too much force, so as to avoid scratching the surface and causing damage. These cleaning steps (magic cleaning gel and cloth) can also be used to clean your mouse.


How to Clean a Computer Screen

It is important to be delicate here as the screen can be easily damaged if aggressive products or actions are used. To successfully clean your computer screen, just use a microfibre cloth, (or a cloth specially designed to clean glasses) moistened with a little water. Gently pass the cloth over the surface of the screen without scratching it.

Practising good hygiene habits on electronic devices that we use everyday allows us to prevent unnecessary risks to our health. These small precautions can make a big difference in the long run!

Foto: © Jianye Li -123RF.
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CCM is a leading international tech website. Our content is written in collaboration with IT experts, under the direction of Jean-François Pillou, founder of CCM.net. CCM reaches more than 50 million unique visitors per month and is available in 11 languages.
This document, titled « How to Clean and Disinfect Your Phone and Laptop », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).
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five time hand wash in a day is the best way to safe corona 19

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